Biopharmaceutical giant CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) says shareholders can expect a profit of at least $US1.68 billion in its 2018 financial year.

CSL Limited is a $79 billion company which creates vaccines and other products to prevent and treat life-threatening illnesses. Founded in 1916 by the Australian government, it was first known as Commonwealth Serum Laboratories.

In a trading update provided to the ASX this morning the Melbourne-based company increased its net profit guidance for its 2018 financial year to between $US1.68 billion and $US1.71 billion, assuming a constant currency. That compares to CSL’s previous guidance of $US1.55  billion to $US1.6 billion.

“I am pleased to report an improved Company outlook for the financial year, underpinned by a confluence of positive outcomes as we work to deliver on our strategy,” CSL Paul Perreault said.

“Of particular note has been a positive product and geographic sales mix shift, particularly with better than expected sales of Idelvion® and Haegarda®.”

CSL’s Seqirus business, which was formed in 2015 by combining bioCSL and the flu vaccines business of Novartis, is bolstering the group’s performance, Perreault said. Seqirus is the second-largest flu vaccines company in the world.

“…Seqirus is also performing well, following a severe northern hemisphere influenza season,” Perreault said. Adding, “The phasing of investments in some of our clinical trials has also yielded a positive financial variance.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, analysts were forecasting CSL’s earnings per share to rise to $US4.78, up 22% on 2017’s result. In 2017, CSL reported a net profit of $US1.43 billion in constant currency.

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