• Rise in sales to EUR 233.3 (199.3) million
• 15% increase in gross profit to EUR 51.7 (44.9) million
• EBIT achieved despite higher structural costs
• Sales and earnings guidance for 2009 confirmed by Management Board
• CEO Richterich: ‘We are preparing for a sharp rebound in sales volumes’
Hamburg, May 22, 2009. In the first quarter of 2009, the Nordex Group (ISIN: DE000A0D6554) continued to grow, achieving a 17% increase in sales to EUR 233.3 million (previous year: EUR 199.3 million) and thus living up to its full-year expectations for 2009. The main growth drivers were rising business volumes in Europe (excluding Germany) and the United States. Whereas turbine assembly output increased by 25% to 262 MW (previous year: 210 MW), Nordex new installed wind power system capacity of around 180 MW, i.e. on a par with the previous year.
With project profitability remaining stable, gross profit (i.e. total revenues net of the cost of materials), which reflects changes in variable costs, rose by 15% to EUR 51.7 million (previous year: EUR 44.9 million). Accordingly, the cost-of-materials ratio contracted by 170 basis points to 78.9%.
Up until autumn 2008, the Company had invested heavily in new recruitment in expectation of brisker sales growth. This is reflected in personnel expense, which increased by 53% year on year to EUR 26.0 million. However, these costs had already started dropping in the course of the year. At the same time, depreciation expense rose by some EUR 1.3 million as a result of the heavy capital spending in the previous year. These structural costs exerted pressure on earnings before interest and taxes, which dropped to EUR 0.3 million (previous year: EUR 6.6 million), while consolidated profit came to EUR 0.5 million (previous year: EUR 5.7 million).
With an equity ratio of around 38%, the balance sheet structure remained stable. Cash and cash equivalents amounted to some EUR 62.6 million as of the balance sheet date (December 31, 2008: EUR 111.7 million). The increase in the volume of cash tied up was primarily due to the rise in inventories to EUR 405.6 million (December 31, 2008: EUR 372.2 million). Adjustments to inventory requirement management and shorter project turnaround times should yield destocking effects in the second half of 2009.
Nordex is already assured of achieving 90% of its sales target for 2009 thanks to firm orders and projects which have already been completed. Assuming that sales volumes as a whole remain flat across the entire industry, Nordex still anticipates an increase in its own sales to above EUR 1.2 billion for the year as a whole. Following strong order intake of EUR 234 million in the first quarter of 2009, order books were valued at around EUR 2.9 billion (previous year: EUR 3.3 billion) and comprise firm contracts worth EUR 853 million and contingent orders (master contracts including advance payments) of EUR 2.1 billion.
“Looking ahead over the next few months, I am cautiously optimistic about the prospects for new business,” says Thomas Richterich, CEO of Nordex AG, adding that while the capital markets are not yet providing the original volumes of finance for power station projects, the economic stimulus programs are beginning to bear fruit. Says Richterich: “We are already preparing ourselves for the upswing which all the experts are anticipating so as to start generating sales from new business without delay.”
The Company expects its profitability to be down on the previous year primarily as a result of the higher structural costs.