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Novo Nordisk’s operating profit increased by 14% in Q1 2019

Lars Fruergaard Joergensen

The company’s sales increased by 9% in Danish kroner and by 4% at CER to DKK 29.3 billion.

Operating profit growth of 8% at CER was positively impacted by a reversal of write-downs of oral semaglutide prelaunch inventory.

In addition, sales in International Operations increased by 13% in Danish kroner (13 % at CER), driven by growth in all regions and positively impacted by timing of shipments. Sales in North America Operations increased by 4% in Danish kroner (decreased 4% at CER), negatively impacted by inventory reductions.

Diabetes and obesity

Sales within diabetes and obesity increased by 10% to DKK 24.8 billion (5% at CER), driven by Diabetes growing 4% at CER and Obesity growing 51% at CER. Sales within biopharmaceuticals increased by 3% to DKK 4.5 billion (unchanged at CER).

Ozempic and oral semaglutide

Sales of Ozempic were DKK 1,425 million and it has now been launched in 19 countries. In the USA, the new-to-brand prescription market share for Ozempic has now exceeded 30% bringing Novo Nordisk’s combined GLP-1 new-to-brand prescription market share to 50%.

Oral semaglutide has been filed for regulatory approval of glycaemic control in both the USA and the EU.

Furthermore, oral semaglutide and Ozempic have been filed for regulatory approval for CV risk reduction in the USA.

2019 outlook

For the 2019 outlook, sales growth is still expected to be 2-5% at CER, and operating profit growth is still expected to be 2-6% at CER.

“We are on track”

“We delivered very solid performance in International Operations, driven by sales growth in all regions, meanwhile, sales in the USA were negatively impacted by inventory reductions. The global launch of Ozempic, our new once-weekly GLP-1, is well on track and continues to gain market share. From a regulatory perspective, we achieved important milestones with the filing of oral semaglutide both in the USA and the EU. Based on the progress we made in the first quarter of 2019, we are on track to deliver on our outlook for the full-year,” says Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO, Novo Nordisk.

Photo of Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, President and CEO, Novo Nordisk