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Nordex Q1 loss widens but large US order provides silver lining

The wind turbine OEM expects higher sales in the second half of 2019 and blames the weak Q1 on installation schedules

Nordex widened its loss in the first quarter of 2019, but the German wind turbine OEM’s claim that recovery is round the corner was underpinned by a strong order intake during the quarter and the announcement of a first, 350MW order in the US for its Delta4000 turbines.

Sales in the first quarter fell by 18.2% to €398.9m ($448.3m) from the first quarter of 2018, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) plunged by 83.5% to €3.3m, amid lower construction figures and a decrease in sales in the projects segment due to the installation schedules of customers, the company said.

That pushed the manufacturer deeper into the red, with consolidated net loss widening to €35m, from a loss of €19.4m in the first quarter last year.

Nordex said it had already expected a pattern of weaker sales in the first half of the year and significantly higher sales in the second half.

The era of fast-falling turbine prices is over, says Nordex CEO

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“W e expect a strong second half of the year with a significantly higher level of activity and consequently higher sales than in the first half,” chief executive José Luis Blanco said.

To underpin the claim, the company said it has already increased its production output significantly to meet demand from rising worldwide installations during the second half of 2019, while orders keep pouring in.

In the first quarter of 2019, the Nordex Group has received orders for 1.04GW worth €810.2m in the projects segment, almost in line with the 1.01GW in orders obtained during the year-earlier period.

Today, Nordex also announced its first order in the US for its Delta4000 series, for 74 turbines from the N149/4.0-4.5 model, to be installed at a 350MW Oklahoma wind farm. Delivery and construction is foreseen for the spring of 2020.

"With the N149/4.0-4.5, our highly efficient turbine is now being deployed for the first time in the United States,” said chief sales officer Patxi Landa.

“It is especially designed for regions with moderate wind, which makes it the ideal choice for many potential project sites in the USA.”

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