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Novo Nordisk on Wednesday reported better-than-expected 2023 earnings, as gross sales of its wildly standard anti-obesity and diabetes medicine continued to soar.
The maker of weight reduction 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 large mentioned it expects gross sales progress this 12 months 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 keeping with CNBC’s calculation of LSEG knowledge. The share value moderated barely via 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 had been fueled by sturdy efficiency within the firm’s diabetes and weight problems care division, with weight problems care specifically spiking by 154% at CER to 41.6 billion.
“We actually expect the same level of demand in the new year and when you look at the fact that we are only serving a couple of million patients living with obesity, some 40 million people living with diabetes — there is a huge market out there,” CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen instructed CNBC on Wednesday.
Competition within the weight-loss race has emerged for Novo Nordisk within the type of U.S. stalwart Eli Lilly. The Danish firm has acknowledged that is more likely to deliver downward value pressures within the U.S., though Jørgensen mentioned the competitors would in the end profit sufferers.
“If you’re really going to make a big dent in treating people with obesity and preventing some of the follow-on diseases from that, it actually takes more than one company to do that, so I welcome competition that will help establish the obesity market,” he instructed CNBC’s Charlotte Reed on Wednesday.
“We’re used to competing on having the best products, and the incoming competitor we have been competing with for over 100 years — we have huge respect for each other — so that’s the healthy competition that actually brings better and better care to patients and takes the burden off health care societies. So I think it’s a win-win for not only the two companies, but also for society.”
While costs could have to return down, Novo Nordisk doesn’t see a slowdown in international demand.
“The unmet needs in type 2 diabetes and obesity are growing by the day, and the rising prevalence of these closely related threats to global health 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 reach more patients than at any point in our 100-year history, contributing to strong sales growth across North America and International Operations.”
The firm additionally acknowledged that this had resulted in elevated strain on its provide chain, resulting in “periodic constraints” throughout its portfolio because it struggled to maintain tempo with demand in 2023.
“We have responded by investing heavily in expanding our production capacity with the aim of serving millions more patients worldwide. In 2023 alone, we announced investments totalling more than DKK 75 billion in the expansion of our production sites across the globe,” the chairman and CEO mentioned.
“With construction now underway on these projects, we strive to operate our existing facilities 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as we produce more of our life-changing medicines than ever before.”
Novo Nordisk mentioned it had now begun to step by step improve provide of decrease dosage Wegovy within the U.S., having restricted provide of the starter dose power since final May.