Page last updated at 09:03 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 10:03 UK

Profits fall at protest-hit firm

Wind turbines
Vestas says many customers are unable to fund turbine projects

Protest-hit Danish wind turbine firm Vestas has seen profits fall on the back of job cuts and falling orders.

Workers had staged a sit-in protest at its site in the Isle of Wight this summer, as Vestas closed its factory there with the loss of 425 jobs.

The firm, which also axed 1,142 jobs in Denmark, said net income dropped 34% to 43m euros ($60.8m; £37m) in the second quarter from the same period last year.

Vestas also said that it shipped 618 turbines, 12% fewer than last year.

When we see a strong, stable onshore market in the UK will definitely reconsider going back
Peter Wenzel-Kruse, Vestas senior vice president

But the firm did see its revenue increase by 11% to 1.2bn euros.

"Since the autumn of 2008, the credit crisis has impacted the wind power industry, causing limited order intake during the past nine months," Vestas said.

"Many customers have been unable to finance scheduled projects either due to increasing funding costs or an actual lack of funding."

The company maintained that it expected revenue to rise this year by 20% to 7.2bn euros.

Add it said it was expanding heavily in China and the US because those markets were among the fastest growing.

Senior vice president Peter Wenzel-Kruse told the BBC that the protest at the Isle of Wight was a "very sad episode."

"When we see a strong, stable onshore market in the UK will definitely reconsider going back," he said.

But he blamed the attitude of the general public for the company's lack of progress in the UK.

"The 'nimbys' need to be more open [minded] and acknowledge that wind turbines would be good for the UK. The government is doing a lot but the final decision makers are the local councils and boroughs."

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