Australia's CSL H1 profit up 3 pct, meets forecasts

SYDNEY Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:48pm EST

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SYDNEY Feb 12 (Reuters) - Australian blood products maker CSL Ltd reported a 3 percent rise in first-half net profit, in line with market forecasts, and reaffirmed it expects full-year growth of around 7 percent.

The bottom line for the world's no.2 blood products maker was dented by a settlement on a U.S. antitrust class action, which had been previously flagged.

Net profit after tax for the six months ending December 2013 rose to $646 million from A$627 million a year ago, matching market forecasts of around $644 million. The class action settlement cost $39 million after tax.

"Competition is vigorous but I believe our philosophy of sustainable continuous improvement in everything we do is fundamental to dealing with these pressures," CSL Chief Executive Paul Perrault said in a statement.

CSL's shares closed at A$69.86 on Tuesday, up 23 percent over the past year, against a 6 percent rise in the broader market. (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by John Mair)

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