Novo Nordisk increased operating profit by 27% in 2010

Novo NordiskSales increased by 19% in Danish kroner and by 13% measured in local currencies, which is slightly higher than the latest guidance of '11-12% growth in local currencies'. All regions contributed to growth measured in local currencies; North America was the main contributor with 62% share of growth measured in local currencies, followed by International Operations and Europe, contributing 24% and 12%, respectively. Sales growth was realised within both diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals, with the majority of growth originating from the modern insulins and Victoza®.

Gross margin improved by 1.2 percentage points in Danish kroner to 80.8% in 2010, reflecting a favourable product mix development and a positive currency impact.

Reported operating profit increased by 27% to DKK 18,891 million. Measured in local currencies, operating profit increased by approximately 16%.

Net profit increased by 34% to DKK 14,403 million. Earnings per share (diluted) increased by 38% to DKK 24.60.

The phase 3a programme for Degludec and DegludecPlus has now been completed. In the largest trial, the one-year trial comparing Degludec and insulin glargine when added to oral anti-diabetic therapy in type 2 diabetes, Degludec met the primary endpoint of non-inferior glucose control while reducing nocturnal hypoglycaemia by more than 35% compared to insulin glargine.

For 2011, sales growth measured in local currencies is expected to be 8-10%, and operating profit growth measured in local currencies is expected to be around 15%.

In 2010, Novo Nordisk reached the four long-term financial targets announced in the annual report for 2008. Consequently, three of the four targets have been increased while the core target of 15% annual operating profit growth has been maintained.

At the Annual General Meeting on 23 March 2011, the Board of Directors will propose a 33% increase in dividend to DKK 10 per share. The Board of Directors has furthermore decided to initiate a new share repurchase programme of DKK 10 billion in 2011.

Lars Rebien Sørensen, president and CEO: "2010 was a very good year for Novo Nordisk with strong organic sales growth driven by the modern insulins and Victoza®. We expect continued sales growth from these products and are encouraged by the results from the phase 3 programme with our new generation insulins."

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