Novo profit boosted by North American growth

The world's biggest insulin maker, Novo Nordisk, on Friday reported a five percent rise in annual profit, driven by sales of the group's key drug Victoza and modern insulin.

Novo Nordisk's net profit reached 26.48 billion kroner (3.56 billion euros, $4.03 billion) as revenue grew six percent to 88.8 billion kroner, helped by sales of Victoza, which controls blood sugar levels by mimicking an intestinal hormone called GLP-1, and long acting insulin Levemir.
The North American market accounted for 61 percent of growth measured in local currencies, the group — which holds 47 percent of the global insulin market — said in a statement.
"The results are strong. Earnings are better than anticipated while revenue is in line with expectations," Sydbank analyst Soeren Loentoft Hansen told Danish news agency Ritzau.
Novo Nordisk said sales were expected to grow between six and nine percent in local currencies in 2015, reflecting strong performances from Victoza and once-daily insulin Tresiba.
The launches of obesity drug Saxenda and Xultophy, which combines Tresiba and Victoza, would result in "modest" growth contributions, it said.
"These sales drivers are expected to be partly countered by an impact from increased rebate levels in the US, intensifying competition within diabetes and biopharmaceuticals as well as macroeconomic conditions in a number of markets," the group said.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in February last year that approval for Tresiba could not be granted until the company provided more cardiovascular data.
"The full… trial is now expected to be completed in the second half of 2016," the company said.

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