Wind fall

Vestas Wind Systems profits fell 34 per cent in the second quarter of the year on the back of weak demand and higher than expected administrative costs.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were 15 per cent lower at €78m (£67m), while revenue increased by 11 per cent to €1.2bn and investments in property, plant and equipment and intangible assets remained unchanged at €1bn.

However, the Danish wind turbine group said that it had shipped 12 per cent fewer turbines last year and 20 per cent fewer wind power systems, resulting in profits of €43m for the second quarter compared with €65m a year earlier.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Vestas said: ‘Since the autumn of 2008, the credit crisis has impacted the wind power industry, causing limited order intake during the past nine months and keeping it well short of the level of the same period in 2007/2008.’

The group, which cut 425 jobs at its site in the Isle of Wight last week, added that while projects had been hit by lack of funding, global government initiatives were beginning to have an impact on market prospects with a number of new banks entering the market.

Changes in raw material prices and movements in foreign exchange rates are expected to affect prices in the wind turbine industry and influence sales prospects in the coming year.

Vestas also highlighted potential adverse affects of transport costs, increased market competition and potential patent disputes affecting future provisions.

Despite this, the group remains positive with its backlog of unconditional orders amounting to €4bn. As a result, its forecasts for the year remain unchanged with revenue expected to rise 20 per cent to €7.2bn at an EBIT margin of between 11 and 13 per cent.