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Sales to the Wind Energy industry suffered heavily from the delayed tax credit renewal in the USA at the beginning of the year, but also from the ongoing low demand for glass fiber prepreg in Europe.
Given the lower volumes of composite materials sold into the wind energy market, fixed costs were insufficiently absorbed. The volatile demand during the year for certain materials also generated some production inefficiencies. In addition, significant price pressure in the wind energy market and net impairment charges of CHF 1.4 million impacted the operating profit. Gurit achieved an operating profit of CHF 6.5 million (2.3% of net sales) after CHF 12.7 million (3.6% of net sales) a year ago. After tax expenses of CHF 4.7 million (2012: tax income of CHF 2.6 million), Gurit reports a net profit for 2013 of CHF 0.1 million. 2014Gurit is prudently optimistic for its wind energy related sales. The 2013 renewal of the US production tax credit scheme still applies for many ongoing projects in 2014. There are signs of recovery in the Chinese wind energy market, and Gurit benefits from the expanded offering of structural core materials. In addition, the shift from glass prepreg to glass infusion technology is now almost completed. The wind energy related sales should therefore rebound significantly in 2014.
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