New owner and a restructuring

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A major Portuguese steel and metal construction firm has stepped in to become Repower Systems' largest single stakeholder just as the turbine builder launches a restructuring program to return to profitable growth. Martifer, part of the stock-exchange listed Mota-Engil Group, Portugal's largest construction company, has raised its previous 5.05% stake in Repower to 19.5%.

xRepower increased sales to EUR 320.7 million in 2004 from EUR 285.5 million in 2003, but earnings before interest and taxes sank to a loss of EUR 3.4 million after a profit of EUR 12.9 million the previous year. Repower attributes the drop in earnings to unforeseen costs in implementing its first major overseas projects and "due to a negative result" from selling off its wind development company, Projektentwicklungsgesellschaft Denker & Wulf, at the end of last year.

xHugo Denker, one of the original founders of Denker & Wulf, announced in June last year that he intended to sell the nearly 15% stake in Repower Systems owned by ELBE Betreuungs und Verwaltungsgesellschaft, in which he has an involvement. Nine months later, the block of shares has passed to Martifer.

xRepower's restructuring program, put together with the help of external consultants, will "streamline organisation at management level," the details of which are to be thrashed out this month between the supervisory and executive boards. Repower installed 274.5 MW of wind capacity in 2004, compared with 291.3 MW the year before. The company says it built 187 turbines in 2004, compared with 188 in 2003, but installed only 161 turbines. With 49 turbines installed outside Germany, the proportion of overseas trade "increased to more than 30%," including 12 turbines to Portugal, 12 to Italy and 16 to France.

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