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Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- CSL Ltd., Australia’s biggest pharmaceutical company, reported a 24 percent jump in first-half profit as demand for blood-derived treatments increased.

Net income climbed to a record $627 million, or $1.24 a share, in the six months ended Dec. 31 from $504 million, or 96 cents, a year earlier, Melbourne-based CSL said today. Earnings exceeded the $622 million median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Revenue advanced 6.8 percent to $2.48 billion, bolstered by demand for immunoglobulin products, which raise infection-fighting antibody levels, and sales in China of albumin, used to counter shock-causing blood loss. Operational efficiencies helped boost profit, which the company expects to increase by about 20 percent in the year ending June, based on current foreign exchange rates.

CSL reported a “strong first-half result,” Andrew Goodsall, a health-care analyst with UBS AG, said in an e-mailed note to clients. “Accounting for higher research and development spending in the second half, we will likely see an in-line result at the full year.”

CSL shares fell 5 cents to end trading at A$57.21 in Sydney. They have advanced 6.1 percent this year, trailing a 7.6 percent increase in Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.

CSL surged 68 percent last year, making it the best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 20, which typically includes the nation’s 20 largest stocks.

EPS will increase about 24 percent in the current financial year, CSL said. It appointed Citigroup Inc. to help sell about $300 million of debt to U.S. investors in a private placement during the next six months.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Gale in Melbourne at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at

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