COPENHAGEN: Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk said Wednesday its net profit soared by 51% last year, driven by sales of popular diabetes and obesity treatments that helped it become Europe’s most valuable company.
The century-old company reported a net profit of 83.7 billion kroner (US$12.1 billion), which was higher than the 82.07 billion kroner forecast by analysts surveyed by financial data firm FactSet.
Novo Nordisk said sales for its diabetes and obesity treatments surged by 42 % at constant exchange rates to 215.1 billion kroner last year.
Overall sales rose by 36% to 232.3 billion kroner in 2023.
“We are very pleased with the strong performance in 2023 reflecting that more than 40 million people are now benefiting from our innovative diabetes and obesity treatments,” chief executive Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said in a statement.
“We continue to make progress on our strategic aspirations. Our focus in 2024 will be on reaching more patients, progressing and expanding our pipeline as well as the continued significant expansion of our production capacity,” he added.
Novo Nordisk produces Ozempic, an injectable anti-diabetic treatment which became wildly popular on social networks for its slimming properties.
It also makes Wegovy, which has the same active ingredient as Ozempic in a different dose and was approved by US regulators to treat obesity.
The success of the drugs has led to Novo Nordisk becoming a darling among investors who drove up the company’s share price so much that the company became Europe’s largest group by market capitalisation last year.