CSL First-Half Profit Jumps on Blood-Based Therapies

CSL Ltd., Australia’s biggest pharmaceutical company, reported a 3.4 percent increase in first-half profit, helped by surging sales of an antidote for the blood-thinner warfarin.

Net income advanced to $645.7 million, or $1.33 a share, in the six months ended Dec. 31 from $624.6 million, or $1.24, a year earlier, Melbourne-based CSL said today. Earnings, which beat UBS AG’s estimate of $628.9 million, were crimped by a $39 million charge to settle an antitrust class action in the U.S.

Revenue climbed 4.8 percent to $2.69 billion, bolstered by a 15 percent jump in sales of Kcentra and other peri-operative bleeding products. Kcentra was approved by U.S. regulators last April to reverse the effects of warfarin in patients with acute bleeding and was cleared for use in December in adults at risk of hemorrhage during urgent surgery or invasive procedures.

“These developments have underpinned strong growth in U.S. demand for Kcentra,” CSL, the world’s second-largest maker of blood-based therapies, said. The company reaffirmed its forecast for net income to increase by about 7 percent in the year ending June 30, based on the currency exchange rates of the year-earlier period.

The rest of the financial year “looks easy from here,” said Andrew Goodsall, a health-care analyst with UBS in Sydney, in an e-mailed note to clients that noted the surge in first-half revenue from specialty products. “This is the one to watch, with Kcentra upside in the second half.”

CSL shares gained 17 cents to close at A$69.86 when last traded yesterday on the Australian stock exchange. They have advanced 22 percent the past year, outpacing the 6 percent increase in Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.

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