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Record year for Vestas as wind beats oil and gas for Dong

WORLDWIDE: Vestas reported a net profit of €965 million for 2016, up from €685 million in the previous year. The Danish company said its turbine order intake stood at 10,494MW at the end of last year, compared with 8,943MW in 2015.

Complete…Dong's Gode Wind site with 6MW Siemens turbines (pic: Dong Energy)
Complete…Dong's Gode Wind site with 6MW Siemens turbines (pic: Dong Energy)

The biggest growth was seen in the value of Vestas' service orders, which rose from €1.8 billion in 2015 to €10.7 billion.

Revenue grew from €8.4 billion in 2015 to €10.2 billion, with Vestas expecting it to reach €9.25-10.7 billion in 2017.

The company's strong performance is reflected in a rise in dividends, with the Vestas board recommending a dividend of DKK9.71 (€1.26) per share, compared with last year's DKK6.82.

"Deliveries are up more than 29% year-on-year, while costs remained tightly under control. All regions contributed to the strong results, demonstrating once again the power of Vestas' global reach," said CEO Anders Runevad.

Meanwhile, German rival Siemens has increased its financial year forecast after a strong first quarter, which saw net income rise by 25% year-on-year.

As a whole, the Siemens industrial group saw revenues increase 1% to €19.1 billion in the first quarter of its financial year, which begins on 1 October. Net income grew to EUR1.9bn, up from €1.5 billion a year earlier.

Due to its "strong start to the year", Siemens increased its forecast for 2017 profit margin from 10.5%-11.5% to 11%-12%. It also increased its earnings per share from €6.80-€7.20 to €7.20-€7.70.

Profits for its wind business unit rose by 119%, with revenue increasing from €1.2 billion to €1.4 billion, the firm said.

However, order totals fell 24% compared with the same period in 2016 to €1.4 billion. Siemens said this was due to an exceptionally high Q1 2016 which included a €1 billion offshore wind order.

Siemens' merger with rival wind-turbine manufacturer Gamesa is expected to be finalised by April 2017.

Indian manufacturer Suzlon has posted revenue of INR 33 billion ($493 million) in its third-quarter financial report, up 76% on the same period in the previous year.

In Q3, the manufacturer posted INR 7.45 billion ($111 million) in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) — an increase of 124% compared with 2015, the company said.

The firm won 557MW of new orders in the quarter, taking its order book to 1,231MW — equal to INR 75.23 billion ($1.1 billion).

Suzlon surpassed 10GW of installed capacity in India in the quarter and has opened two new blade manufacturing facilities in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

Dong Energy's wind business has outranked the utility's earnings from oil and gas for the first time, with Ebitda of DKK 11.9 billion (€1.6 billion) for its last financial year almost double the 2015 total.

The rise is attributed to the commissioning of the 258MW Burbo Bank Extension in the UK's Irish Sea, and completion of the 582MW Gode Wind 1 and 2 sites in Germany, after a delay in the transmission connection.

"Ebitda for 2017 is expected to be split more or less evenly between wind-farm operations and construction contracts and divestment gains," stated the company's financial report. Dong expects to complete a 50% divestment in the 660MW Walney Extension project in 2017.

"From 2021 to 2025, it is our ambition to continue the value-creating expansion and reach an installed capacity of 11-12GW by the end of 2025," said Dong CEO Henrik Poulsen.

For the first time, Dong reported its oil and gas assets as discontinuing operations, ahead of a planned sell-off of its fossil fuel assets. The firm also announced plans to remove all coal-based generation from its portfolio by 2023.

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