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Vestas to cut Danish jobs on European wind downturn

Layoffs will affect Ringkøbing plant producing nacelles and hubs for 4MW platform

Turbine manufacturer Vestas will lay off about 90 employees at a facility in Denmark in response to a downturn in the European market for onshore wind, a company spokesman confirmed to Recharge.

The job cuts will affect the plant in Ringkøbing, where the Danish OEM produces nacelles and hubs for its 4MW platform.

Vestas to shed 400 jobs as growth shifts from Europe

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"Responding to the current lower European market demand and to sustain our competitiveness, we need to scale down production of 4MW platform nacelles and hubs in Ringkøbing, Denmark, which means that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to approximately 90 employees at the factory," Vestas said later in a statement sent to Recharge.

"It’s always hard to let good, hardworking colleagues go, but with most of market growth expected to be outside of Europe, our global footprint must reflect market developments in order for us to grasp growth opportunities."

The expansion of wind power on land in Europe has slowed during the first half of 2019 amid a dramatic collapse in additions in the key German market, which has been hampered by a lack of permits.

Vestas earlier this month narrowed its guidance for 2019 revenue and pre-tax (Ebit) margin, as it posted a second quarter net profit of €90m ($100.3m), less than half of the €184m seen in the same period last year.

“Prices remained stable in the quarter, but further increases in tariffs, raw material prices and transport costs, continue to increase execution costs, causing our gross margin to decline compared to the same period last year,” newly-installed chief executive Henrik Andersen said when unveiling the results.

The company last fall had already announced it would shed 400 jobs as growth in the global wind business shifts from mature markets to high-growth areas outside Europe.

Most of the job cuts announced then were for northern and central Europe, but would mainly affect white collar staff.

As of August 2019, Vestas employs more than 4,300 people in Denmark and more than 24.500 people globally.

Next to its assembly at Ringkøbing that currently employs 530 people, Vestas in the Danish town also has a hub for human resources, finance, transport, planning and R&D. In total.

UPDATED with company statement, background

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