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
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/ADiluted 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