Europe helps Nordex back to profit

German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex returned to profit last year amid a jump in sales in its European core market as well as cost-cutting measures.

Sales rose around 33% in 2013 to €1.43bn ($1.96bn) thanks to a 50% rise in the company’s EMEA business to €1.31bn, according to provisional annual financial figures.

Nordex said it was able to buck a European market trend, as new installed capacity actually contracted by almost 6% in the continent’s wind industry last year.

In the US Nordex's sales went down, while they recovered in Asia. In both regions taken together, sales dropped to €123m in 2013 from €206m in 2012.

Operating earnings before interest and taxes came in line with company expectations at €44.3m, reversing a €61.1m operating loss in 2012, when results were dragged down by one-off expenses arising from the scaling down of operations in the US and China.

The company's net profit amounted to €10.1m in 2013, reversing a €94.4m net loss in 2012, a Nordex press official said.

The company said it was helped in reaching the operating turnaround due to reductions in structural expenses and product costs. Together with the strong top-line growth, that also led to a full capacity utilisation in turbine assembly in Germany.

Nordex last year also reached a record order intake of €1.5bn, up from €1.27bn a year earlier. Firmly financed orders amounted to €1.26bn at the end of 2013.

“We were able to achieve our planned turnaround in 2013,” says Nordex chief executive Jürgen Zeschky.

“It is now very important to ensure that this success is made permanent and, in particular, that we achieve our medium-term goal of further improvement in profitability.”

The company will release final annual financial statements as well as guidance for 2014 on March 24, 2014.