COPENHAGEN/LONDON (Reuters) – Novo Nordisk on Wednesday forecast another year of record double-digit sales and operating profit growth as it began easing restrictions on supplies of its popular weight-loss drug Wegovy.
The company, which is scrambling to increase production amid Wegovy shortages, said it began gradually increasing supply of the lower dose of the drug in the United States in January.
Unable to meet the surge in demand for Wegovy last year, Novo in May began limiting the number of U.S. patients who can start the treatment by reducing supply of the lowest three doses of the appetite-suppressing weekly shot.
Wegovy’s sales totaled 9.6 billion Danish kroner ($1.39 billion) between October and December, slightly lower than the previous quarter and a fourfold increase from the same period a year earlier.
The company said it was aiming for “a gradual rollout of Wegovy with limited volumes” outside the US this year
Novo expects sales growth of between 16% and 25% and operating profit to rise between 19%-28% this year as demand for Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic, which contains the same active ingredient, soars.
According to LSEG data, analysts on average expect Novo Nordisk to achieve 21% revenue growth this year.
“We are very pleased with the strong performance in 2023, which reflects that more than 40 million people are now benefiting from our innovative diabetes and obesity treatments,” CEO Lars Fruergaard Jorgensen said in a statement.
The company said fourth-quarter sales rose 37% from a year earlier to 65.9 billion crowns, compared with the 62.3 billion analysts had forecast in an LSEG poll.
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rose 57% to 26.8 billion, compared to…