Vestas outstrips Q1 expectations

Vestas claimed “improvement in all major areas” in the first quarter of 2014, as the global wind turbine market-leader beat expectations with sharply improved orders and profitability.

Vestas produced a string of positive numbers compared to the same quarter in 2013, with earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) – the company’s operating profit – coming in at €40m ($55.3m) before special items, compared to a year-ago negative figure of €108m.

It said that came due to "improved project margins, higher revenue, lower fixed capacity costs and lower depreciation".

The Danish group registered a net profit of €2m, compared to a deficit of €151m last time. Revenue was up 17% to €1.28bn.

Order intake leaped 84% year-on-year to 1.19GW, with produced-and-shipped megawatts up by roughly the same amount at 1.12GW.

Vestas said its combined backlog of wind turbine orders and service agreements stood at €13.8bn at the end of the quarter, an uplift of €1.4bn compared to a year ago.

Recharge Insight director Robert Clover said the company’s Q1 Ebit had significantly outstripped market expectations.

Clover said: “With its outlook maintained, order book up, and MHI JV operational, Vestas is looking very solid.”

CEO Anders Runevad said: “As we expected, first quarter showed improvements in all major areas. This is a result of a lot of hard work from my colleagues and we remain focused on executing on our strategy, Profitable Growth for Vestas.”

Runevad and his colleagues will give more details on the quarter in a conference call with financial analysts later.

The upbeat Q1 report from Vestas follows a similarly positive first quarter performance from Spanish rival Gamesa, which released its own financial figures last night.