We’ll be doing live updates from 2pm today of a press conference being held by Vestas in London.
Refresh your browsers to see the latest updates from the press conference as we get them.
We’ll try to be as complete as possible.
2pm: Conference starts
Three main messages
1) development is on track
2) share issue to provide further support
3) Different developments over last few months – leading to reduction of staff.
Sad to have to say goodbye to people from Vestas. Market condition leaves no other choice.
Market has become much more severe.
Customer are demand business case, lowest cost per MW.
Vestas three main areas where working are Asia Pacific, USA and Europe
Vestas think they will continue to employ people, but in different areas – hence the sad news today.
1,272 Denmark, 625 in the UK (jobs lost) (announced).
Capital Expenditure will be reduced in line with this.
“The last thing we want to do is lay off people”
Northern Europe units have been important for the US market. Q4 they said they were concerned about the US demand. This hasn’t been the case.
Exchange rate £ to Euro has made it more difficult.
Planning difficulties by local authorities has lead to us having to take these measures.
China is the biggest non-Chinese manufacturer in China. Fourth largest.
Over six months, six new presidents worldwide.
Things (finance) are beginning to move around us, hence investment around the globe.
UK – on the move too. UK Gov good announcement on 21 Apr – Thanks to Ed Miliband.
Will only reconsider UK closures if we receive firm and unconditional orders.
We are certain that we will continue to generate jobs around the world.
Financial details are now being discussed (will pick out relevant).
Vestas are expanding gross margin.
Balance sheet – for first time making public financial facilities available.
Order backlog is 4.9Bn
They expect to maintain the projections for the year ahead.
The new V60 is specific to China. To be made and sold there.
Vestas installed approx 1/3 of alt energy sources globally.
Finally (for presentation – Qs to follow) New issue of their magazine is available.
Q&A – You said US would be significant for orders. Could you detail expected MW increase?
A: I don’t want to speculate. Signs are good though.
Q: Could you give more detail on the need for fund raising.
A: US lawyers say I can’t talk about it.
In depth questions such as percentage of net working capital to sales – holding.
Q: Article says 10GW expected in China this year. Please comment.
A: Vestas went in to manufacturing in 2005, but had sold there ten years earlier. With manufacturing there, we are become a natural partner to China. 25% of China wind resource is in inner-Mongolia.
Q: Please comment on your dealings with Utilities.
A: Renewable energy commitment in EU and the US are encouraging – local utility companies taking a more active involvement.
Q: No new order since the end of 2008 in the US?
A: (Paraphrasing) It’s been hard there, but things are loosening up.
Q: Are your suppliers asking for payment up front?
A: No we haven’t seen that.
Q: You say that Northern Europe has excess production. More job losses due ?
A: Want to have a better balance. Action by UK Gov is key, but only firm and unconditional orders would make a difference.
(More detailed financial questions – more to follow)
Q: How does the secondary market (resale of turbines by other) effect Vestas?
A: We have a global reach, so we feel it doesn’t have an impact.
Q: Comments on US business please.
A: The US was the first country into the financial crisis and it looks like it is the first to come out. The US Gov has an overwhelming desire to develop renewable energy and are making funding available. We will continue to invest heavily there and will ramp up to 3,000 MW/year.
The collapse of Leman saw a lot of the Vesta US projects come to a standstill, now we are seeing them pick up.
* End *
A day with a lot of mixed feeling.