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Swine flu favours CSL profits

Swine flu favours CSL profits

Sydney: Australian pharmaceutical company CSL on Wednesday reported a 63% jump in annual net profit as demand for a swine flu vaccine boosted its immunisation business.

CSL posted a profit of $1.15 billion (Aus) for the year to June, with underlying operational profit -- which strips out currency movements and other one-off items -- up 45% to $1.02 billion.

“This is a powerful result for CSL, derived in an extraordinary period of foreign exchange volatility and global economic upheaval," managing director Brian McNamee said in a statement.

He said favourable movements in foreign exchange and sales and royalties from its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil had underpinned growth, along with “robust" global demand for plasma therapies.

McNamee said CSL’s seasonal influenza vaccine business grew 60% in the period to $124 million, while massive orders for an A(H1N1) vaccine were likely to provide a “strong contribution" to future earnings.

“Over the last few months we received significant orders from the Australian and US governments for swine flu vaccine," he said.

“CSL has vigorously pursued the development of a vaccine and commenced manufacturing in order to meet demand for this important medicine."

McNamee said Australia had ordered 21 million courses of the swine flu vaccine and the US had placed an initial order for doses, to be trialled there, worth $180 million (US).

CSL expected a net profit of $1.16-1.26 billion in 2009-2010, McNamee said, as the swine flu orders were filled and royalties continued to flow from the local rollout of cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil.

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