Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas is to axe a further 1400 jobs by the end of the year.
The job cuts are part of a package intended to cut the company’s fixed costs by €250m ($311m) and prepare it for 2013, which chief executive Ditlev Engel said this morning would be a very challenging year.
The new cuts come on top of a round of redundancies revealed in January and already underway. Vestas has now announced a total of 3735 job cuts, with 2700 still to be shed by year end. Vestas said that of this 2700, 55 per cent will be in Europe and Africa, 25 per cent in the Asia-Pacific and 20 per cent in the Americas, equating to around 1485, 675 and 540 jobs respectively.
The future of a further 1600 jobs in the US continue to hang in the balance and depend upon the future of a tax credit in the US, which is due to expire this year.
The cuts were announced today as Vestas confirmed its preliminary results for the second quarter (Q2) of 2012. In that period, Vestas produced and shipped 2160 MW of turbines, a 132 per cent rise on the Q1 figure of 931 MW and a 52 per cent increase on the 1417 MW of Q2 2011.
Revenue in Q2 2012 was €1611m compared to €1105m in Q1 and €1401m a year earlier.
Earnings before interest and tax before special items were €40m in Q2, against a loss of €204m in the first quarter.
Vestas today lowered its forecast for turbine shipments this tear to 6.3 GW from an earlier expectation of 7 GW. Engel said this was due to the global wind market slow down, uncertainty in the US market and delays over grid connections in China.
Engel said he expected Vestas to ship a total of 5 GW of turbines next year, which he predicted would be “challenging” for the global wind installation market, yet he also stressed that he expected Vestas to be profitable in 2013. He added that the company was still on course to deliver its V164 offshore prototype in 2014.
Vestas also currently has its highest ever combined order backlog for turbines and services, worth €14.4bn.