Vestas EBIT beats expectations

Vestas claimed it had delivered on the main areas of its two-year turnaround plan as it released key financial figures that beat expectations.

Vestas pulled in full-year revenue of €6.084bn in 2013 and its earnings before interest and tax (Ebit), before special items was €211m, with a free cash flow of €1.009bn.

The announcement came last night, earlier than expected and ahead of the wind group's scheduled full-year financial results and strategy update today.

It represents a good set of figures,  44% above Ebit consensus expectations, said Recharge Insight director Robert Clover in an immediate response to the results.

Clover added that the early release is a sign of Vestas' confidence, accompanying its unexpected announcement of plans for a share issue that could raise about  €450m.

Vestas itself said: “The higher-than-expected revenue and Ebit were primarily driven by a smooth execution in terms of installation and transfer of risk combined with favourable weather conditions in December.”

For 2014, Vestas expects revenue to amount to a minimum of €6bn with an Ebit margin before special items of at least 5% and a free cash flow of a minimum €300m.

The company said it has delivered on the main areas of its turnaround plan.

Annualised fixed capacity costs have been lowered by  €484m compared to Q4 2011, said the Danish wind group.

Net investments have been shrunk by more than €500m to €239m since 2011 and working capital has been lowered to negative €596.

Vestas ended 2013 with orders of 5.96GW, up from 2012's 3.74GW. It delivered 4.86GW against 6.04GW.

“A double-digit Ebit margin in the fourth quarter and a free cash flow generation of more than €1bn in 2013 are major achievements for Vestas and our dedicated employees,” said CEO Anders Runevad.