Wind energy Nordex still on track to achieve revenue of EUR 1 billion in 2011

Wind power order intake up 59% to EUR 522.4 million. Structural costs and continued price pressure placing burden on EBIT.  Personnel and operating costs to be cut. Management Board examining options for strategic alliances in individual business areas. Strong balance sheet; equity ratio of 39% and liquidity of EUR 184.2 million

In the first half of 2011, the wind turbines Nordex Group (ISIN: DE000A0D6554) grew at a double digit rate again, with revenues rising by 15 percent to EUR 403.3 million (previous year: EUR 349.8 million). This was materially underpinned by expanding US business, which now accounts for 25 percent of Group revenues (previous year: 12 percent). Order intake grew even more quickly, rising by 59 percent to EUR 522.4 million (previous year: EUR 329.1 million). This puts the company well ahead of the average achieved in the wind power industry, in which new business grew by 11 percent according to industry figures. At the same time, firm orders rose to EUR 580.6 million (30.12.2010: EUR 411 million) Including contingent orders of EUR 1,489 million, the order book amounts to over EUR 2 billion.

The gross margin amounted to 28.0 percent in the period under review (previous year: 28.5 percent) and thus remained at a high level. However, the increase in structural costs exerted pressure on margins. Thus, personnel costs rose by 12.5 percent to EUR 66.6 million. Other operating expenses, net of other operating income, climbed by EUR 11.0 million to EUR 43.2 million. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) dropped to EUR 1.6 million (previous year: EUR 7.1 million). All told, the Nordex Group sustained a loss of EUR 4.1 million, mainly due to net finance expense of EUR 7.4 million.

The equity ratio increased to 39.0 percent as of the balance sheet date (31.12.2010: 37.6 percent). At the same time, liquidity rose sharply by 30.5 percent to EUR 184.2 million (31.12.2010: EUR 141.1 million) due to and equity issue and a bond issue carried out in spring 2011. Working capital climbed to EUR 373.4 million (30.12.2011: EUR 244.7 million) partly as a result of project delays during the construction phase of large wind farms.

Given the high structural costs and the continued pressure on selling prices, the wind turbines company now plans to cut personnel costs and other operating expenses by around EUR 50 million in total in the short term. In 2010, Nordex had launched a programme to lower product costs which is to be completed in 2012. In addition, it is now exploring options of forging strategic alliances in individual business areas to render them more effective. This particularly concerns the regional company in Asia and Nordex Offshore GmbH.

The aim of these measures is to improve the EBIT margin in 2012 together with a slight increase in revenues. In view of the intensive competition, the Management Board now expects to report low – but positive – earnings before interest, taxes and exceptionals for 2011 as a whole, but no longer expects to achieve an EBIT margin of 4%. On the other hand, it is still on track to reaching its targets for revenues and new business in 2011. Revenues are expected to reach around EUR 1 billion, with order receipts rising by 20 percent and also amounting to EUR 1 billion. In addition, working capital should drop substantially with the final invoicing of numerous projects in the second half of 2011.