UPDATE 1-Wind turbine maker Vestas suspends 2020 outlook amid coronavirus

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COPENHAGEN, April 7 (Reuters) - Vestas, the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, suspended its 2020 outlook on Tuesday as measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus disrupted its manufacturing, supply chain and installations at wind parks.

The suspension comes at a time when demand for renewable power has been growing in tandem with global efforts to combat climate change, and Vestas is currently facing its busiest period ever.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to spread and with no clear prognosis on when key wind markets such as the USA, Brazil and India will recover, we are suspending our guidance due to the poor visibility for the remainder of the year,” said Chief Executive Henrik Andersen in a statement.

However, Vestas said it was “still realistic” to achieve the outlook as preliminary numbers showed its first-quarter results were in line with its own expectations.

The company said its factories in China had returned to normal operations and that it could now use these plants to mitigate challenges at sites in other parts of the world “where restrictions and disruptions are now seen to an increasing degree.”

Vestas told Reuters last week it had suspended production at its two Spanish plants and also paused manufacturing and construction in India due to the imposed nationwide lockdown.

Vestas said its proposed dividend for 2019 will not be affected. It is due to report final first-quarter earnings on May 5.

Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Edmund Blair, Kirsten Donovan