February 7 (Renewables Now) - Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems A/S (CPH:VWS) said today it has delivered a strong performance in 2017 against the backdrop of "fierce competition, price pressure and the continued maturity of the wind energy sector," as it reported full-year figures in line with guidance.
Although revenue, earnings and free cash flow were lower than in 2016, they remain at a healthy level, the company said.
After-tax profit declined 7% to EUR 894 million (USD 1.1bn), while revenue was down 3% to EUR 10 billion. The EBIT margin decreased to 12.4% from 13.9%.
For 2018, Vestas projects revenue of between EUR 10 billion and EUR 11 billion, including growing service revenue, and EBIT margin of 9%-11%. Its 2018 outlook also calls for total investments of EUR 500 million and free cash flow of at least EUR 400 million, compared with EUR 407 million and EUR 1.218 billion, respectively in 2017.
The turbine manufacturer also updated its long-term financial ambitions to reflect the transitioning of the wind industry to a matured status, which, it says, leads to a highly competitive market and will probably drive further consolidation. Vestas keeps its ambition to be the market leader in revenue and changes its EBIT-margin ambition to at least 10% from best-in-class margins before. The company sees opportunities beyond the transition to strengthen its leadership position.
In 2017, the manufacturer achieved record-high wind turbine order intake of 11,176 MW, up from 10,494 MW in 2016. The order backlog at the end of the year was 11,492 MW, up 21% from a year ago, with its value increasing to EUR 8.8 billion from EUR 8.5 billion. The service order backlog was up by EUR 1.4 billion to EUR 12.1 billion.
The company plans to launch shortly a new share buy-back programme of about EUR 200 million.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.237)