Wind blade-maker TPI Composites confirmed a $12m loss after a “disappointing and extraordinary” first quarter in which it was hit by the backdraft from the troubles afflicting customer Senvion, and by a strike at one if its own factories in Mexico.
US-based TPI – the world’s only major independent blade-maker – said the move into insolvency of Senvion caused a ripple effect onto its own finances in the form of asset impairment and revenue recognition in the January-March period.
TPI said earlier that it was in “ongoing discussions” with Senvion, which in April secured finance to enable it to continue operations. The US group also noted “the potential opportunity to sell some or all of the blades that we have produced for Senvion directly to the wind farm owners pursuant to their step-in rights”.
Another early-year negative for the blade-maker was the February strike at TPI’s blade plant in Matamoros, Mexico, which was settled after a few weeks but caused “significant production disruption” that will last well into the rest of the year.
The first quarter net loss reverses an $8.7m profit at the same stage last year for TPI, which had already warned about the deficit and remained bullish about its longer-term prospects.
“The fundamentals of our business remain strong as we continue to partner with our customers to support their global production needs,” said CEO Steve Lockard.
“We have invested heavily in new line start-ups and existing line transitions, laying the groundwork for doubling the company’s revenue over a three-year period and beyond.
“From our perspective, the first quarter was a small setback in our longer-term vision which continues to be supported by an increasingly improving global wind market outlook.”
TPI separately announced the appointment as chief financial officer of Bryan Schumaker, formerly chief accounting officer at First Solar. His predecessor as TPI CFO, William Siwek, becomes company president overseeing global operations, finance and supply chain.