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Vestas loss near doubled in Q1 – postpones V164 prototype

Vestas' loss almost doubled in the first quarter (Q1) of 2012 to €162 million, compared with a loss of €85m in the same period last year, as the company continues to struggle – and it is postponing the prototype of the new V164 7 MW offshore wind turbine.

By Kari Williamson

The widening loss came despite a 4% increase in revenues to €1.1 billion.

Vestas calls the Q1 results “disappointing” with low levels of deliveries, too high wind turbine costs and an unexpected warranty provisions of €40m due to gearbox trouble with the V90 3 MW.

Vestas says 376 of its V90 3 MW gearboxes delivered between June 2009 and September 2011 may potentially need additional maintenance, repair or replacement due to malfunctioning bearings.

Retains full-year guidance

Vestas retains its full-year guidance of an EBIT margin of 0-4%, revenue of €6.5-8bn, a positive free cash flow, shipments of approx 7 GW and investments of €550m.

Due to the additional provisions made for the V90 gearboxes, warranty provisions for the year are now expected to be around 3% of the expected full-year revenue, against the previous guidance of less than 3%.

Vestas continues its restructuring, and still expects the number of employees at year-end to be around 20,400, contributing to a fixed cost reduction of more than €150m with full effect as from the end of 2012.

American jobs still at risk

During the third quarter, Vestas says it will make a decision on its future footprint in the US market in case the PTC scheme is not extended.

Postpones V164 prototype

The development of the V164 7 MW offshore wind turbine will see a reduced the pace of development, and the prototype is now expected to be installed in Denmark during 2014.

Vestas has already received inquiries from potential partners on the further development of the V164.

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