Novo Nordisk raises guidance after first quarter results beat expectations

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Flags can be seen outside Novo Nordisk’s headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark on Feb.5, 2020. REUTERS / Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen / File Photo

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danish company Novo Nordisk (NYSE :), the world’s largest manufacturer of diabetes drugs, raised its financial guidance in local currencies on Wednesday after sales and earnings exceeded expectations in the first quarter.

“We are very encouraged about the sales growth in the first three months of 2021”, said managing director Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen.

“Sales growth was driven by all therapeutic areas and geographic areas.”

Novo Nordisk now expects sales in local currencies to grow between 6% and 10% from 5% to 9% and operating profit in local currencies to grow between 5% and 9% from an earlier estimate of 4% to 8%.

For Danish kroner, Novo continues to forecast sales growth of 4% lower than in local currencies and 6% lower growth in operating profit than in local currencies.

Reported net sales were unchanged at 33.8 billion Danish kroner (5.46 billion US dollars) in the first quarter, above a forecast of 32.5 billion in a refinitive survey.

Sales were driven by a 13% increase in sales of its GLP-1 products, which mimick a gut hormone that stimulates insulin production, which offset an overall 7% decrease in insulin sales.

Novo reported quarterly operating profit of DKK 14.98 billion, above the analysts’ forecast average of DKK 14.6 billion.

The company announced that its ongoing share buyback program will be expanded to DKK 18 billion.

($ 1 = 6.1881 Danish Kroner)

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