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Nordex points to stronger second half of year

The German Nordex Group has announced an 8.3 percent increase in sales in the first quarter of 2012 (€198.3 million compared with €183.1 m last year), but operating profit was restrained by below-average capacity utilisation and lower margins on projects.

Nordex sales were underpinned by business in Europe, in which business volume rose by 17.2 percent to €169.3 million.

However, below-average capacity utilisation and lower margins on projects meant that earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) represented a loss of €9.0 million in the first quarter of 2012.

Nordex reports that it has lowered its structural costs by 10 percent, including a 41.3 percent reduction in net and other operating expenses.

A consolidated loss after interest and taxes therefore amounted to €14 million during the first quarter of 2012, compared to a loss of €1.8 million during the same period last year.

The company’s liquidity increased to €230.7 m compared to €212 m at the end of December 2011. This has enabled it to trim its net debt to €23.4 m, mostly thanks to systematic working capital management. As a result Nordex has postponed a number of projects due to be completed later in the year.

Despite the problems, Nordex reports that order intake has been "particularly encouraging" - increasing to €312 m compared to the first quarter of 2011 (€154 m); thereby increasing the company’s order book to €837 m - compared to €402 m in the same period last year.

This has created a firm foundation for the company to achieve its full year sales target, according to the company, and the Nordex board has forecast an increase in sales to €1.0 to €1.1 billion. Nordex says it expects to achieve an EBIT margin of between 1 and 3 percent. Rising capacity utilisation and profitability of projects still to be completed means that this profit will largely be achieved in the second half of the year.
 

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