Wind Tower, Gearbox Company Broadwind Announces First Profitable Year

Posted by Betsy Lillian on February 23, 2017 No Comments
Categories : New & Noteworthy

Citing significantly improved production at its Abilene, Texas, wind tower manufacturing facility, Cicero, Ill.-based Broadwind Energy Inc. has reported sales of $48.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Notably, this number is up 28% compared with $37.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Specializing particularly in the production of wind turbine towers, Broadwind Energy produces fabrications – including gearboxes – for wind, oil and gas, mining, steel, and other industrial applications.

Notably, for all of 2016, Broadwind is reporting income from continuing operations of $1.3 million ($.09 per share), compared with a loss from continuing operations of $12.2 million ($.83 per share) for 2015.

The company also says income from continuing operations totaled $.4 million, or $.03 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2016 – compared with a net loss from continuing operations of $10.7 million, or $.73 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The $.76 per-share improvement was a result of significant operational improvements in the towers and weldments segment and successful cost-management actions across the company, notably in the gearing segment, says Broadwind.

“Broadwind had a solid fourth quarter, culminating in our first profitable year,” says Stephanie Kushner, CEO of Broadwind. “We exceeded our targets for every metric that we set at the beginning of the year. Orders in 2016 totaled $275 million, nearly triple the orders in 2015. We removed $9 million from manufacturing overhead and operating expenses in 2016, which was $1 million more than our target.”

The company says it also booked $32.3 million of net new orders in the fourth quarter of 2016 – up significantly from $5.0 million of net new orders booked in the fourth quarter of 2015. Towers and weldments orders totaled $29.4 million – up substantially from $2.8 million during the same time in 2015. In addition, gearing orders totaled $2.9 million, compared with $2.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“Our tower production was on schedule in both plants, and productivity in our Abilene plant improved dramatically during 2016 – ending the year at a record level with record-low overtime,” Kushner continues. “This is a reflection of the process improvements we made throughout the year and the strong team we have in place. Our gearing segment managed well through a challenging year. On 30 percent lower sales, we were able to cut the segment’s operating loss by $5 million and generate positive net cash flow.”

For full-year 2016, Broadwind’s revenue totaled $180.8 million, compared with $199.2 million for full-year 2015. The 9% reduction was due primarily to lower towers and weldments revenue – attributable to lower steel and other material costs, which are generally passed through to the customer – and lower gearing revenue related to reduced demand from oil and gas and mining customers, the company says.

Kushner adds, “Late last year, our board approved a strategy whereby we plan to double our sales over the next three years by growing our existing businesses and expanding our presence in cleantech.”

Specifically, the company is expanding its tower plant in Abilene, says Kushner, adding that the work will be complete by mid-2017. The expansion will bring forth a 30% capacity increase at the facility.

Photo: Broadwind CEO Stephanie Kushner

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