Vestas sees favourable winds despite low oil prices

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems on Tuesday posted a full-year profit for 2015 that beat forecasts and despite low global oil prices expects revenues to continue rising this year.

Vestas sees favourable winds despite low oil prices
Vesta's order intake rose by 41 percent in 2015. Photo: Claus Fisker/Scanpix
“The wind power industry has matured in recent years and we are now seen as one of the main contributors to a more sustainable power generation footprint,” chairman Bert Nordberg said in a statement.
Net profit for the year rose to €685 million ($766 million) from €392 million last year, beating Bloomberg analyst consensus of €637 million.
Revenue grew 22 percent to a record €8.42 billion — and is expected to reach at least €9 billion this year, which would be an increase of nearly 7 percent.
Order intake rose by 41 percent last year to €8.2 billion, and the order book stands at just over one year of work.
“We have seen good activity levels across all regions,” chief executive Anders Runevad said, noting that Vestas' profitable service business grew 20 percent.
The board recommended raising the dividend by 75 percent to 6.82 kroner (€1.34, $1.50).
Runevad took the helm in August 2013 after the company had posted nine quarterly losses in a row.
The Danish company had to cut its workforce by almost a third as the financial crisis prompted governments to cut subsidies for renewable energy.
“Vestas is earning more than expected from its operations,” Sydbank analyst Jacob Pedersen told Danish news agency Ritzau, as the profit margin before interest and taxes widened to 10.2 percent from 8.1 percent.
“They have cut costs significantly,” said Michael Friis Jørgensen, an analyst at Danish financial services group Alm. Brand Markets.
If oil prices remain at their low levels it could become a problem for the company in the future as it would make wind power less competitive and hit orders, and global economic uncertainty could reduce investor appetite in the sector, he cautioned.
But an impact the company's results was unlikely before 2017, he said.
Shares in Vestas were up 6.5 percent in late morning trading on the Copenhagen bourse, where the main index was 1.03 percent lower.

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Danish wind turbine giant Vestas looking offshore after strong results

Vestas, the global leader in wind turbines, posted stronger annual results Wednesday and said it was looking to expand crucial offshore operations with a giant new model.

Danish wind turbine giant Vestas looking offshore after strong results
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish company reported a 10 percent rise in net profit to 771 million euros ($933 million) for 2020, even though its supply chain had been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales jumped 22 percent to a record 14.82 billion euros, a statement said.

One disappointing number was for orders however, which declined by eight percent to 12.7 billion euros in a sector where competition is stiff and global investment is growing.

Vestas has long been a leader in onshore turbines and must now catch up with offshore rivals such as the German/Spanish group Siemens Gamesa or the US multinational General Electric (GE).

“To lead the expansion of wind energy into becoming the dominant energy source, it is crucial for Vestas to become a leader in offshore wind,” the statement quoted president and chief executive Henrik Andersen as saying.

In October, Vestas spent 700 million euros to gain full control of the sea-based unit it launched in 2014 with the Japanese group Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

This year, Andersen said the Danish company's focus “will be to fully integrate offshore (operations) and address executional challenges”.

Vestas unveiled a 15-megawatt offshore turbine design that it expects to begin installing in 2024.

For 2021, Vestas is targeting sales of 16-17 billion euros, which would represent a gain of eight to 15 percent.

In midday trading on the Copenhagen stock exchange, Vestas shares showed a drop of 3.9 percent to 1,227.50 kroner, while the OMX Nordic 40 index on which it is listed was 0.2-percent lower overall.