Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk Q2 profit rises 19 percent, helped by modern insulin sales

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Novo Nordisk Q2 profit rises 19 percent

COPENHAGEN — Danish drug maker Novo Nordisk A/S on Thursday reported a 19 percent increase in net profit for the second quarter and raised its outlook, citing strong sales of its modern insulin products.

The world’s largest producer of diabetes drugs said net profit in the second quarter was 3.5 billion Danish kroner ($620 million), up from 3 billion kroner in the same period a year ago.

The company, based in Copenhagen, said sales increased by 18 percent to 15.4 billion kroner from 13 billion a year earlier, partly supported by favorable currency exchange rates. Sales in local currencies increased by 11 percent.

The sales increase was also boosted by strong performance of its modern insulin Victoza and hemophilia drug NovoSeven.

Novo Nordisk raised the outlook for 2010 operating profit growth to between 12 and 15 percent, from more than 10 percent before.

It also raised the sales growth forecast to 9-10 percent, measured in local currencies, from 7-10 percent previously, but said losses on foreign exchange hedging contracts would result in net financial costs of 1.75 billion kroner, compared with the 700 million previously forecast.

“The underlying business growth is solid, driven by our portfolio of modern insulins and Victoza,” Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Rebien Soerensen said in a statement.

“We are also very encouraged by the continued progress within our pipeline including both new insulins, liraglutide for obesity and haemostasis projects,” he added.

Shares in Novo Nordisk dipped 1.67 percent to 501 kroner ($88.6) in early Copenhagen trading.

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