Novozymes CEO: Our board holds few shares in the company

Friday, 25 Oct 2013 | 8:22 AM ET
Novozymes board holds few shares
Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes, tells CNBC that the biotech company's executives hold few shares in it.

The head of Novozymes admitted his executives held few shares in the company on Friday, after the Danish biotech firm lowered its full-year sales and earnings outlook, citing challenging currency moves.

Novozymes, which produces industrial enzymes, microorganisms, and biopharmaceutical ingredients, reported third quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 755 million Danish crowns ($140 million), beating consensus estimates of 746 million Danish crowns.

Track Novozymes shares here

However, it lowered its organic sales growth target for 2013 to 5-7 percent, due to "unfavorable development in exchange rates since previous guidance". The company also fell short of achieving its targeted sales growth last year.

Growth in China not what it used to be: Novozymes CEO
Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes, says the growth rate in China has slowed and is one of the weaker markets for the company.

In an interview with CNBC, the firm's recently appointed chief executive acknowledged its advisory board held few shares in Novozymes — a sign of lack of confidence in the eyes of some investors.

"The board itself doesn't hold a lot of shares," said CEO Peder Holk Nielsen, who took the helm in April.

"Actually the chairman makes a principle out of not holding shares in the companies where he is a chairman. That is something that varies from company to company. I think in our case, the chairman wants to make sure he stays absolutely objective on any decision that is made by the board and I think the executive team is well aligned with the interest of other shareholders," he added.

Novo AS, the holding company for Novozymes' parent-company, Novo Group, owns 25.5 percent of the total outstanding common stock in Novozymes.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato. Follow CNBC on Twitter: @CNBCWorld

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