Copenhagen - Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest producer of insulin for diabetes sufferers, posted on Thursday a rise in quarterly earnings driven by sales of diabetes drug Victoza, and raised its full-year guidance.
Net profit in the April to June period rose 26% to 6.734bn kroner (€903m, $1.206bn) from the outcomea year ago, beating a Dow Jones Newswires analyst consensus of 6.5bn kroner.
Revenue grew 10% to 17.774 kroner.
Sales of Victoza, which controls blood sugar levels by mimicking an intestinal hormone called GLP-1, increased 25% in the quarter as its market share in the first half of the year rose to 69% from 64% a year ago.
The results were helped by strong sales of Novoseven, which is used to halt blood loss, and low research and development costs - both of which are "of less importance for the company's long-run success," Alm. Brand Bank noted, according to Dow Jones.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in February approval for Novo Nordisk's new, long-acting insulin, Tresiba, couldn't be granted until the company provided more cardiovascular data.
"Based on the feedback from the FDA regarding the design of the cardiovascular outcomes trial for Tresiba, we now expect to start the trial before the end of the year," chief executive Lars Rebien Soerensen said in a statement.
The company, based in Bagsvaerd outside Copenhagen, raised its sales growth forecast to between 11% and 13% in local currencies from a previous estimate of nine to 11%.
Operating profit would increase 12% to 15% in local currencies this year, rather than the previously stated 10%, it said.
Novo Nordisk has almost half the global insulin market, which has grown rapidly in recent years following a rise in the number of people suffering from diabetes, estimated by the World Health Organisation to stand at around 347 million.
Shares in the company were up 1.51% around midday on the Copenhagen bourse, where the main index was up by 0.89%.