Vestas Wind Systems A/S (VWS) hired former Vattenfall AB Chief Financial Officer Dag Gunnar Andresen to take up the same role at the world’s biggest turbine maker after the predecessor quit amid worse-than-expected losses.
“I am of course aware that there is a need for significant tightening in the company in order to increase the profitability again,” Andresen, 50, said in a statement today from Vestas.
He will take up the job on about Aug. 1, Aarhus, Denmark- based Vestas said. That’s almost half a year after Henrik Norremark resigned as Vestas posted a 2011 loss four times wider than analyst forecasts. First-quarter results are due on May 2.
Vestas plans to recover from losses with a restructuring plan announced Jan. 12 that cut 2,335 workers and halted output to save 150 million euros ($200 million) by the end of the year. The company had released profit warnings in October and January, citing production delays at a generator factory and higher-than- expected costs developing its V112 turbine.
“This could mark a turning point for the business and a focus towards restoring confidence in their stated strategy,” Rupesh Madlani, an analyst at Barclays Capital in London, said today of the appointment in a note to investors.
Andresen will probably focus on cutting manufacturing costs for the V112, reducing fixed costs before interest and tax to “high single digit or low double-digit” margins, reviewing capital spending and improving investor relations, he said.
There may also be cost cuts in the U.S., where wind energy incentives expire in December, Madlani said.
Andresen served as CFO at Vattenfall, the Nordic region’s largest utility, for three years through last October. In August 2010, he took temporary leave of absence from the utility after being accused of drunk driving. Before serving at Vattenfall, Andresen held positions at Nordea Bank AB, Den Norske Bank ASA and the Nordic Investment Bank, according to Vestas.
“Vestas needs exactly the background that Dag Andresen brings along,” Chief Executive Officer Ditlev Engel said in the statement. “Not only the financial management skills, but certainly also his major experience in managing the contact to the stock market as well as the financial markets.”
Vestas advanced as much as 2.8 percent and was down 0.5 percent at 51.10 kroner by 12:40 p.m. in Copenhagen trading.
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