Novo Nordisk's operating profit increased by 6% in Danish kroner and by 7% at constant exchange rates (CER) in the first nine months of 2020

Bagsvaerd, DENMARK

30 October 2020 - Financial report for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020

  • Sales increased by 6% in Danish kroner and by 7% at CER to DKK 94.8 billion. Sales in International Operations increased by 9% in Danish kroner (12% at CER), and sales in North America Operations increased by 2% in Danish kroner (2% at CER). Sales growth was negatively impacted by COVID-19 as fewer patients initiated treatment, partially offset by COVID-19-related stocking in the first quarter.
  • Sales within Diabetes and Obesity care increased by 6% to DKK 80.3 billion (8% at CER), driven by GLP-1 sales increasing by 29% in Danish kroner (29% at CER) reflecting the uptake of Ozempic® and the Rybelsus® launch as well as Obesity care sales increasing by 3% in Danish kroner (6% at CER). Biopharm sales increased by 3% (4% at CER).
  • Sales in the third quarter increased by 2% measured in Danish kroner and by 7% at CER compared to the third quarter of 2019. Sales growth was driven by GLP-1 sales increasing by 25% in Danish Kroner (31% at CER). 
  • During the third quarter, Novo Nordisk successfully completed the phase 2b trial with ziltivekimab in cardiovascular disease. Further, Novo Nordisk requested priority review in the US of the filing of semaglutide 2.4 mg in obesity based on a priority review voucher.
  • On 8 October, the outlook for 2020 was raised with sales growth and operating profit growth now both expected to be 5-8% at CER.
PROFIT AND LOSS9M 20209M 2019Growth
as reported
at CER*
DKK million    
Net sales94,808 89,604 6%7%
Operating profit42,948 40,610 6%7%
Net profit32,820 30,234 9%N/A
Diluted earnings per share (in DKK)14.00 12.68 10%N/A

* CER: Constant exchange rates (average 2019). The growth at CER was announced on 8 October

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO: "We are very satisfied with the performance in the first nine months of 2020 despite the negative impacts from COVID-19. More patients use our GLP-1 treatments, and our diabetes market leadership continues to expand. Within R&D, an important milestone was reached with the encouraging results from the phase 2b trial in cardiovascular disease with ziltivekimab, the lead candidate from Corvidia Therapeutics that was acquired this year".

On 30 October 2020 at 13.00 CET, corresponding to 8.00 am EDT, a conference 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 44,000 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.

Further information

Mette Kruse Danielsen+45 3079
Ken Inchausti (US)+1 609 240
Daniel Muusmann Bohsen+45 3075
Valdemar Borum Svarrer+45 3079
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk+45 3075
Mark Joseph Root+45 3079
Kristoffer Due Berg (US)+1 609 235

Company announcement No 63 / 2020