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Novo Nordisk on Wednesday reported better-than-expected 2023 earnings, as gross sales of its wildly common anti-obesity and diabetes medication continued to soar.
The maker of weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic reported a rise in gross sales of 31% in Danish kroner and 36% at fixed alternate charges (CER) to 232.3 billion kroner ($33.71 billion).
Full-year working revenue jumped by 37% in kroner and 44% at fixed alternate charges to 102.6 billion kroner.
The Danish pharmaceutical big mentioned it expects gross sales development this yr of between 18% and 26% in CER phrases, as demand surges for Wegovy and Ozempic, which include the identical lively ingredient.
Novo Nordisk’s valuation rose to $506 billion at 08:06 GMT, in line with CNBC’s calculation of LSEG information. The share worth moderated barely by way of the morning, and was up by 1.6% on the day at 9:15 a.m. London time.
Novo stays Europe’s largest firm by market capitalization, forward of LVMH, which was valued at $422 billion forward of Wednesday’s market open.
The 2023 outcomes have been fueled by sturdy efficiency in the corporate’s diabetes and weight problems care division, with weight problems care in explicit spiking by 154% at CER to 41.6 billion.
“We truly anticipate the identical degree of demand in the brand new yr and whenever you have a look at the truth that we’re solely serving a few million sufferers residing with weight problems, some 40 million folks residing with diabetes — there’s a large market on the market,” CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen informed CNBC on Wednesday.
Competition in the weight-loss race has emerged for Novo Nordisk in the type of U.S. stalwart Eli Lilly. The Danish firm has acknowledged that is prone to convey downward worth pressures in the U.S., though Jørgensen mentioned the competitors would in the end profit sufferers.
“If you are actually going to make a giant dent in treating folks with weight problems and stopping a few of the follow-on illnesses from that, it truly takes multiple firm to try this, so I welcome competitors that may assist set up the weight problems market,” he informed CNBC’s Charlotte Reed on Wednesday.
“We’re used to competing on having the most effective merchandise, and the incoming competitor we now have been competing with for over 100 years — we now have large respect for one another — so that is the wholesome competitors that truly brings higher and higher care to sufferers and takes the burden off well being care societies. So I believe it’s a win-win for not solely the 2 corporations, but in addition for society.”
While costs could have to return down, Novo Nordisk doesn’t see a slowdown in world demand.
“The unmet wants in sort 2 diabetes and weight problems are rising by the day, and the rising prevalence of those intently associated threats to world well being has created surging demand for our GLP-1-based therapies,” Jørgensen and Chairman Helge Lund mentioned in Wednesday’s earnings report.
“This has enabled us to succeed in extra sufferers than at any level in our 100-year historical past, contributing to sturdy gross sales development throughout North America and International Operations.”
The firm additionally acknowledged that this had resulted in elevated stress on its provide chain, resulting in “periodic constraints” throughout its portfolio as it struggled to maintain tempo with demand in 2023.
“We have responded by investing closely in increasing our manufacturing capability with the goal of serving tens of millions extra sufferers worldwide. In 2023 alone, we introduced investments totalling greater than DKK 75 billion in the growth of our manufacturing websites throughout the globe,” the chairman and CEO mentioned.
“With development now underway on these tasks, we try to function our current amenities 24 hours a day, seven days per week, as we produce extra of our life-changing medicines than ever earlier than.”
Novo Nordisk mentioned it had now begun to regularly enhance provide of decrease dosage Wegovy in the U.S., having restricted provide of the starter dose energy since final May.