COPENHAGEN (AP) — Vestas A/S, the world's biggest maker of wind turbines, posted a 70 percent rise in first-quarter earnings but said it would lay off 1,900 workers, primarily in Denmark and Britain, because of sluggish demand in northern Europe.
Net profit in the first three months of the year was €56 million (US$73 million), up from €33 million in the same period last year. Sales increased to €1.1 billion, from €701 million a year ago.
Vestas said it shipped a total of 490 wind turbines, up 21 percent from the first quarter of 2008.
The Randers, Denmark-based company said it was expanding operations in the U.S. and China but was forced to cut back in Europe.
"Capacity will be reduced in Northern Europe, as demand in this area at the moment does not meet expectations," Vestas said. "Consequently, Vestas expects to lay off approx 1,900 employees in the production units in Northern Europe, primarily in Denmark and England."
The layoffs represent about 9 percent of Vestas' global work force of 21,000.