Novo Nordisk, a leading pharmaceutical company, recently released its second-quarter results. Let's dive into the key highlights:

Net Profit

The net profit for the quarter showed a significant increase, reaching 19.43 billion Danish kroner ($2.86 billion). While this is impressive, it fell short of the forecasted 20.63 billion Danish kroner by analysts in a FactSet poll.


The company experienced a 32% rise in sales, reaching DKK54.3 billion. However, this figure slightly missed the FactSet estimate of DKK55.47 billion.

Key Observations

GLP-1 Drugs

Novo Nordisk's GLP-1 drugs, which are used to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity, continued to exhibit strong growth during the quarter. The overall sales growth for GLP-1 diabetes treatments amounted to an impressive 50% year-on-year. To accommodate the increasing demand for its Wegovy obesity treatment, the company has decided to reserve some lower-strength starter doses exclusively for patients already using the drug. This proactive measure aims to ensure a stable supply of medication. It's worth noting that both Ozempic and Wegovy share the same active ingredient, and some patients are opting to use Ozempic "off-label" to treat obesity.


The gross margin for the second quarter slightly improved to 85.5% compared to 85.3% previously. This increase can be attributed to a positive product mix. However, costs related to capacity expansions, lower realized prices in the U.S. and China, and a negative currency impact of 0.4 percentage point offset the margin improvement. As for the operating margin, it experienced a slight dip from 44.6% to 44.0%.


Novo Nordisk revised its sales growth and operating profit growth guidance for 2023. The company now expects sales growth of 27%-33% (previously 24%-30%) in local currencies. Similarly, the projected operating profit growth increased to 31%-37% (previously 28%-34%). However, it's important to note that the reported growth in sales may still be around six percentage points below constant currencies, and reported operating profit growth could be approximately nine percentage points lower.

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