CSL shares are falling after weaker than expected profits

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CSL’s full year profits are up 6% to $US1.38 billion, but below expectations, as the biotech builds the world’s second largest flu vaccine business.

Analysts had forecast a profit of about $US1.41 billion.

The blood products company has completed the $US275 million purchase of the Novartis global influenza vaccine business and will create a new division, combining with CSL’s existing vaccines and pharmaceutical subsidiary, bioCSL.

Sales for the year to the end of June were up 2% to $US5.459 billion.

CSL, which briefly hit $100 a share last week, expects strong underlying demand for its products to continue in 2016. Sales growth will be similar to the 2015 gains.

CEO Paul Perreault says influenza vaccine sales are increasing particularly well.

“We fast tracked the acquisition of the Novartis influenza vaccines business, which lets us get on with integration much earlier,” he says.

“CSL is now the second largest influenza vaccine manufacturer in the world – a sector we understand deeply. The combined business has an extensive product portfolio, broad global sales reach, specialised R&D and scaled manufacturing, positioning the business very well to compete globally.”

A final, unfranked dividend of $US0.66 a share, a 10% rise, was declared.

CSL’s shares fell more than 2% in early trade. A short time ago, they were down 1.94% to $93.27.

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