Vestas reports loss, to cut 3,000 more jobs

Vestas Wind Systems A/S said Wednesday it would reduce its workforce by another 3,000 employees as the company reported a $225 million loss for the third quarter versus a $77 million loss last year.

It did not say where the cuts could come.

The wind turbine company, based in Denmark, has factories in Windsor, Brighton and Pueblo. It also is seeking to sell a stake of as much as 20 percent, chief financial officer Dag Andresen told Bloomberg News.

“What’s important is that we have investors who understand the company, the segment that we are working in and also have a longer-term view,” Andresen said.

Vestas planned to reduce the number of its employees to 16,000 by the end of next year. The company employed more than 22,700 people at the beginning of this year and already had announced job cuts of 3,700.

The workforce reduction will help Vestas save $510 million, the company said.

Last week, Vestas announced it would abandon plans to consolidate its three U.S. research-and-development operations – including one in Louisville – to a single location in Brighton. Instead, it announced it would shut down all three sites.

This year, Vestas has trimmed its manufacturing workforce in Colorado from more than 1,700 to about 1,200 people at four factories, a figure which includes attrition, relocations and reductions. The company has blamed a slowdown in the U.S. wind industry largely because of uncertainty over a wind-production tax credit set to expire at the end of the year.

“This has led to a significant reduction in turbine orders for 2013, and the market slowdown is affecting Vestas’ manufacturing facilities in Colorado,” spokesman Andrew Longeteig said in a statement last month.

Chief executive Ditlev Engel said Vestas expected next year to be “tough” for the wind industry. The reductions will help the company adapt to future uncertainty in the wind market.

“However difficult it is to make further cost savings and also further reduce the workforce, it is simply necessary in order to create an even leaner and more agile Vestas to ensure the company’s continued profitability in a very uncertain and unstable wind turbine market,” Engel said in a statement. “I am, however, pleased to say that we expect a part of these reductions to happen through divestments, which means that our employees will maintain their jobs, only they will be working for a different employer than Vestas.”

Vestas reported third-quarter revenue of $2.5 billion, 49 percent higher than a year ago, although the company’s losses have totaled $440 million so far this year.


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