By Dominic Chopping 
 

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk AS on Friday posted a rise in third-quarter net profit amid destocking and gradual recovery in patients starting treatment.

In the first quarter, patients in the U.S. and Europe in particular stockpiled around 2 billion Danish kroner ($313.6 million) of medicines amid the coronavirus pandemic but these patients destocked during the second and third quarter, the company said.

Novo Nordisk also noted a gradual recovery in the number of patients initiating treatment in the third quarter, it said.

Novo Nordisk said for trials, recruitment of new patients is still below pre-Covid-19 levels. Some new trials have been initiated, it said.

The third quarter had strong sales growth within diabetes care, offset by lower sales of insulin and unchanged obesity treatments and biopharm.

Net profit for the three months to Sept. 30 rose to DKK10.3 billion from DKK10.19 billion a year earlier, just shy of the DKK10.35 billion forecast by analysts in a FactSet poll.

Sales rose rose 2.1% to DKK30.93 billion against analysts' expectations of DKK30.82 billion.

Earlier this month the company upgraded full-year guidance, saying it expects both sales and operating profit growth of 5%-8% on the year in local currencies, after experiencing a lower than anticipated negative hit from Covid-19 and underlying market demand.

The company confirmed this guidance and said that for 2020, reported sales growth is seen around three percentage points lower than growth in local currencies.

Reported growth in operating profit is seen around four percentage points lower than growth in local currencies.

 

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 30, 2020 03:21 ET (07:21 GMT)

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