Diabetes drugs boost Novo Nordisk
Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk raised its full-year guidance today after a rise in sales of diabetes drug Victoza and synthetic insulins boosted second-quarter sales and operating profit, beating forecasts.
Novo, the world's biggest insulin producer, said sales of Victoza jumped 83 per cent and sales of modern insulins - synthetic rather than human hormones - grew 23 per cent, both exceeding forecasts. The company is benefiting from a boom in diabetes treatments linked to growing obesity rates worldwide.
"It is a very strong result which clearly exceed expectations that were already high," said Sydbank analyst Soren Hansen.
"A raise of outlook was expected, but even in this area the company delivers with a bigger rise than forecast," Mr Hansen said, adding the share could rise as much as five per cent at open.
Novo said it now expects full-year sales growth in local currencies of 9 per cent to 12 per cent instead of a previous forecast range of 8 per cent to 11 per cent, and operating profit growth of 15 per cent instead of an earlier forecast "at least 10 per cent".
"We are very satisfied with the financial performance in the first half of 2012, driven by a continued strong performance of our modern insulins and Victoza," chief executive Lars Rebien Sorensen said in a statement.
Novo said phase three study data for combination treatment IDegLira for type two diabetes had shown the benefits of its product Tresiba in combination with Victoza.
Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 7.65 billion Danish crowns ($1.27 billion) in April-June from 5.27 billion in the second quarter last year, beating an average 6.65 billion crowns forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales grew 21.7 per cent year-on-year to 19.47 billion crowns, also beating analysts' average 18.89 billion estimate.