Vestas loses 160 million euros

Vestas reported losses of more than 160 million euros ($213 million) as the company plans additional spending to repair 376 wind turbine gearboxes.

The first quarter loss expanded from the loss of 85 million euros ($112 million) the same period last year, according to an earnings report released by the company Wednesday.

The gearboxes for the V90-3.0 megawatt turbines “may potentially need additional maintenance, repair or replacement due to malfunctioning bearings,” the company said. Vestas set aside 40 million euros ($53 million) for the job.

Vestas employed 22,756 at the end of the first quarter, but the company expects to employ about 20,400 by the end of 2012. The job cuts will save Vestas 150 million euros ($197 million) annually, according to the statement.

Vestas said earlier this year that it would cut 2,335 jobs. It also threatened to cut an additional 1,600 U.S. jobs if Congress did not extend a production tax credit (PTC) set to expire at the end of the year.

The company employs 750 people at its blade factory in Windsor.

“During the third quarter of 2012, Vestas will make a decision on its future footprint in the U.S. market in case the PTC scheme is not extended,” the company said in the statement.

Despite job cuts and losses, sales improved to 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in the first quarter, a 4-percent increase. Vestas also received 1,269 megawatts of orders, representing a backlog of a record 10 billion euros ($13.2 billion) of orders.

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