Deals, Financing

$950m share buy back for blood specialist CSL

Posted on 16 October 2013

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Vaccine maker and blood products specialist CSL in $950m share buyback.

Blood products and vaccines maker CSL is embarking on a share buyback worth almost $1 billion as it flags a slowdown in profit growth.

CSL will spend $950 million through another share buyback during the next 12 months, the seventh for the company in eight years.

"Buybacks remain an effective way to manage our capital that delivers improved investment returns for shareholders," CSL chairman Professor John Shine said in a statement.

Addressing CSL's annual general meeting in Melbourne, Professor Shine said the company was forecasting a drop in net profit growth for fiscal 2014, from 10 per cent to seven per cent, as a result of an expected settlement on an antitrust class action in the United States.

Advertisement CSL announced last week that the law suit filed by various hospital groups in the US and Puerto Rico would reduce net profit by $US39 million.

Professor Shine told shareholders the settlement, involving a payment of $US64 million by CSL, was yet to be approved by the US federal court.

But the payment would reduce CSL's net profit growth forecasts made in August, when the company's full-year results were announced.

"This charge takes anticipated growth of net profit after tax for fiscal 2014 to approximately seven per cent at 2012/2013 exchange rates, noting that this outlook is subject to a number of other variables outlined when we announced the company's annual result in August," Professor Shine said.

He said earnings per share growth in fiscal 2014 would again exceed profit growth expectations as shareholders benefit from the effects of past and new share buybacks.

At Tuesday's closing price of $65.38, a $950 million buyback represents about 14.5 million CSL shares or around three per cent of CSL's issued share capital.

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