Press release

Wed, 03 Nov 2021 05:35:00 -0400

Wed, 03 Nov 2021 05:35:00 -0400

Novo Nordisk's net profit increased by 12% in the first nine months of 2021

3 November 2021

  • Operating profit increased by 5% in Danish kroner and by 12% at constant exchange rates (CER). 
  • Sales increased by 8% in Danish kroner and by 13% at CER to USD 16.5 billion. Sales in International Operations increased by 10% in Danish kroner (13% at CER), and sales in North America Operations increased by 6% in Danish kroner (13% at CER).
  • Sales within Diabetes and Obesity care increased by 10% in Danish kroner to USD 14.2 billion (15% at CER), driven by GLP-1 growth of 24% in Danish kroner (30% at CER) reflecting the uptake of Ozempic® and Rybelsus®. Obesity care grew by 41% in Danish kroner (49% at CER) and Biopharm sales remained unchanged in Danish kroner (increased by 4% at CER).
  • Sales in the third quarter increased by 15% in Danish kroner (15% at CER) compared to the third quarter of 2020. Sales growth was driven by diabetes GLP-1 growth of 30% in Danish kroner (31% at CER) and Obesity care growth of 79% in Danish kroner (82% at CER) reflecting market expansion and the launch of Wegovy™ in the US.
  • Within R&D, Novo Nordisk initiated phase 3 development with both oral semaglutide 50 mg for the treatment of obesity and with ziltivekimab in cardiovascular disease during the third quarter.
  • On 29 October, the 2021 outlook was raised with sales growth and operating profit growth now both expected to be 12-15% at CER. Sales and operating profit growth reported in Danish kroner is now expected to be 3 and 4 percentage points lower than at CER, respectively. The ongoing share buyback programme is expanded by USD 0.3 billion to USD 3.1 billion.



9M 2021

9M 2020


as reported


at CER*

USD million





Net sales





Operating profit










Net profit





Diluted earnings per share (in USD)






* CER: Constant exchange rates (average 2020).

**For convenience, Danish kroner for 9M 2021 has been translated to USD in this release, using the average exchange rate of USD 1.0 = DKK 6.21513 and the period-end exchange rate of USD 1.0 = DKK 6.42197

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO: "We are very pleased with the sales growth in the first nine months of 2021 which has enabled us to raise our outlook for the full year. The growth is driven by all geographical areas and by all therapy areas, in particular by accelerated growth of our portfolio of GLP-1 treatments for diabetes and obesity. In the US, the initial demand for Wegovy™ has significantly exceeded our expectations, underscoring the high unmet need for people living with obesity. With the initiation of two phase 3 programmes in the third quarter, we continue to expand our late-stage clinical pipeline."

On 3 November 2021 at 13.00 CET, corresponding to 08.00 AM EDT, an earnings call will be held. Investors will be able to listen in via a link on, which can be found under ‘Investors’.