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Vestas Lowers Forecast as Developers Cut Orders on Financing

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, lowered its full-year forecast after wind park developers delayed or canceled orders because of a lack of financing.

Vestas expects 2010 sales of 7 billion euros ($9.6 billion), compared with a previous range of 7 billion to 8 billion euros, the Randers, Denmark-based company said in statement today. It reduced its margin for earnings before interest and tax to between 10 percent and 11 percent, from as much as 12 percent.

The global wind turbine market probably grew a little more than 8 percent last year and may expand about 10 percent in 2010 as tighter financing limits growth, according to researcher BTM Consult APS. It grew between 30 percent and 40 percent a year from 2004 to 2008, according to BTM.
“The wind turbine market has changed character, and the question is whether it’s temporary or permanent,” Stig Nymann, chief share analyst at Copenhagen-based Laan & Spar Bank A/S, said before today’s statement. “Financing is the key problem.”

Order intake has been “late” and Vestas expects to book most of its 2010 revenue in the second half of the year.

Net income in the fourth quarter was almost unchanged at 315 million euros compared with 316 million euros a year earlier. That beat the 280 million-euro median estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Quarterly sales rose 1 percent to 2.51 billion euros.

The company said yesterday it’s meeting with bond investors today to gauge whether to sell bonds for the first time.

Vestas, whose biggest competitor is the energy unit of General Electric Co., repeated its target of reaching revenue of 15 billion euros and an EBIT margin of 15 percent no later than 2015.