* Novo says to split its Copenhagen-listed shares
* Sees high single-digit profit, sales growth next year
* Q3 EBIT rises to 7.99 bln DKK, narrowly missing fcasts
* Keeps full-year 2013 guidance unchanged
COPENHAGEN, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk forecast high single-digit percentage profit and sales growth next year after reporting a smaller than expected 1.7 percent year on year rise in operating profit in the third quarter.
The world’s biggest insulin producer kept its full-year guidance for this year unchanged and said it would carry out a stock split of its B shares listed in Copenhagen.
Operating profit for the third quarter rose to 7.99 billion Danish crowns ($1.48 billion), compared with an average forecast for 8.19 billion crowns in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Third quarter sales of modern insulins rose to 9.39 billion Danish crowns but lagged an average 9.74 billion forecast in the Reuters poll.
Sales of diabetes drug Victoza rose about 14 percent to 2.85 billion, also lagging forecasts.
“Overall, the result is a little disappointing, especially in terms of sales,” said Sydbank analyst Soren Hansen.
“It is particularly the diabetes sale which is weak in the third quarter,” he said.
Novo said it would split its B shares in a five-for-one ratio on the Copenhagen stock exchange as of January 9 next year.
The trading unit of Novo Nordisk B shares listed on the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen exchange will be changed from 1 Danish crown to 0.20 crowns, it said. ($1 = 5.4161 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)