Windfall for WBAG company chiefs

The bosses of Austria’s most powerful companies are earning much more this year than in 2011, according to a survey.

The Labour Chamber (AK) said yesterday (Thurs) that the chiefs of the 20 Austrian firms which were listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG) would rake in 1.3 million Euros on average in 2012, up by 20 per cent compared to their salaries of 2011. AK President Herbert Tumpel called the wages “out of proportion”. Tumpel pointed out that the increase meant that the heads of the firms received around 48 times as much as an average employee. AK research shows that firm chiefs’ salaries will reach the previous record level which was reached in 2008, the year the global economic crisis started.

One of the WBAG’s most important assets is Erste Bank Group AG (Erste Bank). Its CEO Andreas Treichl received 2.2 million Euros in 2011. Treichl and his six executive board members had to forgo bonus payments last year due to the finance institutes’ loss-making activities. The Erste Bank board earned six million Euros altogether in 2011.

The bank’s domestic representation achieved a profit of 177.6 million Euros in 2011, up from 166.7 million Euros in 2010. At the same time, Erste Bank’s Romanian affiliate made a loss of 22.5 million Euros. Only in 2010, the bank managed to make a profit of 8.6 million Euros. The banking group sustained a loss of 719 million Euros in 2011 as a whole due to setbacks in Eastern Europe (EE), government bond value write-offs, foreign currency loan controversies and credit default swap (CDS) troubles.

Treichl said he was certain that Erste Bank – one of the busiest banks in EE – would manage to be back in the black with a solid profit in 2012. The ex-Chase Manhattan banker stressed that Erste Bank performed strongly in the final quarter of 2011 when it achieved a profit of around 254 million Euros. He also showed confidence concerning meeting the European Banking Authority’s (EBA) strict equity ratio rules.

OMV AG boss Gerhard Roiss earned almost 2.5 million Euros last year. The businessman succeeded Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer as head of the Vienna-based oil and gas company in April 2011. The enterprise’s six-member board received 8.9 million Euros in wages overall last year, according to recently presented figures.

OMV, in which the Republic of Austria holds a share of 31.5 per cent, had a turnover of 34 billion Euros last year, 46 per cent more than in 2010. OMV has 29,800 employees in Austria and abroad. OMV owns a majority interest in Petrol Ofisi, a Turkish petrol station firm. It also manages 407 service stations in Austria – more than any of its rivals BP (397), Eni / Agip (302) and Shell (271).

Roiss said OMV would invest 2.4 billion Euros into different projects in the coming 10 years. At the same time, the OMV executive board head hopes to reduce the company’s overall expenditure by 700 million Euros through a wide range of measures for more efficiency.