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Nordex suffers 80% drop in sales to China

GERMANY: A dramatic 80% drop in Nordex's turbine sales in China led the German firm's overall Asian sales for 2011 to drop by 57%.

Announcing provisional data on its final year results for 2011, Nordex today confirmed that its sales for 2011 totalled €921 million, down 5% from 2010. While Nordex blamed the fall mainly on project postponements in Southern Europe, it acknowledged the collapse of its Chinese sales as another key factor.

Nordex is the latest in a string of turbine manufacturers to suffer from falling revenues in China: Suzlon earlier this month blamed falling revenues and profits on poor grid access for Chinese projects, while Sinovel at the end of January announced it expected its annual profits to fall 50% due to lower sales volumes and falling turbine prices; Vestas, meanwhile, also in January reported falling profit margins in its Chinese business.

In addition to its falling sales revenue in 2011, Nordex also recorded a €10.3 million loss for the year, which it blamed on the global trend of falling turbine prices. However, the manufacturer stated that this loss could have been greater were it not for cost-cutting measures undertaken as part of its programme to trim product costs by up to 15% by the end of 2012. Nordex has also reduced its structural costs by €50 million, including making 253 full-time jobs redundant.

Despite all this, last year did bring some good news for the turbine manufacturer: it took orders totalling €1.1 billion in 2011, up 32% on its 2010 order levels. The value of firm orders in hand also rose, by 70% to €698 million.

And while European and Asian sales fell, Nordex’s sales in the US doubled – although this was not enough to make up for the losses in those two markets.

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