Voestalpine ups research expenditure

Linz-based steel industry firm Voestalpine AG has decided to increase its research budget.The company announced today (Tues) it will pour 120 million Euros into firm-internal research projects in the 2011/2012 business year which starts this Friday (1 April), around 10 per cent more than in the current business year. Voestalpine pointed out that it has never invested into research projects more ever before.The previously state-owned company explained it aimed to position itself as the global technology market leader in the long run.Voestalpine has raised its annual research expenditure year after year for some time except in the 2009/2010 business year when the firm felt the pinch from the economic downturn.The firm said today it invested 780 million Euros into various research projects in the company since the beginning of the century.Voestalpine caused a stir on the global stock markets by acquiring a 71 per cent interest in German rail welding and maintenance firm LASA Schienentechnik GmbH (LASA) last week.Voestalpine achieved a turnover of 7.94 billion Euros in the first three quarters of the current business year. The company’s earnings jumped from 175.1 million to 658.2 million Euros at the same time.Voestalpine is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange’s (WBAG) Prime Market. One share of the firm cost 33.14 Euros at 11am today, up from 33 Euros on Friday.