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Novo Nordisk: keeps 2020 guidance despite Covid-19 crisis

( - Denmark's Novo Nordisk , the world's top maker of insulin, maintained its financial guidance for 2020, after a stronger performance in the first quarter.

Net profit rose to 11.9 billion Danish kronor, from 10.4 billion Danish kronor in the first three months of 2019, an increase of 14%, the group said in a statement on Wednesday.

Net sales also rose by 14% at constant exchange rates, reaching 33.9 billion Danish kronor, on the back of Covid-19-related stocking, Novo added.

Regarding its full-year 2020 outlook, sales growth is still expected to be 3%-6% at constant exchange rates, while operating profit growth is expected to increase by 1%-5%, the drugmaker said.

In comparison, operating profit rose by 12% in the first three months of the year.

Novo Nordisk said that the negative impact from Covid-19 should be largely offset by its underlying performance, prompting a 2.3% rise in its share price on the Nasdaq Nordic market on Wednesday.

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