LM Windpower turns corner in tumultuous 2012

DENMARK: Blade manufacturer LM Windpower managed to record an increase in sales and fall in losses last year despite enduring mass redundancies and the departure of its chief executive.

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According to the company's annual report for 2012, published last week, the firm's revenue was EUR 752.8 million, an increase of 6.4% from the EUR 707.5 million reported in 2011. Pre-tax loss was EUR 11.2 million, a significant improvement on the EUR 51 million loss of the previous year.

This came during a year when LM Windpower cut its headcount by 681 staff to just 5,122 employees at the end of 2012, with the bulk of job losses coming in the firm's US blade factories.

The firm also restructured its company divisions, including scrapping its separate Service & Logistics business, rolling its servicing functions into its Blades operations.

LM's chief executive of six years, Roland Sunden, left the company and was replaced by Leo Schot, former global supply chain CEO at Siemens Wind Power.

In his first annual report as LM Windpower chief executive, Schot wrote that in the year ahead an "exceptionally challenging market condition" was likely to remain, and he failed to rule out further restructuring and job losses.

"In a market characterized by overcapacity, slower demand and volatility, we remain focused on continuing our efforts in cash management and cost-saving initiatives to ensure we can deliver new blades at competitive prices," said Schot.

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