Vestas has released its interim financial results for the first quarter. The company generated revenue of 1.105 billion euros in the first quarter – an increase of 4% over the first quarter of 2011. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) before special items declined by 135 million euros to 204 million euros.
Vestas says its disappointing first-quarter revenue and earnings are due to a low level of deliveries and high turbine costs.
The company's EBIT margin before special items was 18.5%, with EBIT of 245 million euros. After special items, EBIT was 41 million euros. Free cashflow improved to -295 million euros from -431 million euros in the first quarter of 2011. The company's net debt as of March 31 was 850 million euros – an increase of 305 million euros over the prior quarter.
Vestas' intake of firm and unconditional orders was 1.269 GW in the first quarter, and the backlog of firm and unconditional orders amounted to 10 billion euros as of March 31- the highest level ever recorded. In addition to the order backlog, Vestas had service agreements with contractual future revenue of 4.2 billion euros at the end of March.
The company retains its full-year guidance of an EBIT margin of 0% to 4%, revenue of 6.5 billion to 8 billion euros, a positive free cashflow, shipments of approximately 7 GW and investments of 550 million euros.
Vestas still expects its number of employees at year-end to be around 20,400, which will contribute to a fixed cost reduction of more than 150 million euros. During the third quarter, Vestas will make a decision on its future footprint in the U.S. market in the event the production tax credit is not extended.