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Citing higher-than-expected costs and customers' postponing of contracts, Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has revised its earnings forecast yet again, as well as hinted at a major organizational restructuring.

The company announced in a financial statement that it expects revenues of approximately 2.2 billion euros for the fourth quarter of 2011, and an earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of approximately 85 million euros. Revenue for 2011 is now expected to total about 6 billion euros - but with the EBIT margin at zero.

By comparison, the company had previously planned to achieve 15 billion euros in revenue in 2015 - a goal it officially abandoned in November.

Part of the reason for the lackluster earnings results, Vestas said, was that costs were approximately 125 million euros higher than expected. Most of these expenses can be attributed to the development costs of the company’s V112-3.0 MW wind turbine and the GridStreamer technology for its 2 MW platform, the company explained.

In addition, Vestas had anticipated 5.5 GW in shipments in 2011, but the total amounted to just 5.1 GW - a reality the company attributes to contract postponement and policy uncertainty in the U.S.

As a result of the lower-than-expected earnings, the company will defer approximately 400 million euros (with an EBIT of approximately 130 million euros) to the first quarter of this year.

Following Vestas’ announcement, company shares plummeted 15% - representing a 92% drop from its 2008 high, Bloomberg reported.

All of these recent developments point to a major restructuring of the organization. The company has already noted that it will make a “significant change of the whole organization” - an announcement expected to occur Jan. 12.


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