Novo Nordisk lowers sales expectations after rough first quarter

It is the first time for 47 quarters that sales growth has fallen under 10 percent for the year

After a rough first quarter, pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has lowered its sales forecast for 2014 from 8-11 percent to 7-10 percent, according to the company's quarterly financial report (here in English).

Denmark’s most valuable company posted sales revenue of 20.3 billion kroner for the first quarter of 2014, a rise of under five percent on the same period in 2013 – the first time in 47 quarters that sales growth has failed to increase by at least 10 percent. Profit forecasts for 2014 will remain at around 10 percent.

“We are pleased to reiterate our expectations for our operating profit growth in 2014 despite a challenging start of the year and a lower outlook for sales growth,” Lars Rebien Sørensen, the head of Novo Nordisk, said in a press release.

READ MORE: Novo Nordisk in health co-operation with Mexico City

US losses hurt
The company reaped operating profits of 8 billion kroner and net profits before tax of 8.3 billion kroner.

Experts had expected Novo Nordisk would experience a tough start to 2014 after it lost a huge contract with the US health group Express Scripts, which provides health insurance to 45 million Americans.

Novo Nordisk’s share of the total global insulin market fell by 1 percent compared to last year. Its market shares in the US, China and Japan all fell by 2 percent.