Vestas announces 3,000 lay-offs amid profit fall

DENMARK: Vestas has announced plans to cut around 3,000 jobs as part of its plan to cut excess capacity in Europe.

Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel: "Manufacturing will be closer to where the action is."
Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel: "Manufacturing will be closer to where the action is."

The move was revealed as part of Vestas' financial announcement for the third quarter where it revealed a 5.1% decline in sales. Vestas also said profit had fallen to €126 million from €165 million when compared to the same period in 2009.

In all four factories will be closed down as part of the cuts. Three of them are in Denmark, with the fourth in Sweden.

Justifying the move, Vestas CEO Ditlev Engel said the decision was based on uncertainties about how the European market was likely to develop in 2011. He also denied this was the end of the company's association with Denmark.

Engel said: "You have to differentiate between where we produce and where we do the research. After the layoffs there will still be more than 6,000 people at Vestas and knowing we have more than 99% of our revenues outside Denmark, we know that when it comes to research and development, Denmark will be heavily engaged.

"But when it comes to the actual manufacturing, due to the cost structure, we will do that closer to where the action is."

However recently Vestas has been expanding its R&D presence outside Europe. Earlier this month it launched an R&D centre in Beijing, becoming the first overseas wind manufacturer to open such a facility in China.

In the US, Vestas also launched an R&D facility in Louisville, Colorado. According to reports, the facility will occupy 47,000 sq ft and eventually employ around 240 people.

Vestas is also expanding its Windsor blade manufacturing plant in Colorado. The turbine manufacturer has purchased 80 acres to the east of the facility. The deal cost $2.5 million.

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