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  • Biotechnology company CSL (CSL) has reported a net profit after tax of US$1.8 billion (around A$2.3 billion) for H1 FY21
  • The figure marks a 45 per cent increase from the US$1.2 billion (around A$1.5 billion) achieved in the prior corresponding period (pcp)
  • The company saw both of its subsidiaries, CSL Behring and Seqirus, increase revenue by 9 per cent and 38 per cent respectively
  • CSL says it’s progressing well with its COVID-19 vaccine, with first doses planned for release in the second quarter of 2021
  • Despite the challenging environment, CSL is well-positioned to deliver growth and ultimately a COVID-19 vaccine in the second half
  • It expects its FY21 net profit after tax to land between US$2.1 billion (about A$2.7 billion) and US$2.2 billion (about A$2.8 billion)
  • CSL is up 2.44 per cent on the market and shares are trading at $288.04

Biotechnology company CSL (CSL) has reported a net profit after tax of US$1.8 billion (around A$2.3 billion) for H1 FY21.

The figure marks a 45 per cent increase from the US$1.2 billion (around A$1.5 billion) achieved in the prior corresponding period (pcp).

Additionally, total revenue was up 16.9 per cent to US$5.7 billion (roughly A$7.3 billion).

“I am pleased to report a strong result in an unprecedented time of uncertainty during the most severe pandemic of our lifetime,” CEO and Managing Director Paul Perreault said.

“Our people and business model both demonstrated tremendous agility and resiliency in this most challenging of environments,” he added.

Operations

CSL Behring

CSL Behring, a subsidiary of CSL, saw its total revenue increase nine per cent to US$4.3 billion (roughly A$5.5 billion).

Immunoglobulin (Ig) sales grew seven per cent to US$2.1 billion (around A$2.7 billion), primarily led by its Ig product, HIZENTRA.

Sales for HIZENTRA grew strongly, up 19 per cent due to the uptake for the treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy — a chronic condition that targets the body’s nerves.

Unfortunately, its other Ig product, PRIVIGEN, saw a modest 1 per cent increase, toned down by COVID-19 restraints.

Its other products, HAEGARDA and KCENTRA, saw respective increases of 16 per cent and 6 per cent.

CSL Behring is progressing well with its COVID-19 vaccine, with first doses planned for release in the second quarter of 2021.

Seqirus

CSL’s other subsidiary, Seqirus, saw total revenue increase 38 per cent to US$1.4 billion (about A$1.8 billion).

This growth was primarily driven by increased sales in seasonal influenza sales which were up 44 per cent.

COVID-19

Since the start of the pandemic, CSL has pursued research and development (R&D) projects where its capabilities and expertise can be used.

This has included multiple partnerships spanning vaccines, antibodies and plasma therapies.

In the half, the company entered an agreement with the Australian Government to manufacture 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Unfortunately, CSL’s decided not to progress with an Australian-made vaccine with the University of Queensland after HIV false positives were encountered.

Outlook

Despite the challenging environment, CSL is well-positioned to deliver growth and ultimately a COVID-19 vaccine.

It expects its FY21 net profit after tax to land between US$2.1 billion (about A$2.7 billion) and US$2.2 billion (about A$2.8 billion).

“Demand for CSL’s core plasma and influenza vaccine products remains robust,” Paul commented.

“COVID-19, however, will continue to have an impact on CSL. Our plasma collections have been adversely affected during the pandemic,” he said.

“Our people continue to work exceptionally hard to undertake the COVID-19 vaccine work without compromising the production of our core life-saving therapies,” he concluded.

CSL is up 2.44 per cent on the market and shares are trading at $288.04 at 12:46 pm AEDT.

CSL by the numbers
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