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Production problems hammer Clipper

LONDON (SHARECAST) – Wind turbine manufacturer Clipper Windpower saw losses soar in its first full year of production as it ramped up production facilities and suffered project overruns relating to the need to change the company’s blade design on its turbines.

Loss before tax widened to $191.8m in 2007 from $19.9m in 2006, on revenue that grew to $23.9m from $7.3m.

Revenue was adversely affected by the need to reinforce the blade design of the company’s wind turbines after problems emerged with the quality of the components from two drive-train component suppliers.

Provisions for turbine remediation costs, loss making contracts, warranties, inventory obsolescence and liquidated damages on late turbine deliveries accounted for $107.1m of the full year loss of $192.5m.

The remediation programme remains on course for completion in the third quarter of 2008 and the company stands by its production guidance of 311 turbines this year.

“Our growing book of turbine sales contracts has moved to higher average prices which, along with a levelling off of turbine component costs, should lead to attainment of industry normalised EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) margins in 2009, following a year of transition in 2008,” said chairman and chief executive James Dehlsen.

Tue 15 Apr 2008