CSL collects less blood, affirms guidance

Biotechnology giant CSL is collecting less blood plasma from US donors as more people stay home due to the coronavirus pandemic but the decline should not affect full-year profit.

Chief executive Paul Perreault told an investor briefing on Thursday “there clearly is some decline” in receiving plasma at its donation centres in the US.

CSL collects plasma to produce treatments for many autoimmune, respiratory and other illnesses, and is working on a coronavirus vaccine. 

However, many Americans have postponed donating plasma due to restrictions on movement to slow the spread of the outbreak, which has killed more than 14,000 Americans. 

Mr Perreault said plasma collections had dipped since March but “we do have the plasma that’s needed to supply through this year”.

“We’re still collecting a lot of plasma, it’s just not where we would like to be at the moment,” he said of the amount received.

The reduced collection should not have any impact on full-year financial results, he said.

CSL’s profit range remains from $US2.1 billion to $US2.17 billion ($A3.4 billion-$A3.48 billion).

Its shares at 1131 AEST were trading 2.13 per cent higher at $318.57.

In March, CSL replaced the Commonwealth Bank as Australia’s largest listed company.

It is one of 27 ASX/300 firms whose share price has increased in value in 2020 amid a wider market downturn.

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