Ozempic-maker Novo Nordisk briefly becomes Europe’s most valuable firm

'Miracle' drugs could remake the weight loss industry

Denmark’s Novo Nordisk on Friday briefly overtook French luxury goods behemoth LVMH to become Europe’s most valuable company as investors bet on the potential of its weight loss drugs.

Novo Nordisk’s market capitalization was $421 billion including unlisted stock at 9:43 a.m. London time, according to Refinitiv data cited by Reuters, versus LVMH’s $420.97 billion.

LVMH regained the top spot it previously held for two-and-a-half years by 11 a.m. London time, Refinitiv data showed, but the drugmaker remains on its heels.

Novo Nordisk produces drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, which have generated massive hype over the past year over their potential weight loss uses.

In August, the company released clinical trial results indicating that Wegovy reduced the risk of serious heart problems and heart-related death by 20%. Its share price has more than tripled over the last three years, and has gained 66% over the last 12 months.

Denmark on Thursday revised up its GDP annual growth forecast to 1.2% from 0.6%, citing a boost from the pharmaceutical industry as a key factor.

How LVMH built a $500 billion luxury empire

LVMH, the group behind brands including Louis Vuitton, Moët & Chandon and Tiffany, has seen its shares soar to record highs over the last three years as luxury spending has remained resilient. Its CEO, Bernard Arnault, is one of the world’s richest people.

However, its share price has declined in recent months as expectations over a rebound in Chinese travel and spending have cooled.