Rolling on French market wave

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A sharp rise in exports combined with improved efficiency propelled turbine manufacturer Nordex back into the black in 2006. According to its preliminary financial results, earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) stood at EUR 16.6 million at year end, compared with a deficit of EUR 5.3 million in 2005. Revenues grew 66% to EUR 514 million, up from EUR 309 million in fiscal 2005 and comfortably in line with the company's 2006 sales target of EUR 500 million.

The improved operating profits are primarily due to "higher capacity utilisation," Nordex says, while booming overseas sales boosted revenues. Sales generated outside Germany accounted for 86% of revenues in 2006, up from 62% a year earlier. Growth is set to continue this year, with order receipts in hand for EUR 767 million, double what they were this time last year. Nordex reports full order books for the next 15 months, with firm and conditional orders at around EUR 1.2 billion for 2007. Turbine output totalled 580 MW last year, of which 505 MW was connected to the grid. Of these, France took 270 MW, Germany 106 MW and China 32 MW, the company's top three markets.

Nordex expects to grow its revenues by around 50% to at least EUR 750 million in 2007 and to treble its EBIT to around EUR 50 million. Completion of projects "with higher contributions to profits" and further improvements in capacity utilisation lie behind the improvement, the company says. Nordex is set to increase its German production capacity this year to 1000 MW and is projecting revenues of EUR 1 billion in 2008. It also plans to invest in the development of new products, particularly the extension of its 2.3-2.5 MW series. Nordex will also invest in manufacturing facilities in North America "if the market is there and if we get sufficiently big orders," says the company's Ralf Peters.

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