Denmark’s Novo Nordisk, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of insulin treatments for Diabetes, has reported a net profit of DKK 25.2 billion ($4.6 billion) for 2013, up 18 per cent from a year earlier, and its operating profit for the year went up by seven per cent to DKK 31.5 billion ($5.8 billion).

Novo Nordisk controls 25 per cent of the global diabetes market and more than 50 per cent of the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) insulin market. More than a quarter of the company’s total emerging market sales come from the region, and they are expected to continue rising in the coming years due to very high incidents of diabetes in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and the wider MENA region.

In 2013, total global sales increased by seven per cent to DKK 83.6 billion ($15.3 billion) on the back of a 10 per cent increase in sales of modern insulins, a 23 per cent rise in sales of Victoza® and a six per cent increase in sales of Biopharmaceuticals.

The company’s board of directors will propose at the annual general meeting on 20 March a 25 per cent increase in dividend to DKK 4.50 ($0.82) per share, and has decided to initiate a new 12 months share repurchase programme of up to DKK 15 billion ($2.7 billion).