First quarter results reveal drop in profits for Spain's Gamesa

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Provisional first quarter results for Spain's Gamesa reveal a 59.3% drop in net profits to EUR 22 million, from EUR 54 million for the same period in 2005. Sales, however, increased 16% to EUR 389 million, with the growth provided by turbine manufacturing division Gamesa Eólica. Turbine sales, which made up 84% of turnover in the first three months of the year, grew 20% compared with this time last year. The main growth markets for turbines have been southern Europe and China. Gamesa's project development division, Gamesa Energía, fared poorly in the first quarter, reporting a 52% drop in turnover on 2005's figure. The slump is surprising. Along with its profit warning for 2005 results (Windpower Monthly, February 2006) the group forecast 10% profit growth for 2006, mainly from sales of developed projects. The slump may be short lived. Last year it claimed work in progress on 675 MW, yet sold only 240 MW, leaving a good chunk still to offer to investors currently hungry for more wind assets. Gamesa reports a 20 GW project pipeline worldwide--split more or less equally between Spain, the rest of Europe and the US--which is 20% bigger than at this time last year. After expanding turbine production capacity over 2005, Gamesa Eólica says it is turning out turbines at full speed. But the company warns of "shortages in raw materials and components" due to booming world demand. Meanwhile, the recent sales of Gamesa's aeronautics business and its wind plant operations and maintenance division (Windpower Monthly, May 2006) have raised EUR 225 million, striking off the bulk of a EUR 315 million corporate debt.

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