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CSL has posted a 13 per cent jump in sales and net profit after tax. Total revenue was up 13 per cent to $US10.3 billion ($14.20 billion) while net profit after tax was also up 13 per cent to $US2.375 billion in the 12 months ended June 30, or up 10 per cent on constant currency basis.

 

The result was at the top of its 2021 full year guidance; CSL was expected to post revenue growth of 6 per cent to 10 per cent, to $US9.707 billion to $US10.103 billion. while NPAT growth was estimated to be 3 per cent to 8 per cent higher at $US2.166 billion to $US2.271 billion.

The core franchise, the immunoglobulin portfolio, continued to grow led by its subcutaneous product Hizentra, where sales jumped 15 per cent over the year. Albumin sales gained 61 per cent.

 

The result was also supported by a new distribution model fully operational in China with sales of albumin now normalised. A strong performance by its influenza vaccines business, Seqirus, where revenue was up 30 per cent at constant currency also bolstered the results. Seasonal influenza vaccine sales up 41 per cent on record volumes of about 130 million doses.

 

A final dividend of $US1.18 per share was declared, up from $US1.07 a year ago.

 

CSL chief Paul Perreault said he was happy with the strong result against a backdrop of very challenging conditions brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Despite the uncertainty and complexities we have faced, our CSL Behring and Seqirus businesses maintained all critical operations and we have continued to deliver our life saving and life extending medicines around the world, he said.

Market watchers were less concerned about the full year 2021 results and were seeking clarity on the outlook and 2022 guidance given the rise of the Delta variant and people keeping at home in the US, blood plasma collections could be further hindered.

 

In February CSL made the call not to allow any new patients to sign up to its therapies, so that it could prioritise its supply of immunoglobulin therapies for the existing customer base. The company has also been policing the supply chain to avoid any stockpiling of medications and place unneeded pressure on the already stressed system.

 

Mr Perreault called this new financial year transitional and tipped that net profit after tax will be in the range of $US2.150 billion to $US2.250 million at constant currency. This is lower than the market was expecting at around $US2.450 billion, or about 2 per cent NPAT growth this new financial year.

 

Mr Perreault said COVID 19 is a once in a lifetime event, and demand for the core plasma products remains robust,

 

I am proud of our company response and confident of a return to strong growth, he said.

 

Plasma collections are expected to continue improving following multiple initiatives we have implemented. Together with the global rollout of COVID 19 vaccines I am optimistic of a global recovery with greater social mobility and more normalised conditions.

 

Plasma therapies have a 9 to 12 month manufacturing cycle. Increasing collections today underpin our expectation of an increase in supply of therapies to patients.

 

Our influenza vaccines business, Seqirus, is expected to continue to perform well and deliver another strong year underpinned by its portfolio of differentiated products and the heightened demand for influenza vaccines.

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Highlights ......... Revenue up 10% with net profit after tax up 10%

CSL Behring• HIZENTRA® +15%

• HAEGARDA® +14%

• KCENTRA® +7%

• ALBUMIN +61%

• Digital transformation initiatives

 

Seqirus

• Seasonal influenza vaccines +41%

• Record volume ~130 million doses distributed globally

• Next generation influenza vaccine manufacturing facility to be constructed

Critical operations maintained during COVID19 pandemic demonstrating CSL resilience and agility

 

Outlook for FY22

CSL Behring

• Underlying IG demand expected to remain strong

• IG & albumin sales reliant on current plasma collections and cycle times

• Plasma collections expected to improve with CSL plasma initiatives and COVID19 vaccine rollout

Seqirus

• Seqirus product differentiation and COVID19 expected to drive strong demand for influenza vaccines CSL Group Margin

• Gross margin easing expected following increased plasma collection costs, partially offset by modest margin expansion arising from growth in differentiated influenza vaccines

...... Revenue Growth c. 2 - 5% @CC .... NPAT c. $2,150 - $2,250m @CC

and a nice lift ..... final dividend of $US1.18 per share (around $A1.61 as share), bringing the total dividend to $US2.22, up from $US2.02 previous year

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Seqirus has already been developing next generation mRNA (self amplifying mRNA) for influenza .... although it is less advanced than US rivals Pfizer and Moderna. CSL has full IP rights to this new generation tech, and human clinical trials are starting next year. CSL is seeking to solve issues around dosing and create a longer shelf life product.

 

CSL, through the facilities it is building in Victoria and in North Carolina, and in collaboration with research scientists in Cambridge, has a global network of experts in the mRNA space.

 

The Australian government is assessing about a dozen offers for end to end production of the mRNA vaccines onshore, with a decision expected in the coming weeks. CSL is considered a top contender, but rivals include ASX listed IDT Australia, which says its Boronia facility has the potential to produce mRNA vaccines on an industrial scale within 18 months. The BioCina consortium is also seeking to increase homegrown capacity

 

Pfizer and Moderna both produce mRNA vaccines to fight COVID19, and they have both indicated they are not planning to partner with any contract manufacturer in Australia. There is speculation that Moderna may set up locally, since it is in separate talks with the government.

 

 

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CSL boss Paul Perreault has told its annual general meeting it still expects to post an FY 2022 profit between $US2.15 billion and $US2.25 billion. He also said CSL expects revenue growth on a constant currency basis to finish between 2 per cent and 5 per cent.

 

Increased costs are expected to hurt the gross margins for its core plasma collection business, offset by some modest margin expansion for its Seqirus flu vaccine business.

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Ally Selby (Livewire Markets ) : First up, we have biotech darling CSL, whose CEO Paul Perreault earned more than $43 million in realised pay in FY20. For those who do not know, realised pay includes a salary and the value of equity that vested during the year. Stuart, is CSL a buy, hold or sell?

Stuart Welch (Alphinity ) :  I think CSL is a hold here. It is a great Australian success story. A well managed business with a lot of positive attributes, but it has been COVID impacted. The base business is collecting plasma from donors, primarily in the US. And then fractionating it into immunoglobulin for people with immune deficiency and neurological disorders. The key problem during COVID was that the donors just were not turning up. And that continues to be a bit of a headwind for them today. While it is improving, those collections are still probably lagging or at best, in line with consensus expectations. For that reason, it is a hold for us.

Ally Selby (Livewire Markets ) : As Stuart mentioned there, it has had quite a few issues during the COVID crisis. But everything is reopening now. We are shooting in the studio today. Its share price has returned around 3 per cent over the past 12 months. Is it a buy, hold or sell?

Rhett Kessler (Pengana) : I have to say buy because it is one of the largest holdings in our portfolio. We like it. We think the company is well positioned to leverage its superior collection dynamics and its superior distribution dynamics across the globe. I am also very excited about CSL 112, which is the new molecule that hopefully will give me, and hundreds of millions of other people, a pipe clean for my arteries. And Paul has done a good job. I think he has positioned the company really well for the long term. We see these collection issues as a minor speed bump, and they will continue to throw off a lot of cash

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