Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk has posted a 2% decrease in operating profit for full-year 2007 to 8.94 billion kroner (around $1.77 billion), with sales climbing 8% to 41.83 billion kroner.

Growth was driven by Novo's diabetes division, where turnover rose 9% to 30.48 billion kroner, with the firm's stable of modern insulin products making up just over 14 billion kroner of the total, an increase of 29% on the year before. Sales of oral antidiabetic products, notably NovoNorm/Prandin (repaglinide) increased 8% to 2.15 billion kroner, boosted by an increased market share in China and higher average sales prices in the US market.

Among the major products in Novo's biopharmaceuticals business, sales of which climbed 10% to 11.35 billion kroner, NovoSeven (recombinant Factor VIIa) was up 4% to 5.87 billion kroner, while growth hormone product sales, including Norditropin, went up 6% to 3.51 billion kroner.

The results were slightly better than analysts’ expectations and Novo said that for 2008, turnover and operating profit should rise 6.5% and 25% respectively. Chief executive Lars Rebien Sorensen said the results were driven by “robust sales growth in all major markets” and “this makes us confident that we will also be able to deliver solid underlying growth in 2008".