UPDATE 1-Australia’s CSL to focus on small acquisitions

*Announces new A$900 mln share buyback

*Eyeing small, bolt-on acquisitions

*FY net profit falls 9 percent to A$1.05 bln

(Adds CEO comments, share price)

SYDNEY, Aug 18 (BestGrowthStock) – Australia’s CSL Ltd (CSL.AX: ),
the world’s no.2 blood products maker, said on Wednesday that
it will buy back A$900 million ($818 million) of its shares and
continue to focus on small acquisitions.

“We have a balance-sheet company that is
opportunity-ready,” Chief Executive Brian McNamee told
reporters.

“We continue to look at small bolt-on opportunities that
make sense for us.”

CSL had said in February that it wasn’t rushing a further
return of capital to shareholders following a A$1.6 billion
share buyback completed earlier this year. But McNamee said
that the company had low gearing and wasn’t currently eyeing
any large, transformational acquisitions.

Whilst McNamee declined to comment specifically on whether
CSL was interested in acquiring Abbott Labs’ (ABT.N: ) Solvay flu
vaccines unit, he reiterated that the company continued to look
at opportunities in its main areas of interest and that it was
“early days”.

CSL is looking for a new source of growth after its planned
$3.1 billion takeover of U.S. rival Talecris Biotherapeutics
(TLCR.O: ) was blocked by U.S. regulators in 2009. Spain’s
Grifols (GRLS.MC: ) is now trying to buy Talecris for $3.4
billion.

Net profit for the year ended June 30 slipped 9 percent to
A$1.05 billion, the company reported on Wednesday. That
compared with analysts’ forecasts around A$1.07 billion,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

CSL said it took a A$187 million foreign exchange hit in
the fiscal year and declared a final dividend of 45 cents per
share.

Noting a World Health Organization edict that there is no
longer a phase 6 influenza pandemic, CSL forecast a lower
fiscal 2011 net profit of between A$980 million and A$1.03
billion, at current exchange rates.

CSL’s shares fell 2.9 percent to A$31.82 at 0057 GMT,
compared with a broader market (.AXJO: ) up 0.09 percent at
4480.8.
($1=A$1.10)
(Reporting by Morag MacKinnon; Editing by Ed Davies)

UPDATE 1-Australia’s CSL to focus on small acquisitions