For the third quarter of the year, German wind manufacturer Nordex says sales climbed by more than 50% to EUR 685.8 million, compared to EUR 451.2 million for the third quarter of 2014.
On the strength of the company's strong business performance in the past three quarters and the large volume of orders on hand, Nordex says, the management board is raising its sales targets for the current year to EUR 2.3 billion – 2.4 billion (previously, EUR 2.0 billion – 2.2 billion).
Additionally, as Nordex assumes that new business will remain strong in the fourth quarter, it is lifting its order intake target to EUR 2.3 billion – 2.4 billion (previously, EUR 2.1 billion – 2.3 billion). In addition, the operating margin is still expected to increase to 5.0%-6.0%.
"We are currently growing more quickly than the wind power industry as a whole," says Lars Bondo Krogsgaard, CEO of Nordex. "This is due to our focus on the right markets, products and services."
Over the first nine months of 2015, business rose by 41%, with a sales increase to EUR 1.786 billion, compared to EUR 1.267 billion during the same period last year.
According to Nordex, this nine-month performance was particularly underpinned by demand in Europe and South Africa, which together accounted for 88% of sales. Nordex generated a further 12% of its business in the Americas; this growth is also reflected in production. Thus, turbine assembly output rose by around 43% to 1.539 GW, compared to 1.076 GW over the first nine months of 2014.
At the same time, the group's operating earnings improved, with earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) rising by just under 63% to EUR 97.6 million in the first nine months of 2015, compared to EUR 59.9 million in the first nine months of 2014. In the third quarter of 2015, EBIT climbed to EUR 36.1 million, while it was EUR 22.8 million in last year's period.
Nordex says earnings were spurred by economies of scale, with structural costs rising less quickly than sales and the relevant ratio shrinking from 14.8% to 13.7%. Consolidated net profit increased by 62% to EUR 45.4 million in the period under review – in comparison to EUR 28.0 million during last year's first nine months – also due to a substantial EUR 2.6 million improvement in net finance expense.
The group's solid balance sheet structure formed an important basis for growth. Thus, liquidity increased by 17% to EUR 454.4 million, while it was EUR 388.4 million as of Dec. 31, 2014.Â
With total assets up 19% to EUR 1.4789 billion, Nordex has an equity ratio of 30.3%. The working capital ratio climbed to 1.0% (from -2.3% on Dec. 31, 2014) as a result of preparations for numerous contracts to be executed in the short term. This still-low level was fully in line with budget, Nordex notes.
The group says it also generated positive free cash flow of EUR 18.5 million, compared to EUR 119.8 million in the first nine months of last year.
Order intake rose by 57% to EUR 1.964 billion in the period under review, compared to EUR 1.253 billion in the first nine months of 2014. Consequently, orders on hand climbed by 32% to just under EUR 1.8 billion, as of Sept. 30, and provide the underpinnings for the expected growth in the first half of 2016.
"To ensure that we remain on this course of expansion in the long term, we have now decided to substantially strengthen our business by combining our activities with those of Acciona Windpower," adds Bondo Krogsgaard. Last month, the turbine manufacturer announced that it would be acquiring Acciona Windpower from Acciona SA for EUR 785 million.