Nordex sees waning pandemic impact but rising cost pressures

Nordex CEO José Luis Blanco remains confident for 2021 despite a year-on-year fall in operating profit and orders in Q1 2021

Nordex installed 1,400MW in the first quarter of 2021 — 500MW more than in the same quarter last year
Nordex installed 1,400MW in the first quarter of 2021 — 500MW more than in the same quarter last year

Nordex’s sales increased, but its operating profit in the first quarter of 2021 was down from the same period one year earlier, which had not been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The German manufacturer reported a 29% increase in revenue to €1.25 billion, with sales boosted by a significant rise in installations in the first quarter of the year.

However, its Ebitda fell by 2-% to €10.4 million, squeezing its Ebitda margin by 0.6 percentage points to 0.8%.

The company put this down to impacts from the coronavirus pandemic and a large number of lower margin legacy projects still being executed in the first quarter of 2021.

Nordex sees Covid-19’s impact on its business to be significantly reduced in the course of the year due to global progress made with Covid-19 vaccinations.

However, CEO José Luis Blanco said there were still uncertainties about how the pandemic might affect Nordex, and warned of inflationary cost pressures due to the price of commodities.

The manufacturer added that it has stabilised its supply chain and developed successful concepts for operating effectively and efficiently even under pandemic conditions.

Nordex maintains its financial guidance for 2021, including revenues of €4.7-5.2 billion and an Ebitda margin of 4.0-5.5%. It aims to achieve sales of approximately €5 billion and a group Ebitda margin of 8% in 2022.

Nordex installed 356 turbines with a combined capacity of 1.4GW — for an average power rating of 3.9MW — in 20 countries in the first quarter of 2021.

In comparison, it had installed 269 turbines totalling 899MW — for an average power rating of 3.3MW — across 21 countries in the same period a year earlier.

Of the installed capacity in Q1 2021, 57% (by megawatt) was in Europe, 21% in North America, 16% in Latin America and 6% was in the rest of the world.

Meanwhile, sales in Nordex’s project segment increased 32% to €1.1 billion and sales in its service segment increased 5.9% to €108 million.

New orders

Against a backdrop of subdued demand in Q1 2021, Nordex’s order intake fell 24% to 1,247MW, the manufacturer stated.

This corresponds to a value of €911 million – excluding service deals – which was down 23% year on year.

Of this ordered capacity, ten countries in Europe accounted for 92%, with Mexico adding 8%. The largest individual markets in Europe were Spain, Turkey, Germany and Finland.

At the end of the quarter, Nordex’s order backlog in its projects segment was €5.1 billion, down from €5.8 billion one year earlier, and from €5.3 billion at the end of 2020.

Its order backlog in its service segment was €2.8 billion, up from €2.6 billion one year earlier.

Blanco said the company had seen strong demand for its 4-5MW Delta4000 platform, and added: “Overall, we remain confident for 2021 and expect a positive development of the business performance, while also recognising higher uncertainties resulting from ongoing pandemic situation and general inflationary pressures across commodities.”

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