Business: Suzlon unveils refinancing plan

Announcing an operating loss for the second quarter and a shrinking order book, Indian turbine maker Suzlon has slashed its full-year sales forecast by 20% and revealed plans to refinance some of the INR 14 billion ($300 million) in debt it has accrued during several years of breakneck expansion.

The company has also sold a 35% stake in Belgian gearbox manufacturer Hansen. The deal raised $373 million.

Suzlon has cut its full-year turbine sales forecast from 2.4-2.6 GW to 1.9-2.1 GW following weaker than expected demand, the company says. Its order book is down from 1.5 GW at end-July to 1.49 GW at end-October - not including orders for Hansen or Repower, a Suzlon subsidiary. International orders are particularly weak, falling from 1.44 GW to 1.37 GW.

Suzlon's second-quarter revenues fell 30% year-on-year to INR 48.4 billion ($1.04 billion). It posted an operating loss of INR 70 million ($1.5 million), compared with a profit of INR 550 million ($11.8 million) in the same period last year. The second quarter was, however, an improvement on the first quarter's operating loss of INR 151 million ($3.3 million) on revenues of INR 43.2 billion ($931 million). Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti is confident that government incentives and more readily available financing will help boost business for the second half year.