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CSL tightens earnings guidance range

Biotech giant CSL has narrowed its guidance on net profit and expects growth of three to eight per cent.

Chief executive Paul Perreault on Wednesday told the annual general meeting the previous low end of the range of zero per cent had been revised to three per cent. This would give net profit after tax of $2.170 billion to $2.265 billion this financial year.

There was no change to expected revenue growth of six to 10 per cent.

Mr Perreault and his peers said little about efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccines and treatment.

Research and development efforts for the virus would increase costs, according to Mr Perreault, but these would fall within plans.

The federal government has signed supply deals for a vaccine from CSL if the latter’s efforts with Astra Zeneca and the University of Queensland are successful.

Mr Perreault said the company was working closely, and at pace, with these groups.

Looking ahead, he said the company would benefit from governments wanting to protect people from the virus and influenza.

Subsidiary Seqirus, which specialises in flu vaccines, has gained contracts in Europe and Canada recently due to this demand.

He also expected continued demand for plasma, which the company collects and is used for medicines.

Virus restrictions have hampered collection and made it more costly.

CSL reported a 9.6 per rise in full-year net profit after tax to $US2.1 billion ($A2.9 billion). Final dividend was $A1.46 per share, higher than the $1.45 final payout the year prior.

Shares were higher by 2.08 per cent to $304.44 at 1459 AEDT.

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