* Now sees 2013 sales of 1.3-1.4 bln euros vs 1.2-1.3 bln
* First-half sales up 57 percent to 661 mln euros
* Shares gain 6.9 percent
(Recasts, adds CEO, details on Europe, updates shares)
By Christoph Steitz
FRANKFURT, Aug 15 Germany's Nordex
raised its forecasts for sales and profit margins this year as a
new generation of products helps the wind turbine maker
outperform the European market.
The wind power industry is emerging gradually from an
overcapacity crisis and falling state subsidies as European
governments bank on wind power to reach renewable targets for
2020. Wind power is much cheaper than its solar counterpart.
Europe accounted for 93 percent of Nordex's first-half
sales, which rose 57 percent to 661 million euros ($877
million), helped by what it said was strong demand for its
"At the moment we're able to grow faster than the market in
Germany, Scandinavia and Britain," Chief Executive Juergen
Zeschky told journalists during a conference call on Thursday.
The European market, which accounted for 28 percent of the
global sector last year, is expected to decline by more than a
fifth this year in size, according to industry group GWEC.
Nordex said it now expects full-year sales of 1.3-1.4
billion euros and a margin for earnings before interest and tax
(EBIT) of 2.5-3.5 percent.
It had previously guided for sales of 1.2-1.3 billion euros
and an EBIT margin of 2.0-3.0 percent.
"The figures show that wind turbine shares are doing way
better than solar stocks. They can decouple from the crisis that
has hit some parts of the renewable energy sector," a trader
said, adding investors had welcomed the company's move to scale
back on operations in China and the United States.
Shares in the group rose 6.9 percent to 8.047 euros by 0714
GMT, extending their 151 percent gain so far this year, putting
them at the top of Frankfurt's technology index, and following
similar moves by Denmark's Vestas and Spain's Gamesa
Nordex said in June it would stop production of turbine
housings at its plant in Jonesboro, Arkansas, citing uncertainty
in the U.S. market and global overcapacity. Last year, it also
cut 130 jobs at its Chinese rotor blade operation.
Nordex is partly held by Germany's Klatten family, which
owns 24.99 percent of the company through funds. Susanne Klatten
is Germany's richest woman and is also a major shareholder in
($1 = 0.7538 euros)
(Additional reporting by Daniela Pegna; Editing by David