UPDATE 2-Australia's CSL H1 tops forecasts; sticks to outlook
* H1 profit rises 23 pct to A$617 mln, despite currency hit
* Swine flu vaccine helps offset drop in Gardasil royalties
* Sees year profit at upper end of 14-24 pct rise, constant $ * Shares jump 5 percent, have underperformed over past year (Adds analyst, CEO comments, share price)
By Sonali Paul
MELBOURNE, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Australian vaccine and blood products maker CSL Ltd (CSL.AX: Cotización) stuck to its full year profit forecast after reporting a 23 percent rise in first-half profit, which beat broker forecasts and sent its shares up 5 percent.
First-half profits were bolstered by sales of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine and seasonal flu vaccines and stronger margins in its main business, blood plasma products, which offset a drop in royalties from its HPV cervical cancer vaccine.
Analysts said the result beat forecasts largely due to swine flu vaccine sales, which are not expected to be as strong in the second half.
"This was always going to be skewed to the first half because swine flu is a first-half story," said UBS analyst Andrew Goodsall.
Governments that had been stocking up on swine flu vaccines for the northern winter did not need as much as they first thought because researchers found that one dose is effective, rather than the two doses they first thought were needed. Continuación...