Australian biotech CSL forecasts second-half loss on poor plasma collection

(Reuters) – Australian biotech CSL Ltd on Wednesday forecast a loss for the second half of the year and lower full-year earnings, hurt by poor plasma collection due to Omicron-related restrictions.

The company also reported a 5% fall in first half underlying net profit after tax at constant currency to $1.72 billion.

Australia’s priciest stock and among the five biggest companies by market value, CSL generates about 90% of its profit from plasma collection, which has been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m very encouraged by seeing increased social mobility and the beginnings of a return to a more normalised environment, ” CSL Chief Executive Officer Paul Perreault said in a statement.

CSL forecast fiscal 2022 net profit after tax in the range of $2.15 billion to $2.25 billion, lower than $2.38 billion reported last year.

The company declared an interim dividend of $1.04 cents per share, same as last year.

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