• Germany's news in English
 

ThyssenKrupp halves pay after losses

Published: 18 Jan 2013 12:44 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Jan 2013 15:41 GMT+01:00

The supervisory board's 20 members would "forego half their pay for 2012," board chief Gerhard Cromme told ThyssenKrupp shareholders at their annual general meeting in Bochum, northwest Germany.

"This gesture is intended as a sign of our dismay and our solidarity with you, our shareholders," he said.

The move is related to huge losses the company incurred at new steel mills in Brazil and the United States.

ThyssenKrupp has been forced to write down the value of those plants, running up an overall year-end loss of €4.7 billion ($6.3 billion) for the business year ended September 30.

Given the magnitude of that loss, the group announced it would not pay a dividend for the first time since the merger of Thyssen and Krupp nearly 14 years ago.

The steel mills have since been put up for sale, but negotiations are still ongoing.

The annual meeting was an uncharacteristically stormy one, with not only shareholders calling for Cromme to step down in the wake of the debacle concerning the steel mills, but also anger at a recent string of scandals at the company.

The scandals include a price-fixing cartel, luxury trips laid on for journalists and alleged bribery in contracts in eastern Europe and China.

Chief executive Heinrich Hiesinger told shareholders that ThyssenKrupp's "old leadership culture was characterised by 'old boys' networks' and blind loyalty in many areas."

Such networks were not only "outdated, inflexible, slow, [but] as we are currently seeing, also destructive," Hiesinger said.

"We openly admit that a lot of things went wrong, a lot of things were inappropriate or behind the times. Where rules and laws have been broken, we will rigorously investigate and take action," he vowed.

"The cultural change now under way is desired and there is no alternative."

Hiesinger also said ThyssenKrupp was sticking to its earnings targets for both the current quarter and the full year.

"A full-scale recovery of the global economy is... not in sight for our fiscal year 2013," he said.

The global business environment remains clouded, because the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone is still unresolved, while growth momentum in emerging markets is slowing.

He also said that ThyssenKrupp expected "declining momentum" in the automotive industry, a key industry for the group.

Additionally, the steel industry faces a challenging environment due to falling volumes and increased price pressure.

ThyssenKrupp continued to project underlying profit of around €200 million for the current quarter and €1 billion for the whole year, down from around €1.4 billion last year.

Sales were expected to remain stable at around €40 billion.

Hiesinger said the planned sale of the group's steel business in the US was on track and was expected to be concluded before the end of September.

By contrast, ThyssenKrupp had no plans to sell its steel business in Europe, he insisted.

ThyssenKrupp shares were among the biggest losers on the Frankfurt stock exchange on Friday, shedding 1.14 percent in an only slightly softer market.

AFP/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'
A pedestrian walks by a group of Stolpersteine. Photo: DPA

Munich upholds ban on Jewish 'memory blocks'

The Munich City Council said on Wednesday that it had voted to continue banning the placement of blocks commemorating Jewish Holocaust victims in city streets - a ban that garnered surprising support from Jewish community leaders. READ  

13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Batlle in Syria. Photo: DPA

13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis

A young teen from Munich was detained near the Turkish border with Syria on Friday as he was trying to join the radical Islamist group Isis. READ  

The Local List
Six odd ways Germans talk about the weather
Photo: DPA

Six odd ways Germans talk about the weather

Is it absolutely roasting, or raining cats and dogs? Neither if you live in Germany. Here are six wonderfully weird expressions Germans use to talk about the weather - some more literal than others. READ  

Little by little, Germans move away from cash
Photo: DPA

Little by little, Germans move away from cash

Tourists and business travellers visiting Germany are often surprised when they reach to pay for their beer, metro tickets or even a large restaurant bill that their credit cards are not welcome. Habits, however, are slowly changing as younger consumers leapfrog from cash to convenient electronic forms of payment. READ  

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
Martin Sonneborn. Photo: DPA

Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife

After winning a seat in the European Parliament last year on a commitment to 'milking Brussels,' satirical party Die Partei broke new ground. Now a 'Nazi Putsch' threatens to split the party asunder. READ  

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo
These feathered fugitives took flight from the zoo to get a birds-eye view of the world. Photo: DPA.

Pelicans with wanderlust escape German zoo

A pair of pelicans with a serious case of wanderlust flew the coop from Osnabrück Zoo last week, only to find their way back days later. READ  

Fake plastic surgeon sentenced to 4 years
Christian B. sits in court where he was sentenced to four years and three months in prison for falsely presenting himself as a doctor. Photo: DPA.

Fake plastic surgeon sentenced to 4 years

A man who performed cosmetic surgery on more than 50 different patients using fake medical certificates was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on Monday. READ  

Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Photo: DPA

Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue

A doctor from North Rhine-Westphalia will face charges for negligence and bodily harm, authorities said on Tuesday – after accidentally sending a living woman to the morgue. READ  

'Straw hat' robbers leave flowers as calling card
Photo: DPA

'Straw hat' robbers leave flowers as calling card

Brandenburg police are searching for two men who held up a goldsmiths' shop, leaving a pistol at the scene - as well as a bunch of sunflowers. READ  

Small town family disappears without trace
Photo: Winsen and Harburg police.

Small town family disappears without trace

No one has seen husband and wife Sylvia and Marco Schulze or their daughter, 12-year-old Miriam, since Thursday. Helicopters and search dogs have failed to find any trace of the family, leading local media and police to wonder: Where are the Schulzes? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,035
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd