CSL predicts profit drop on lower vax sales

Australian vaccine maker CSL said full-year profit will decline as much as 6.9 percent as the end of the swine flu pandemic cuts vaccine sales, Bloomberg reports. The company predicts that net income will fall to between $884 million and $927 million in the year ending June 30, from the $945 million that CSL reported. Excluding last year's swine flu vaccine earnings, profit will rise 10 percent.

The company noted the rising Australian dollar offset revenue from overseas product sales, while growth in royalties from its cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil slowed, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company also predicted drop in sales of its H1N1 swine flu vaccine and unveiled a $815 million share buyback. CSL expects weaker sales due to U.S. and European healthcare reforms and austerity measures, the Australian Life Scientist reports.

CEO Brian McNamee pretty much ruled out in major acquisition at this time. "As we know, a lot of M&A is just passing rent from one shell to another...without clarity on whether true value is created," he explains, as quoted by The Australian. "There's nothing that leaps out at us today that says we would want to conserve our cash for a significant transaction." However, the company hasn't nixed the idea of smaller acquisitions, as Reuters notes.

- get more from Bloomberg
- see The Australian's coverage
- read the WSJ report
- check out the Australian Life Scientist's report
- see more from Reuters

ALSO: Europe and the U.S. have banned an Australian-made flu vaccine for young children, after a surge in febrile fits in Australian children. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has taken stronger action than Australia's Health Department, by recommending that children younger than 9 not be vaccinated with CSL's seasonal flu vaccine. Europe has followed Australia's decision to suspend the CSL vaccine only for the under-5s. Report

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