Nordex chief defends offshore retreat

GERMANY: Nordex chief executive J├╝rgen Zeschky today defended his firm's abandonment of its offshore business by admitting that he had no idea when or if it would ever become profitable.

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In a letter to shareholders published alongside Nordex's results for the first quarter of 2012, Zeschky acknowledged that the move to abandon offshore and cancel development of its N150/6000 6MW turbine had attracted criticism.

"This step was primarily motivated by our aim of channelling all our resources into our core onshore business and minimising strategic and operational risks," said Zeschky.

"This is because it is currently not clear if and when our investments in the offshore segment would have yielded a return. On the other hand, there are numerous growth markets in the onshore business. This is underlined by our strong order intake in the first quarter of 2012."

Nordex's orders for the first quarter were actually stronger than provisionally predicted in April, rising to €312 million more than double the €154 million of orders received in the first three months of 2011.

The firm also recorded an 8.3% increase in sales to €198.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, up from €183.1 million in the first quarter of 2011. However, Nordex made a loss on these revenues of €9 million, which the firm blamed on below-average capacity utilisation and lower margins on projects. This loss contrasted with a profit of €0.4 million for the same period last year.

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