Novo Nordisk A/S Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Novo Nordisk A/S (NVO)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 13, 2012 7:00 am ET


Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen - Chief Science Officer, Executive Vice President and Member of the Senior Management Board

Lars Rebien Sørensen - Chief Executive Officer, President and Member of the Senior Management Board

Kåre Schultz - Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Member of the Senior Management Board

Jesper Brandgaard - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President, Member of the Senior Management Board, Chairman of Novo Nordisk Engineering A/S and Chairman of Novo Nordisk IT A/S


Brian Bourdot - Barclays Capital, Research Division


Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen

So Lars, thank you very much and the rest of the team. It's my pleasure, as I said, to introduce all of you without much further ado, I'm going to hand over the mic to Lars Sørensen to make some opening comments on the quarter and also what hope we get over the second half of this year. Lars, all yours.

Lars Rebien Sørensen

Thank you. How do I move? So thank you very much and thanks for the invitation. We've been kind of dreading coming over here not because of the results, but because of the Olympics. As it turned out, it was very quiet this morning and almost sort of silent. So we have prepared ourselves to fight through the city, but that didn't occur, so -- and the weather has been nice. So thank you very much for that. I'm just going to say a few words of introduction and then we will get on with the program. You'll get a little bit more extensive update by Kåre Schultz, Chief Financial Officer, sitting over there; and Mads Krogsgaard will be giving you an update on R&D; and Jesper Brandgaard is here. He's just out for the moment, and then we will enable the Q&A, which we'll take a seat at the table, and hope that works out.

As usual, things may turn out completely differently than what we predict, usually not the case, I have to say, at least, when we speak about diabetes, but there are certain uncertainties associated with making predictions and please study this slide to know what the risk factors are. This is the highlight in fact from the front page of the press release that was sent out. Due to a very strong second quarter, we managed to come out the first half with a 12% local currency growth and because of the weakening of the Eurozone, that is translated into 17% growth in first half and in Danish kroner terms, the growth drivers are North America, International Operations, with 19% and 17%. In terms of product, it's Victoza and the modern insulins. They make up for the total growth. The rest is sort of wash up -- up and down. In the regulatory field, there's quite a few new things here. The regulatory process for Tresiba and Ryzodeg is moving along in all major markets. We have gotten a tentative AdCom date, November 8 in the U.S. and the process in Europe and Japan is moving along quite smoothly also.

We just announced a combination trial results where we combine a GLP-1 and an insulin. And as you could see from the data and from the release, they are actually doing what we had anticipated plus some, meaning, that this may present itself as a very attractive treatment option for a variety of different patient categories. And I'm sure we will be discussing the positioning and the potential of this type of combination drug during the Q&A. Then we have one news which is perhaps not so good. We saw in the last parts of the trial with vatreptacog alfa new factor VIIa analogue, potentially neutralizing antibody formation in one patient, and this needs to be started further. The way this is being assessed is in vitro, so we still need to see the efficacy data of whether any truly neutralizing effect clinically has taken place. We don't believe it has, but it's something we need to investigate further, but clearly, not good news. It just basically shows that when you toil around with biologics, if you go too far, you actually run the risk of eliciting antibody formation, and so this is an example of the associated risk with biopharmaceuticals. When we look at the financials, a very strong operating profit growth, 31%; diluted, 26% and we were able to lift our guidance for the year to 9% to 12% and 15% operating profit growth in local currencies. And with this, Kåre Schultz.

Kåre Schultz

Thank you, Lars. So just a brief comments on sales and as Lars already alluded to, if you look at the sales from a geographical point of view, then there are 2 -- actually, 3 key drivers: North America, International Operations and China. And the background is the same as in previous years, so it's quite different from region to region. In North America, we have a situation where we have actually a positive pricing environment. We have a positive market share environment where we are taking market shares steadily in both the GLP-1 segment and in the insulin segment. And in total, that gives us a very healthy growth also compared to what happens to all pharmaceutical companies in North America. In International Operations, it's a case of demographics. We have basically something like 6 billion people living in what we call International Operations or the emerging markets. This, as you all know, in strong increase in the occurrence of diabetes, strong organization and that drives a very high level of organic growth in International Operations for all the products both the high end and the low end.

And in China, we have a relative lower number here than what we've been seeing in the past. There has been some health care reforms on the pricing on human insulin, which affected us last year, and we will be seeing this number actually come up a little, more towards the 15% level once we get to the end of the year due to the several pipeline changes we saw in China, but basically 3 regions driving growth. Europe and Japan, pretty much you could say saturated markets with low economic growth, lot of pricing pressure and no real positive dynamics for us there.

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