Vestas boosts 2014 revenues

DENMARK: Vestas has posted strong financial figures for 2014, with revenue increasing by 13.5% to €6.9 billion.

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Europe and Africa provided 60% of the manufacturer's revenue, with the Americas contributing 31% and Asia 9%.

Overall profit was at €392 million, compared with a loss of EUR82 million in 2013. Higher gross profits and lower fixed capacity costs were the main reasons for the improved earnings. The board will now recommend a €0.52/share dividend for shareholders — the first time in more than a decade that Vestas has taken such a step.

The manufacturer's order intake also increased by 10% to 6.5GW, while production and shipping increased by 36% to 6.1GW.

Vestas attributed the growth in orders to strong performance in the US and "double-digit" growth in Europe.

"We will continue to scale production up and down in accordance with the level of demand in the different regions, and to pursue opportunities in markets where wind energy is set to expand," said CEO Anders Runevad.


However, the outlook for 2015 is cautious. Vestas is targeting a minimum €6.5 billion in revenue with an EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) margin of 7% (8.1% in 2014). It is also planning to invest approximately €300 million in 2015, in line with the €285 million in investments made in 2014.

Asked about the conservative projections, Runevad said the figures were a "minimum guidance" as it was still early in the year and events may cause the estimates to change. He added that the "normal business risks", such as market development, the ramping up of production and political uncertainty, had to be considered. "We all depend on political decisions in this industry. They are hard to predict," he said.

"We provided a minimum guidance based on what we know, which is that we stand in mid-February and there are still ten and a half months to go in the year," said Morten Albaek, Vestas senior vice-president for communications and marketing.

"Vestas has always been heavy loaded in the second half of the year, especially in the fourth quarter. That means lots of our financial performance is dependent on how the second half, not least Q4, plays out," Albaek added.

Results round-up

Separately, Siemens had mixed results in the last quarter of 2014. The German manufacturer's wind division reported a 12% increase in revenue to €1.5 billion but saw a 42% drop in orders.

Suzlon recorded positive profits for a fourth straight quarter. The Indian firm saw pre-tax profits of $47 million in the fourth quarter.

Vattenfall announced an underlying profit of €254 million for 2014, with its biggest investment being made in wind. The company is also undertaking a restructuring to create a wind division.

Dong Energy had the offshore wind sector to thank for improved profits. The Danish developer posted revenues of €9 billion in 2014, despite falling profits in its oil and gas business.

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