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UPDATE 1-Vestas shares jump as cost cuts help reduce losses
May 8, 2013 / 7:36 AM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Vestas shares jump as cost cuts help reduce losses

* Q1 EBIT 108 mln euros loss vs 98 mln loss forecast

* Q1 revenue 1.1 bln euros, in line with forecasts

* Cashflow improves to negative 60 mln euros

* Shares jump more than 8 pct (Adds details, comments, background)

COPENHAGEN, May 8 (Reuters) - Danish wind turbine maker Vestas stood by its outlook for the full year, after reduced cost and higher turbine prices helped it cuts operating losses by over 50 percent and improved its cashflow in the first quarter.

The wind power sector has been hit hard by overcapacity, a faltering global economy and a cut in subsidies for renewable energy by cash-strapped governments, prompting Vestas to axe jobs, stop non-profitable projects and shut factories.

The group, which is battling to restore investor confidence after a series of setbacks, cut its loss before interest and tax to 108 million euros from a loss of 245 million in the first quarter last year.

Analysts had on average forecast the company would make a loss of 98.3 million euros.

It improved its free cashflow by 235 million euros to a negative 60 million and kept its outlook for a positive free cashflow in 2013 as a whole.

Vestas shares jumped by more than 8 percent shortly after the market opening and traded up 6.2 percent by 0708 GMT, against a 0.6 percent increase in the Copenhagen stock exchange’s benchmark index.

“It is better than I expected,” said Sydbank analyst Jacob Pedersen. “There is nothing in this report that indicates that they have problems turning around the company, quite the contrary.”

The company’s intake of firm and unconditional wind turbine orders was 644 megawatts, exceeding an average 504 MW forecast in the poll.

First-quarter revenue was unchanged at 1.1 billion euros, in line with analysts’ forecasts.

It stood by its forecast for positive free cashflow this year as well as an underlying EBIT margin of at least 1 percent. (Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Jane Merriman and David Holmes)

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