Novo Nordisk eyes 2022 sales growth of 6% to 10%

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) -Novo Nordisk on Wednesday missed analysts’ expectations for fourth-quarter operating profit, but the Danish drug developer said it aims to generate sales growth of between 6% and 10% in local currencies in 2022.

FILE PHOTO: Flags are seen outside Novo Nordisk headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen

Novo reported quarterly operating profit of 13.63 billion Danish crowns ($2.06 billion), an increase of 16% over the corresponding period last year, but below an average of 14.36 billion forecast by analysts in a Refinitiv poll.

“We are very pleased with the double-digit sales growth in 2021 and the progress we have made on our strategic aspirations,” Chief Executive Lars Joergensen said in a statement.

Sales for the fourth quarter, however, came in at 38.3 billion crowns, slightly above analysts’ estimates of 37.9 billion crowns.

Novo also said it expected operating profit growth in local currencies in 2022 of 4% to 8%.

The company said it would propose a dividend of 6.9 crowns per share and that it would initiate a 12-month share buyback programme worth up to 22 billion crowns.

Starting last year, Novo has experienced supply issues in the United States for its new Wegovy obesity drug, which has been in high demand.

Novo on Wednesday reiterated it still expects to be able to meet demand for that drug in the second half of 2022.

“Novo Nordisk falls within expectations, and investors are reassured by the prospect of Wegovy deliveries being in place in the second half of the year,” Nordnet analyst Per Hansen said in a note.

($1 = 6.6023 Danish crowns)

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