* Nordex to hike R&D spending by 30 mln euros to 150 mln
* CEO says job cuts could be among cost cutting measures
* Comments come after Nordex slashed 2018 revenue aim
* 2016 revenues up 40 pct at 3.4 bln euros
* Shares rise 5.5 pct to top of TecDAX
(Adds CEO comments, further details, share price)
By Vera Eckert
FRANKFURT, March 1 Germany's Nordex,
the world's fifth-biggest wind turbine maker, said it would
raise spending on development by a quarter and could cut jobs
after price pressure and project delays forced it to slash its
2018 revenue guidance.
Nordex said last week it expected revenue between 3.4
billion and 3.6 billion euros ($3.6-3.8 billion) next year,
compared with previous guidance for 4.2 billion to 4.5 billion,
sending its shares down by nearly a third within a few days.
On Wednesday Chief Executive Lars Bondo Krogsgaard cited
price pressure in emerging markets that was significantly higher
than expected and project delays at its recently purchased
Acciona Wind Power (AWP) in Spain for the guidance cut.
"We will study structural costs in general in order to
improve the margin quality. Jobs are among the possible areas
for action," Krogsgaard told journalists at a news conference on
Wednesday after Nordex published 2016 financial results.
In 2016, Nordex's revenue jumped 40 percent to 3.4 billion
euros, reaching the top of Nordex's own expectations. Operating
earnings grew 57 percent to 285.5 million euros and net profit
rose 82 percent to 95.4 million.
The group will also raise spending on research and
development by a quarter to 150 million euros this year to help
build competitive advantages.
Nordex shares were 3.8 percent higher at 14.41 euros by 1002
GMT on Wednesday, leading the German TecDAX index.
Krogsgaard said Nordex was in a "superb starting position"
to benefit from future market growth overseas.
Wind turbine makers have benefited from a new focus on
renewables, encouraged by the Paris Agreement on climate change
in December 2015 and a five-year extension of a U.S. Production
Tax Credit, a key driver for that market.
Market leader Vestas also enjoyed a strong end to
last year, but warned last month that rapid growth in demand in
the industry could be coming to an end and also said its revenue
could fall from 2016's record level.
Nordex bought AWP from Spain's Acciona for 785
million euros last year to get a better foothold in markets
outside Europe. But the company has been dogged by project
delays in Spain, Brazil and South Africa as well as slow
progress in India.
Krogsgaard said South African state-controlled Eskom
had not signed power purchase agreements for projects
that Nordex had counted on.
"That is business at hand that we can't complete
financially," he said.
In Brazil, capacity reserve auctions were cancelled and it
is uncertain whether they will be re-launched, he said, adding
that Nordex would shrink its business in the South American
country in 2018.
($1 = 0.9489 euros)
(Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Georgina Prodhan and