Australia's CSL annual profit up 19 pct on robust sales
SYDNEY Aug 14 (Reuters) - Australia's CSL Ltd, the world's No.2 blood products maker, reported a 19 percent rise in full-year net profit to $1.22 billion on Wednesday, after strong sales of its core products offset a strong Australian dollar.
CSL, which books 90 percent of its revenues outside Australia, said it expected profit growth this year of around 10 percent at constant currency rates.
"Looking into 2014 we see trading conditions being tempered again by ongoing economic pressures," said CSL Chief Executive Officer Paul Perreault.
The 2013 result, which was slightly ahead of company guidance on a constant currency basis, compared with a $1.02 billion profit a year ago.
Strength in the Australian dollar caused an unfavourable exchange rate impact of $18 million.
Full-year sales grew 7 percent to $5 billion when adjusted for currency fluctuations, driven by its key albumin and immunoglobin products.
Albumin sales growth was underpinned by demand from China, aided by domestic plasma supply interruptions and the company's improved distribution logistics.
Albumin, a blood plasma protein produced in the liver, has a number of clinical uses including the treatment of shock, burns and the correction of low plasma albumin levels.
Demand for its subcutaneous immunoglobin products, which use a small needle inserted into the tissue just below the surface of the skin, rather than into a vein, was also strong.
CSL's flagship subcutaneous immunoglobin product, the home-administered Hizentra, was popular in the United States and Europe.
CSL's shares last closed at A$67.80 on Tuesday. The stock has surged 56 percent over the past year. (Reporting by Jane Wardell; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Paul Tait)
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