Novo Nordisk's net profit increased by 6% in the first three months of 2021


 Financial report for the period 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021

  • Operating profit decreased by 8% in Danish kroner and increased by 3% at constant exchange rates (CER). 
  • Sales remained unchanged in Danish kroner and increased by 7% at CER to DKK 33.8 billion. Sales in International Operations increased by 2% in Danish kroner (9% at CER), and sales in North America Operations decreased by 3% in Danish kroner (increased 6% at CER). Sales growth is negatively impacted by COVID-19-related stocking in 2020, partially offset by inventory changes and timing of shipments in 2021.
  • Sales within Diabetes and Obesity care increased by 1% in Danish kroner to DKK 28.8 billion (9% at CER), driven by GLP-1 growth of 13% in Danish kroner (23% at CER) reflecting the uptake of Ozempic® and Rybelsus®. Biopharm sales decreased by 6% in Danish kroner (increased by 1% at CER).
  • Within R&D, Novo Nordisk decided to initiate phase 3a development with 50 mg oral semaglutide in obesity. Following the Refusal to File letter in the US covering the label expansion application for once-weekly semaglutide 2.0 mg for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Novo Nordisk is working towards resubmission in the second quarter of 2021.
  • For the 2021 outlook, sales growth is now expected to be 6-10% at CER, and operating profit growth is now expected to be 5-9% at CER. The ongoing share buyback programme will be expanded to DKK 18 billion.
PROFIT AND LOSSQ1 2021Q1 2020Growth
as reported
at CER*
DKK million
Net sales33,804 33,875 0%7%
Operating profit14,982 16,302 (8%)3%
Net profit12,623 11,897 6%N/A
Diluted earnings per share (in DKK)5.45 5.05 8%N/A

* CER: Constant exchange rates (average 2020).

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO: "We are very encouraged with the sales growth in the first three months of 2021. Sales growth was driven by all therapy areas and across geographical areas within International Operations as well as North America Operations where growth has accelerated in the US. We were also pleased to announce plans to develop oral semaglutide as a convenient and effective treatment option for people with obesity, complementing our injectable obesity medications. The solid financial performance in the first three months of 2021 has enabled us to raise our outlook range for the full year."

On 5 May 2021 at 13.00 CEST, corresponding to 7.00 am EDT, an earnings call will be held. Investors will be able to listen in via a link on, which can be found under ‘Investors’.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 45,800 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Novo-B). Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NVO). For more information, visit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Financial calendar
5 August 2021Financial statement for the first six months of 2021
3 November 2021Financial statement for the first nine months of 2021
2 February 2022Financial statement for 2021

Contacts for further information
Mette Kruse Danielsen+45 3079
Michael Bachner  (US)+1 609 664
Daniel Muusmann Bohsen+45 3075
Valdemar Borum Svarrer+45 3079
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk+45 3075
Mark Joseph Root+45 3079
Kristoffer Due Berg (US)+1 609 235

 Company announcement No 30 / 2021


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