Turbine maker Vestas turns in record order book

Vestas, the world's largest wind turbine manufacturer, said Wednesday its order book had reached an all-time high, but falling prices took the gust out of the company's sales figures.

Turbine maker Vestas turns in record order book
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The value of the backlog of wind turbine orders and service agreements stood at 23.7 billion euros at the end of the third quarter, up 3.5 billion euros compared to the same time last year.

Business in the United States boomed, with deliveries of turbines there jumping by 61 percent in the three months through September to 1.65 gigawatts.

That accounted for more than half of all turbines the company delivered.

While deliveries of turbines by production capacity rose by nearly 29 percent, the falling sales prices resulted in stagnating revenues.

Sales totalled 2.8 billion euros, a gain of 2.5 percent from the same quarter one year ago. Over the first nine months of the year, sales were down less than one percent.

Net profit in the quarter fell by 30 percent to 178 million euros.

Chief executive Anders Runevad said that despite the high level of competition the “average selling price in the third quarter saw continued underlying stabilisation” and pledged the company would remain focused on containing its fixed costs.

Vestas left its annual forecasts unchanged, with revenue expected to come in between 10 and 10.5 billion euros, up from 10 billion last year. Its operating margin is expected to fall to between 9.5 and 10 percent, compared to 12.7 percent in 2017.

The company's shares rose 3.7 percent in midday trading in Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: 200 Danish jobs could be lost in Vestas cuts


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.