Sustainable Energy

Coronavirus continues to impact the wind energy sector as Germany's Nordex withdraws guidance

Key Points
  • Nordex is the latest in a line of wind turbine manufacturers that have been impacted by the coronavirus.
  • Other firms that have suspended or withdrawn guidance include Vestas and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. 
Jens Büttner | picture alliance | Getty Images

Nordex has become the latest wind turbine manufacturer to withdraw guidance for the 2020 financial year, in another example of how the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting the renewable energy sector.

In a statement issued Tuesday the German company said its performance in the first quarter of 2020 had "improved substantially in line with expectations" compared to the same period in 2019.

Citing preliminary numbers, Nordex said sales in the first quarter hit 964.6 million euros ($1.04 billion), up from 398.9 million euros in the first quarter of 2019. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization hit 13.1 million euros compared to 3.3 million euros in the first quarter of 2019. Final figures for the first quarter of 2020 will be published next week.

Looking forward, however, the business added that the Covid-19 pandemic would affect results from the second quarter and noted that these effects were "not yet quantifiable." 

"Because of the governmental restrictions and measures persisting worldwide for an incalculable period of time, the continuing COVID-19 pandemic has led to material disruptions and changes in significant parts of our operations, including, for example, in procurement and production," the Hamburg-headquartered company said.

Nordex said that due to the continuing uncertainty about both the length and severity of the disruptions, and because the potential for further hits to areas such as its supply chain and installations could not be assessed reliably, "the prerequisites for a realistic and robust estimation of Nordex's performance do no longer exist."

Nordex is the latest in a line of wind turbine manufacturers that have been impacted by the coronavirus.

In April, Danish firm Vestas suspended guidance for 2020, with the Aarhus-headquartered firm noting that the global spread of Covid-19 and national measures taken to contain it had caused disruptions to installations, manufacturing and its supply chain.

Last month also saw Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) withdraw financial guidance. On Wednesday, SGRE said Covid-19 had had a "direct negative impact" of 56 million euros on its profitability between January and March.

This, it added, was equivalent to 2.5% of revenues during the quarter. Year-on-year, revenues at SGRE dropped by 8% in the first three months of 2020.