Press releases

Financial report for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020

Wed, 03 Feb 2021 05:53:00 -0500

Wed, 03 Feb 2021 05:53:00 -0500

  • Sales increased by 4% in Danish kroner and by 7% at CER to USD 19.4 billion. Sales in International Operations increased by 7% in Danish kroner (10% at CER), and sales in North America Operations increased by 1% in Danish kroner (3% at CER). Sales growth was negatively impacted by COVID-19, driven by fewer patients initiating treatment.
  • Sales within Diabetes and Obesity care increased by 5% to USD 16.5 billion (8% at CER), driven by GLP-1 growth of 26% in Danish kroner (29% at CER) reflecting the uptake of Ozempic® and Rybelsus®. Biopharm sales decreased by 1% in Danish kroner (increased by 1% at CER).The R&D pipeline progressed with the submissions of new drug applications for semaglutide 2.4 mg in obesity in the US and the EU. Furthermore, the phase 3b trial with semaglutide 2.0 mg in people with type 2 diabetes was  successfully completed.
  • As per end of February 2021, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president (EVP) and chief scientific officer (CSO) will retire from Novo Nordisk and be succeeded by Marcus Schindler, who is promoted to CSO and EVP for Research & Early Development and Martin Holst Lange, who is promoted to EVP for Development.
  • For the 2021 outlook, sales growth is expected to be 5-9% at CER, and operating profit growth is expected to be 4-8% at CER. Growth reported in DKK is expected to be around 4 and 6 percentage points lower than at CER for sales and operating profit, respectively.
  • At the Annual General Meeting on 25 March 2021, the Board of Directors will propose a final dividend of USD 0.89 for 2020 per share of DKK 0.20. The expected total dividend for 2020 is USD 1.39 per share, of which USD 0.50 was paid as interim dividend in August 2020. The Board of Directors intends to initiate a new 12-month share repurchase programme of up to USD 2.6 billion.




as reported

at CER*

USD million





Net sales





Operating profit










Net profit





Diluted earnings per share (in USD)






* CER: Constant exchange rates (average 2019).

**For convenience, Danish kroner has been translated to USD in this release, using the average exchange rate of USD 1.0 = DKK 6.54215

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO: "We are very satisfied with the progress on our Strategic Aspirations in 2020 despite the challenges of COVID-19. This was only possible due to the commitment from all our employees. The financial results reflect sales growth in both International Operations and North America Operations driven by more patients using our GLP-1 treatments. Within R&D, key milestones in the fourth quarter were the regulatory submissions of semaglutide 2.4 mg which has the potential to redefine the treatment of obesity. In 2021, we will continue our focus on commercial execution while conducting more late-stage clinical trial programmes than ever to meet the unmet needs of people living with diabetes and other serious chronic diseases."


On 3 February 2021 at 13.00 CET, corresponding to 7.00 am EST, a conference call will be held. Investors will be able to listen in via a link on, which can be found under ‘Investors’.