BLOOD products and vaccines supplier CSL expects that settlement of an antitrust class action in the United States will reduce its fiscal 2014 net profit by $USD39 million ($AUD41.47 million).
CSL on Monday said it had agreed to settle the law suit that was filed by various hospital groups in the US and Puerto Rico and has been going on since 2009. The settlement, including payment of $USD64 million by CSL, is subject to approval by the US Federal Court. It is tax deductible in the US.
The settlement agreement dismisses claims against CSL and the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association.
“If approved, the settlement represents a one-off charge reducing NPAT (net profit after tax) expectations for fiscal 2014 by $USD39 million,” CSL said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“This charge takes anticipated NPAT growth for the current financial year to approximately seven per cent, at 2012/2013 exchange rates.”
CSL chief executive Paul Perreault said CSL still rejects any allegation of wrongdoing but had negotiated a settlement to avoid the matter dragging on.
“To pursue the case further would have required several more years of management time and focus as well as substantial additional legal costs with no absolute certainty of the outcome,” he said.
The lawsuit alleged that CSL and a competitor had conspired to restrict output and artificially increase the price for plasma-derived therapies in the US.
Shares in CSL were 40 cents lower at $64.64 at 1025 AEDT.
CSL’s profits will take a $39 million hit if a US court approves the settlement of a class action.
7 October 2013