Strong demand for diabetes and obesity drugs lifts Novo Nordisk earnings

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Novo Nordisk expanded on Wednesday its share buy-back programme after the Danish drug developer reported strong third-quarter earnings, boosted by demand for its new diabetes and obesity drugs.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said in a statement.

Novo said it would expand its current share buy-back programme by 2 billion Danish crowns ($311.40 million) to 20 billion crowns.

Demand for Novo’s new Wegovy obesity drug has exceeded supply, and patients may still experience delays in getting access to the drug, Novo said, reiterating earlier statements made following the drug’s release in June.

“Novo Nordisk is gradually increasing supply and expects to be able to meet demand in early 2022, depending on the demand,” the firm said.

Novo reported a net profit of 12.1 billion Danish crowns ($1.88 billion) in the third quarter, an 18% increase compared with a year-ago period.

“The increase in revenue of 8% and 13% in constant exchange rates brings to mind that Novo Nordisk is “genuinely back” on the growth track,” Nordnet analyst Per Hansen said in a note.

For the second time since early August, Novo raised its forecast for sales and operating profit for the full year on Friday.

($1 = 6.4217 Danish crowns)

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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