The Nordex Group began the new year with a well-filled order book and thus expects considerable sales growth, according to the 2019 guidance announced today. The order book for new wind turbines (Projects segment) totaled EUR 3.9 billion at the end of 2018 (31 December 2017: EUR 1.7 billion). With the annual financial statements presented today, the company also confirms the preliminary results published in February.
Guidance for 2019
The company expects consolidated sales of EUR 3.2 to 3.5 billion for the current financial year. Installations and related sales in the second half of the year will be well above the figures of the first six months. The EBITDA margin is expected to be in the range of 3.0 to 5.0 percent. These expanded ranges take into account the significant increase in activity and the operational challenges this will bring.
The company will aim to keep working capital, which depends on order intake and activity levels, as low as possible. At the end of the year, the working capital ratio is expected to be below two percent relative to consolidated sales. Capital expenditures – particularly in optimizing the supply chain, expanding global production, and product development – are estimated to reach EUR 120 million. The final amount will ultimately depend on the momentum of incoming orders over the course of the year.
2018 ends with positive free cash flow
The annual financial statements presented today confirm the preliminary results published on 21 February 2019 and mean that the company met its guidance for the 2018 financial year. Consolidated sales totaled EUR 2,459.1 million (2017: EUR 3,077.8 million), with an EBITDA margin of 4.1 percent (2017: 6.5 percent). The working capital ratio improved significantly from 5.3 percent in the previous year to minus 3.8 percent at the end of 2018. Investments were in line with expectations at EUR 112.9 million (2017: EUR 144.3 million). As a result, Nordex recorded a positive free cash flow of EUR 44.0 million (2017: EUR -54.7 million).
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Christoph Burkhard commented: “Efficient working capital management enabled us to significantly reduce our working capital and generate considerable positive free cash flow in 2018. This topic is also high on our agenda for 2019."
The Nordex Group’s balance sheet structure remains solid. The equity ratio stand at 22.8 percent as at the reporting date (31 December 2017: 32.7 percent). This decrease is primarily due to a purely technical effect arising from the first-time application of the new IFRS 15 financial reporting standard. At the end of the year, the Nordex Group had cash and cash equivalents totaling EUR 609.8 million, which is almost at the prior-year level (31 December 2017: EUR 623.3 million). Net debt was reduced to EUR 32.5 million (31 December 2017: EUR 60.1 million).
Installations and service
In 2018, the Nordex Group installed 828 wind turbines with a total output of 2.5 GW in 17 countries. Sales in the Service segment rose by nine percent to EUR 342.6 million (2017: EUR 314.8 million), thus making a 14 percent contribution to overall sales. By the end of the year, Nordex serviced more than 7,500 wind turbines with total capacity of 18.5 GW on long-term service contracts. The order book in the Service segment rose by 12 percent to EUR 2,217.7 million (31 December 2017: EUR 1,979.6 million).
New wind turbines in the 5MW class
The Nordex Group is continuing to expand its product portfolio in 2019, thus enabling its customers to win auctions in every significant volume and growth market.
“Based on the highly-flexible Delta4000 platform that is already in series production, we can develop other efficient wind turbines aimed at reducing the cost of energy to meet the wide range of requirements in the global markets in a short space of time. We will unveil the third turbine model of this platform and thus enter the 5MW segment as early as the start of April. Clean electricity will be even cheaper in the future,” said José Luis Blanco, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nordex Group.
Sustainability Report 2018 published
In addition to the Annual Report, the Nordex Group is publishing its third Sustainability Report today. As last year, the 2018 report also includes the separate consolidated non-financial report which was audited by PwC for the first time. In addition to current developments, activities and key figures in the area of sustainability, the report also explains the status of implementation of the goals of the Sustainability Strategy 2015 to 2018. The new Sustainability Strategy 2019 to 2021 is also presented.
The Annual Report and the Sustainability Report are now available for download from the Investor Relations section of the company's website (ir.nordex-online.com) under “Publications”. The Nordex Group will report its results for the first quarter of 2019 on 14 May 2019.
Date: Mar 26, 2019