CSL Announces Half Year Results
CSL Announces Half Year Results
Melbourne, Australia — 18/02/2004
WEAK US DOLLAR IMPACTS CSL RESULT
AVENTIS BEHRING PURCHASE ON TRACK
CSL Limited today announced its operating results for the half-year ended 31 December 2003.
Dr McNamee, CSL's Managing Director, said, "it's been an operationally challenging half year given the significantly weaker US dollar and a competitive Albumin market."
"Despite producing a less than satisfactory result we have been working to improve our business fundamentals ahead of the Aventis Behring transaction closure and we've had some very pleasing results in cashflow."
"We anticipate closure of the Aventis Behring transaction by the end of March or in April as we have now received many of the key regulatory approvals."
He said that the purchase of Aventis Behring would bring complementary strengths, including a more closely matched base of geographic revenues and expenses to help shield the company from foreign exchange fluctuations.
HALF YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
- Group sales totalled $636.1m, level with the corresponding period last year. The consolidated earnings before interest, income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was $112m, a decrease of 15% on the corresponding period last year. As foreshadowed at the Company's Annual General Meeting in October 2003, the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc and the Australian dollar against the US dollar has had a significant impact on the operating results of the Company. At constant currency rates, EBITDA grew by 4% over the corresponding period last year.
- Net profit after providing for income tax (NPAT) was $25.4m, a decrease of 37% on the corresponding period last year, or at constant currency a decrease of 0.6% to $39.9m. Effective tax rate increased to 44% from 29%.
- Operating cashflow was up 98% to $49.2m.
Earnings per share after tax, before goodwill amortisation, was 27.3c (diluted), a decrease over the corresponding period last year of 29%.
The Directors maintained an interim dividend payment of 12c per share fully franked to be paid to shareholders on 13 April, 2004, the same as for the corresponding period last year.
Dr McNamee pointed to other developments for the half which included the sale of the Animal Health Business, a strong performance in the Biosciences Business and the FDA approval of Rhophylac(R), used in the prevention of haemolytic disease of the new born. In addition, he pointed to a collaboration agreement with Chiron Corporation to develop a hepatitis C vaccine using Chiron's antigens and CSL's proprietary ISCOMATRIX(R) adjuvant technology.
Given the complex process expected during the first three months of integrating Aventis Behring with ZLB and the yet to be confirmed closing date for the transaction, Dr McNamee stated that near term forecasting was difficult to make with any accuracy.
However, he said that for the second half of fiscal 2004, the company's remaining businesses (excluding Animal Health), are expected to produce moderate growth and JRH to continue its very strong growth as measured in its trading currency of US dollars.
In relation to ZLB and Aventis Behring he pointed to the guidance provided at the time of the announcement of the Aventis Behring acquisition where it was stated that the acquisition of Aventis Behring was expected to be significantly EPS accretive next financial year.
The sale of the company's Animal Health Business should provide CSL with a profit before tax of approximately $100m.
CSL announced earlier this week that the US competition authority, the Federal Trade Commission, had determined that it had no issues in respect to CSL's proposed acquisition of Aventis Behring. The Company advised that this is a major milestone in proceeding toward closing the transaction, although there were still a number of competition authority approvals pending in other countries, including Europe that were expected during March 2004 which, if granted, would allow closure of the transaction shortly thereafter.
For further information please contact:
Mr Tim Duncan
Ph: +613 9600 1979
Mr Mark Dehring
Head of Investor Relations
Ph: +61 3 9389 2818
Dr Brian McNamee
Chief Executive Officer
Ph: +613 9389 1601