Repower Systems to rebrand before naming right expires

GERMANY: After Andreas Nauen's dramatic move from Siemens Wind to head up small turbine company Repower Systems, announced in March, the next change is on the cards: a rebranding of the company.

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Repower Systems has been using its name since 2001 on the basis of a non-exclusive licence from the owner, the Swiss energy company Ratia Energie. But its rights to use the name expire at the end of 2012 and the Swiss company has already begun using the name Repower.

Repower Systems CEO Per Hornung Pedersen reveals that rebranding is already under way, but probably will not be complete in 2010. This does not involve Suzlon, he added. The rebranding will reflect the changes at the company, which has turned "from a small wind turbine manufacturer in northern Germany into a global player with an extraordinary growth story".

Business results for 2009/2010, announced in May, were certainly positive. Sales reached EUR1.3 billion, up from EUR1.2 billion in 2008/2009, and nearly double the figure of EUR0.7 billion for the last full calendar year, 2007, before it changed its fiscal year to end in March. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) increased sharply in the last business year, to EUR98.3 million from EUR77 million in 2008/2009, and EUR28 million back in 2007.

Repower's success helped to improve the picture for struggling Indian parent Suzlon, but was not sufficient to stop the slide in revenue at Suzlon to $4.3 billion (EUR3.6 billion) in business year 2009/2010, compared with $5.4 billion (EUR4.5 billion) in 2008/2009 (see story below).

Global share

However, if taken together, Suzlon and Repower stand as the world's third-largest wind turbine supplier group in terms of market share, according to BTM Consult's World Market Update 2009. This ranks Suzlon with 6.4% of global market share and Repower with 3.4%.

In the 2009/2010 business year, Repower received orders totalling over 1.28GW worth EUR1.5 billion, compared with 1.09GW worth EUR1.3 billion in the previous year. At the end of the fiscal year 2009/2010, Repower had an order backlog of 1.7GW valued at EUR2.1 billion, which was a 40% increase on the value of the order backlog of EUR1.5 billion covering 1.3GW of capacity at the end of the previous year.

Repower is optimistic about the coming year. It expects a 10-20% increase in the overall performance of the group, corresponding to EUR1.5-1.6 billion in 2010/2011, with the EBIT margin (EBIT divided by net revenue) growing to 7.5-8.5% compared with 7.4% in 2009/2010.

The profitability trend is largely based on economies of scale, as well as on a further reduction of the cost of raw materials, the company says.

The fiscal year has begun well with orders for 44 of its 3.37MW turbines for a project to be commissioned in 2011 in the Turkish province of Kirsehir; 18 2.05MW turbines for the Savignano wind station to be commissioned in 2011 in southern Italy; and for 15 2.05MW turbines for the Lipniki wind station to be commissioned this autumn near Opole.

Looking ahead, Repower remains bullish and expects continuing growth in 2011/12. Turnover has doubled and profits have quadrupled in the two-and-a-half years since Pedersen has been at the helm.

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