Denmark’s Novo Nordisk has reported a 9% hike in operating profit for 2004, in line with market forecasts, as sales rose 11% helped by a good performance by its insulin analogues products and antithrombotic NovoSeven.

The strong figures prompted a 4% rise in Novo Nordisk’s shares on the day of the announcement (January 28) and the effects continued to be felt today, with the stock up another 1.4% to reach 302 kroner in mid-morning trading.

The insulin analogues put in a spectacular 77% sales hike to 4.5bn kroner. Levemir (insulin detemir), Novo Nordisk's long-acting insulin analogue, continues to gain market share in Europe and now holds 9% of the market this type of drug, less than a year after introduction in its first markets [[21/06/04d]] [[07/06/04e]], according to the company. Meanwhile, sales of the flagship haemostasis management product, NovoSeven (recombinant Factor VIIa), increased by 13% to just over 4.36bn kroner in 2004.

Operating profit for the full-year came in at 6.98bn kroner compared, while sales rose to 29.03bn kroner. Net profit was 5.013bn kroner, up from 4.83bn kroner in 2003. For 2005, the company is forecasting operating profit growth of 15%, and sales growth in the region of 10%-15% (in local currencies).

The company also said it plans capital investments of close to 4bn kroner in 2005, primarily related to the construction of production plants for Levemir drug and additional filling capacity for insulin products.