Novo Nordisk



Novo Nordisk's net profit increased by 8% in 2020

Financial report for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020

  • Sales increased by 4% in Danish kroner and by 7% at CER to DKK 126.9 billion. Sales in International Operations increased by 7% in Danish kroner (10% at CER), and sales in North America Operations increased by 1% in Danish kroner (3% at CER). Sales growth was negatively impacted by COVID-19, driven by fewer patients initiating treatment.
  • Sales within Diabetes and Obesity care increased by 5% to DKK 108.0 billion (8% at CER), driven by GLP-1 growth of 26% in Danish kroner (29% at CER) reflecting the uptake of Ozempic® and Rybelsus®. Biopharm sales decreased by 1% in Danish kroner (increased by 1% at CER).
  • The R&D pipeline progressed with the submissions of new drug applications for semaglutide 2.4 mg in obesity in the US and the EU. Furthermore, the phase 3b trial with semaglutide 2.0 mg in people with type 2 diabetes was  successfully completed.
  • As per end of February 2021, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, executive vice president (EVP) and chief scientific officer (CSO) will retire from Novo Nordisk and be succeeded by Marcus Schindler, who is promoted to CSO and EVP for Research & Early Development and Martin Holst Lange, who is promoted to EVP for Development.
  • For the 2021 outlook, sales growth is expected to be 5-9% at CER, and operating profit growth is expected to be 4-8% at CER. Growth reported in DKK is expected to be around 4 and 6 percentage points lower than at CER for sales and operating profit, respectively.
  • At the Annual General Meeting on 25 March 2021, the Board of Directors will propose a final dividend of DKK 5.85 for 2020 per share of DKK 0.20. The expected total dividend for 2020 is DKK 9.10 per share, of which DKK 3.25 was paid as interim dividend in August 2020. The Board of Directors intends to initiate a new 12-month share repurchase programme of up to DKK 17 billion.

PROFIT AND LOSS20202019Growth
as reported
at CER*
DKK million    
Net sales126,946 122,021 4%7%
Operating profit54,126 52,483 3%7%
Net profit42,138 38,951 8%N/A
Diluted earnings per share (in DKK)18.01 16.38 10%N/A

* CER: Constant exchange rates (average 2019).

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, president and CEO: "We are very satisfied with the progress on our Strategic Aspirations in 2020 despite the challenges of COVID-19. This was only possible due to the commitment from all our employees. The financial results reflect sales growth in both International Operations and North America Operations driven by more patients using our GLP-1 treatments. Within R&D, key milestones in the fourth quarter were the regulatory submissions of semaglutide 2.4 mg which has the potential to redefine the treatment of obesity. In 2021, we will continue our focus on commercial execution while conducting more late-stage clinical trial programmes than ever to meet the unmet needs of people living with diabetes and other serious chronic diseases."

On 3 February 2021 at 13.00 CET, corresponding to 7.00 am EST, a conference call will be held. Investors will be able to listen in via a link on, which can be found under ‘Investors’.

About Novo Nordisk

Novo Nordisk is a leading global healthcare company, founded in 1923 and headquartered in Denmark. Our purpose is to drive change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases such as obesity and rare blood and endocrine disorders. We do so by pioneering scientific breakthroughs, expanding access to our medicines and working to prevent and ultimately cure disease. Novo Nordisk employs about 45,000 people in 80 countries and markets its products in around 170 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Novo-B). Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NVO). For more information, visit, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Financial calendar 
10 February 2021Deadline for shareholder proposals to the Annual General Meeting
25 March 2021Annual General Meeting
5 May 2021Financial statement for the first three months of 2021
5 August 2021Financial statement for the first six months of 2021
3 November 2021Financial statement for the first nine months of 2021

Contacts for further information 
Mette Kruse Danielsen+45 3079
Michael Bachner  (US)+1 609 664
Daniel Muusmann Bohsen+45 3075
Valdemar Borum Svarrer+45 3079
Ann Søndermølle Rendbæk+45 3075
Mark Joseph Root+45 3079
Kristoffer Due Berg (US)+1 609 235

Further information about Novo Nordisk is available on

Company announcement No 6 / 2020