Sinovel’s net profits plunge 96.25 pct

China is the global leader in wind power, with a cumulative installed capacity of 62.4 gigawatts by the end of 2011, according to figures from the China Wind Energy Association.

Sinovel Wind Group, Ltd., China’s largest wind turbine maker, saw its net profits plummet 96.25 percent year on year in the first half due to sluggish demand and fierce competition.

Net profits totaled 24.67 million yuan (3.89 million U.S. dollars) in the first six months, Sinovel said Tuesday in a statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Operating revenues dropped 42.04 percent year on year to 3.09 billion yuan, according to the statement.

The global economic slowdown has dented investment in wind power, while cutthroat market competition has forced turbine prices down, weighing heavily on the industry’s profitability, Sinovel said.

In response to these challenges, Sinovel has tried to reduce production costs and tap the overseas market, it said.

In the first six months, Sinovel saw big gains in overseas sales, which reached 280.78 million yuan and accounted for more than 9 percent of the company’s total sales, up from less than 1 percent in 2011.

The company did not disclose exactly how much its overseas sales increased compared with the same period last year.