Company bosses look back on windfall

The chiefs of Austria’s biggest companies earned more in 2010 than in the previous year, according to an investors’ protection group.

IVA officials said yesterday (Tues) the incomes of members of the executive boards of companies listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG) rose by 13.6 per cent from 2009 to the following year. The value of WBAG’s leading index ATX has slumped by 40 per cent since January.

OMV AG paid its leaders the most, according to IVA. The organisation said the firm’s board got 12.2 million Euros altogether or around two million Euros per capita. The energy sector giant, which is based in Vienna, announced last month that it produced 283,000 barrels of oil a day in the third quarter of this year, up from 275,000 in the previous three months.

OMV’s oil output is expected to climb in the coming months as the firm is preparing to restart operations at its drilling sites in Libya following the revolution in the North African country. OMV has been headed by former deputy CEO Gerhard Roiss since April. The enterprise has more than 31,000 employees. OMV achieved a turnover increase of 46 per cent to around 16 billion Euros from the first six months of 2010 to the same period of 2011.

Andritz AG comes second in the IVA’s salary ranking. Each member of the industrial company’s executive board was paid 1.95 million Euros before tax last year. The main office of Andritz is located in Graz, Styria. The firm – a leading producer of machinery and industrial facilities – reached 938th place in a list of the most innovative businesses in the world in a chart established by international consulting group Booz & Company.

Andritz boss Wolfgang Leitner announced earlier this month that the company’s turnover improved by 29.5 per cent to 3.18 million Euros from the first nine months of 2010 to the same time span of this year. Andritz – a company of 16,000 staff – received assignments worth nearly 4.9 billion Euros between January and October 2011.

Verbund AG also made the top 10 of IVA’s income chart as it transferred an average 830,000 Euros to every board member per capita last year. The electricity provider has 250,000 customers in Austria. Managers of Verbund, which is also active in France, Turkey and Albania, said a few weeks ago they would not disclose information on possible price hikes before the first quarter of the coming year. The Republic of Austria has a 51 per cent interest in Verbund via Federal Industry-Holding Stock Corporation ÖIAG.

Verbund might benefit from an expected increase of electric car (e-car) registrations. Company chief Wolfgang Anzengruber said e-cars could be established in Austria in 2025 – despite warnings that the country has troubles in catching up with global developments in this regard. “E-cars will either be just a bit of fun or something affecting the masses,” Anzengruber told the Kurier. Just 112 e-cars were registered in Austria last year.

Bosses of partly state-owned postal services provider Post AG earned 670,000 Euros in 2010, IVA said yesterday. The company, which is headed by Gerhard Pölzl, recently managed to avoid a labour dispute at the last minute. Works council officials warned they might call for a strike after managers of the firm refused to stop holding disputed meetings with elderly employees. Unionists claimed Post AG decision-makers had nothing but convincing workers of opting for early retirement. Post AG bosses eventually agreed to stop organising the controversial gathering – but the company’s attempts to reduce capacities and turn itself into a more efficient enterprise continue.

Pölzl said earlier this month that the number of so-called Post Partner shops rose from 898 to 1,239 in the past 12 months. The term describes groceries, service stations and internet cafes which provide basic postal services in cooperation with the company. Post AG has fewer than 24,000 employees. It employed around 700 more people in November of last year. The company’s turnover rose from 536.1 million to 572 million Euros from the third quarter of 2010 to the same period of this year. Post AG started charging seven Eurocents more for delivering letters last May. The service now costs 62 Eurocents.