Novo lifts year view after record profit

COPENHAGEN Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:48am EST

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COPENHAGEN Jan 31 (Reuters) - Denmark's Novo Nordisk nudged up its sales and profit forecasts for this year after strong sales of modern insulins and diabetes drug Victoza helped deliver a 16 percent rise in fourth-quarter revenue.

The world's biggest insulin producer said on Thursday it now saw 2013 sales growth measured in local currencies of 8 to 11 percent and operating profit growth measured on the same basis of around 10 percent.

Its previous guidance for this year was for operating profits and sales growth in high single digits.

Fourth-quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose to 7.57 billion Danish crowns ($1.38 billion) from 6.08 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, exceeding analysts' average estimate of 7.11 billion in a Reuters poll.

The result was aided by a 29 percent rise in sales of diabetes treatment Victoza and a 20 percent rise in the sale of modern insulins.

($1 = 5.4980 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Mark Potter)

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