Danish turbine maker Vestas enjoys record orders

Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems on Friday reported a fall in sales and profits but cheered investors by announcing a record order backlog.

Danish turbine maker Vestas enjoys record orders
Wind turbine orders in the first quarter rose 37 percent. Photo: Courtesy of Vestas Wind Systems.

“Vestas delivered record high first-quarter order intake as well as our largest ever combined wind turbine and service order backlog,” chief executive Anders Runevad said in a statement.

Net profit plunged 38 percent to €35 million ($40 million), higher than a Bloomberg analyst consensus of €26 million, as revenue dropped four percent to €1.46 billion.

The group said wind turbine orders in the first quarter rose 37 percent measured by capacity from a year ago and that the order backlog stood at €8.6 billion as of March 31st.

The combined backlog of wind turbine orders and service agreements was worth €18 billion, up €3 billion from the same period last year.

“Free cash flow, although at negative levels, was in line with expectations as we build up inventory preparing for a busy remainder of 2016,” Runevad said.

The group reiterated an annual revenue forecast of at least nine billion euros, and for a margin of 11 percent on earnings before interest, taxes and special items.

The results “emphasise that Vestas is in better shape than ever,” Sydbank analyst Jacob Pedersen wrote in a note to investors.

The group has trimmed costs over the past few years, after it had to cut 3,000 jobs in 2011 as an expansion plan coincided with governments cutting subsidies for renewable energy in the wake of the financial crisis.

Shares in the company were five percent higher in early afternoon trading on the Copenhagen stock exchange, where the main index was 0.29 percent higher.


Denmark and Baltic countries plan ‘seven times more’ offshore wind energy

Denmark and other nations bordering the Baltic Sea will announce on Tuesday a plan to dramatically boost offshore wind energy by 2030. 

Denmark and Baltic countries plan 'seven times more' offshore wind energy

Today, just under 3 gigawatts are generated in the Baltic Sea, about half of which is Danish energy. An additional 1,100 to 1,700 offshore wind turbines will be needed to bring the total energy capacity to nearly 20 gigawatts in 2030.

A joint agreement to reach these levels in coming years is to be announced by participating countries on Tuesday, according to newspaper Politiken.

The newspaper reports a draft declaration it has seen in relation to the agreement, which will be presented at a summit at the Danish prime minister’s residence, Marienborg, north of Copenhagen on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Denmark keen to join with Baltic countries on wind energy

Should the amount of additional energy reported by Politiken be produced, as many as 22 to 30 million households could see their energy needs covered by wind power.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen talked up the importance of wind power in comments to Politiken.

“The war in Ukraine and climate change are being met with now. We have two crises on the table at the same time. We need to speed up green energy conversion and we need to free ourselves from Russian fossil fuels,” she said.

Frederiksen is participating in the summit on behalf of Denmark. Senior officials and leaders and from Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and the EU Commission will also attend.

The summit was earlier scheduled to take place on Denmark’s Baltic island Bornholm but was moved due to a strike at Bornholm’s airport, which was not resolved until late on Monday.

A total of 2.8 gigawatts of wind power are currently produced in the Baltic Sea according to the Danish energy ministry.

Potentially, that could be increased to 93 gigawatts by 2050, an EU Commission assessment has found.

Earlier this year, Frederiksen hosted a green energy summit in western Danish city Esbjerg, at which the government signed an agreement with Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany for a ten-fold increase of offshore wind power capacity in the North Sea to 150 gigawatts by 2050.

On Monday, the Danish parliament voted through plans to increase production wind energy at a wind turbine park off Bornholm from 2 to 3 gigawatts. The facility will be connected to Germany.