The Nordex Group posted a 30.6% increase in sales to EUR 259 million in the first three months of 2013, compared with EUR 198.3 million for the same period last year.
This performance — the German manufacturer's best first quarter since 2008 — was underpinned by strong business in the core European region, which contributed 94% of sales. On the other hand, business in America contracted by a substantial 57.6%, accounting for only 5% of consolidated sales, while Asian business remained what Nordex called "persistently weak".
The greater volume of business was also reflected in production and installation activity, with Nordex producing 60% more turbines in the first quarter, completing more than twice the capacity than in the same period of the previous year. This performance together with reduced structural costs in the US and China, which had previously operated below capacity, resulted in a substantial improvement in operating earnings.
This all meant the firm was able to substantially reduce its pre-tax losses to just EUR 0.6 million as of 31 March 2013, compared to EUR 9 million for the first quarter of 2012.
Nordex's order intake also continued to climb in the first three months of 2013. At EUR 327.9 million, new business rose by 5%, compared with EUR 312.3 million in Q1 2012. This performance was driven by sales successes in northern Europe, particularly in the domestic German market, as well as successful marketing of the N117/2400 low wind turbine. Firmly financed orders grew to EUR 1,141 million, compared with EUR 837 million last year.
The firm's board expects Nordex will this year outperform its 2012 sales of EUR 1.075 billion, with sales of EUR 1.2-1.3 billion predicted for 2013.