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

Financial report for the period 1 January 2021 to 30 September 2021

3 November 2021                                                                                                                                        

Novo Nordisk’s net profit increased by 12% in the first nine months of 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 DKK 102.5 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 DKK 88.0 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 DKK 2.0 billion to DKK 20 billion.
PROFIT AND LOSS 9M 2021 9M 2020 Growth
as reported
at CER*
DKK million        
Net sales 102,467  94,808  8% 13%
Operating profit 45,010  42,948  5% 12%
Net profit 36,865  32,820  12% N/A
Diluted earnings per share (in DKK) 15.98  14.00  14% N/A

* CER: Constant exchange rates (average 2020).

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’.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 47,000 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. Novo Nordisk’s B shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Novo-B). Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NVO). For more information, visit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Financial calendar  
2 February 2022 Financial statement for 2021
3 March 2022 Capital Markets Day in Copenhagen, Denmark
24 March 2022 Annual General Meeting
4 May 2022 Financial statement for the first three months of 2022
4 August 2022 Financial statement for the first six months of 2022
2 November 2022 Financial statement for the first nine months of 2022

Contacts for further information  
Mette Kruse Danielsen +45 3079 3883
Michael Bachner (US) +1 609 664 7308
Daniel Muusmann Bohsen +45 3075 2175
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk +45 3075 2253
David Heiberg Landsted +45 3077 6915
Mark Joseph Root (US) +1 848 213 3219

Further information about Novo Nordisk is available on

Company announcement No 66 / 2021


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