* Vestas to issue 20 million new shares in private placement
* Net loss 82 million euros in 2013 vs 963 million loss in 2012
* EBIT margin seen increasing to above 5 pct in 2014 from 3.5 pct in 2013 (Adds details, quotes, background)
By Teis Jensen
COPENHAGEN, Feb 3 (Reuters) - After two years of cost-cutting, Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems on Monday forecast improved profitability in 2014 and used its strong share price performance to raise more than 450 million euros in new capital.
The company has shed over 5,000 jobs, closed plants and sold unprofitable business in its turnaround after overcapacity and cut-throat competition hammered many renewable energy companies.
Its net loss fell to 82 million euros in 2013 from 963 million euro loss in 2012. It was the company’s third year in a row of net losses.
“2013 marked the final year of Vestas’ two-year turnaround. Vestas has delivered on the main focus areas over the turnaround period,” it said in the full-year report late on Monday.
In 2014, Vestas expects operating profit margin before special items to increase to at least 5 percent from 3.5 percent in 2013. Revenue, which came in at 6.08 billion euros in 2013, is expected to be at least 6 billion euros in 2014.
In a sign of a pickup in demand for wind power, it reported a 60 percent rise in order intake in 2013 to 5,964 megawatt (MW), above the 5,794 MW analysts expected in a Reuters poll.
“The earnings report shows that Vestas has gone successfully through a turnaround,” Sydbank analyst Jacob Pedersen said.
The company said separately it will issue 20.4 million new shares in a private placement at market price using a book-building process.
At Monday’s closing share price that would correspond to around 487.81 million euros. Vestas’ share capital will increase by almost 10 percent after the issue.
“Vestas doesn’t need the money from the capital increase right now, but it will put the company in a better position when it comes to win large wind projects,” Pedersen said.
He expects the share to open 4-7 percent lower on Tuesday as the issuance of new shares dilutes existing ones.
After a five-fold increase in 2013, Vestas’ share price has risen by a further 13.6 percent in 2014, outperforming the Danish benchmark index.
DNB, HSBC, Nordea and SEB are coordinating the share issue, and Rothschild is Vestas’ financial adviser.
Vestas also said it had agreed a new five-year revolving credit facility of 850 million euros with Nordea, DNB, HSBC and SEB. (Additional reporting by Ole Mikkelsen, Editing by Louise Ireland and David Evans)