UPDATE 1-Vestas cuts 800 North American jobs as orders slow


* Says market has slowed in the United States

* Says U.S. orders have fallen for 2013

* Has cut 800 jobs in U.S., Canada so far in 2012

* Shares fall 1.7 percent

(Adds details, background, quote, share price)

COPENHAGEN, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Danish wind turbine makerVestas said the impending expiry of a U.S. tax credithad exacerbated a fall in orders for next year, forcing it tomake more than 800 job cuts in the United States and Canada sofar this year.

With the Production Tax Credit (PTC) on renewable energy setto expire at the end of the year, Vestas Wind Systems A/S hadpreviously said it could be forced to lay off a total of 1,600employees in North America if the scheme is not renewed.

Vestas, which is battling the effects of governmentausterity measures in various countries, said the 800 staff cutsso far this year represented 20 percent of its North Americanworkforce.

"The U.S. wind industry has slowed, largely due to theuncertainty surrounding the Federal Production Tax Creditextension," said Martha Wyrsch, head of Vestas-American WindTechnology, Inc.

Rising costs and fierce competition, especially from Asianrivals, have added to its problems.

Vestas has already closed a number of factories worldwideand will transfer sales staff from southern Europe to SouthAmerica.

The group told analysts and investors in briefings onWednesday it would stop non-profitable projects as it battlesworsening prospects, aiming to lift its operating margin to highsingle-digits in the medium term.

The group plans to shift focus increasingly to emergingmarkets in a bid to regain growth and offset cooling demand inmature Europe and United States markets.

The company's order intake in the first half of the year was24 percent down on the corresponding period a year earlier.

Vestas shares, which have plummeted from a peak of around700 crowns set in 2008, traded down 1 percent at 34.65 crowns by1023 GMT against a 0.5 percent decline in the Copenhagen stockexchange's benchmark index .

(Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Mark Potter abnd MikeNesbit)

((mette.fraende@thomsonreuters.com)(+45 26 30 96 73 ReutersMessaging: mette.fraende.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: VESTAS US/