The sponge iron plant in CorpusChristi (Texas) has previously cost voestalpine 1.5 billion euros, three times as much as planned (550 million euros), said Chief Financial Officer Robert Ottel at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting.
In the previous year, the plant delivered a negative operating result of 58 million euros, this year the loss is expected to be 13 million euros, next year a profit should follow.
The fluctuation in the pig iron plant is high, one in four workers leave the plant within a year because there are many companies and correspondingly many jobs in the area, said Hubert Zajicek, CEO of the steel division. There is currently no talk of a sale of the plant at voestalpine. But chairman of the supervisory board Joachim Lemppenau said according to “Oberösterreichische Nachrichten”: “Simply selling it doesn’t make sense. But you could think about cooperations.”
At the three and a half hour virtual general meeting, the announced dividend of only 20 cents per share was accepted with a large majority. It was also announced that the former long-time CEO Wolfgang Eder received EUR 476,772 gross in company pension annually. At the end of his contractual activity, Eder received, as is customary for all board members, a contractually – not legally – guaranteed severance payment. This was EUR 3.41 million gross, based on a basic salary of EUR 1.2 million and a bonus of EUR 2.21 million. This left him with a net amount of EUR 1.65 million. In addition, Eder vacation entitlements worth 92,000 euros were paid out.
For the period from the original contract end of March to July 3, 2019, when Eder resigned from the Management Board at the Annual General Meeting, he received 450,000 euros and 620,000 euros as variable profit shares, more than the new CEO Herbert Eibensteiner, like the shareholder Rupert -Heinrich Staller noted in an inquiry. This difference was due to the fact that Eder’s bonus was paid out in July, when the large depreciation and the ultimate loss for the 2019/20 financial year were not yet foreseeable. The results of the past three years were used for Eder’s bonus.
Also noted in the “Kronenzeitung”, one year after his departure, “Eder was blowing icy wind at the general meeting”, even if he was not present.
At the Vienna Stock Exchange, voestalpine paper has meanwhile gained 2.85 percent at 19.33 euros.
(Final) tsk / kre