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Chicago-based Broadwind Energy reported revenue increases and improved its net loss for 2012. However, the tower, gear and services provider attributed sharp fourth quarter declines to the expiration of the production tax credit (PTC) as developers put projects on hold awaiting a resolution of the key wind incentive.

For the year, sales increased 13% to $210.7 million, reflecting growth in all operating segments. Broadwind also narrowed its net loss from continuing operations to $17.9 million, compared to a net loss of $20.7 million loss reported in 2011.

Broadwind reported sales of $44.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, an 18% decrease compared to $55.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Broadwind notes that the PTC deadline accelerated shipments earlier in the year.

Broadwind's net loss for the quarter widened to $5.9 million, compared to a loss of $5.7 million in the same period in 2011. The company attributes the net loss increase to increased amortization expenses.

Broadwind says uncertainties due to the PTC expiration made for a difficult 2012.

"In the fourth quarter, (the) towers segment operations were particularly challenged by deliveries accelerating ahead of the PTC expiration and then falling off sharply as year-end approached," says Peter C. Duprey, Broadwind's president/CEO.

However, with the PTC's extension and a favorable ruling from the International Trade Commission, the company expects demand to rebound. In fact, the company recently announced a $27 million tower order from an undisclosed wind turbine manufacturer.

"We see strong near-term demand for towers, as some of the market uncertainty has been removed," says Duprey. "As a result, we now expect higher productivity in towers in 2013 than last year, which, combined with benefits from our restructuring initiatives, should drive significant expansion in our 2013 gross margins."

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