3 May 2013
Hans Peter Haselsteiner, CEO of Austria’s construction giant Strabag, tendered his resignation from the company’s management board this week as a two-thirds drop in net earnings was announced.
His deputy Dr. Thomas Birtel, was immediately appointed new CEO of the listed, internationally active company.
Strabag saw net income in 2012 drop two thirds from the previous year to €61 million, which it had expected.
"Certainly, our earnings are disappointing," said Dr Haselsteiner, announcing the results, but added, "Most of the factors contributing to these disappointing results are one-offs as well as construction site losses, which therefore won’t have a significant carryover into the current year."
Strabag CEO Hans Peter Haselsteiner to remain as "authorised representative". (Credit: Strabag)
Against the backdrop of public-sector austerity in Europe, other problems included missing payments for services in Central and Eastern Europe, damage compensation payments for a failed acquisition, as well as considerable construction site losses and losses of joint ventures.
Dr Haselsteiner remained optimistic for this year, however.
"An output volume of €14 billion in 2012 – that’s nothing to complain about!" he said. "With €13.2 billion, the end-of-the-year order backlog is also nearly exactly at the pre-crisis level of 2008, suggesting steady and stable business development in 2013. Therefore, we reiterate our goal to achieve double-digit growth in earnings 2013."
Dr Haselsteiner, whose family owns a significant share in the company, will stay on as an "authorised representative in matters concerning the group’s internationalisation and strategic orientation", Strabag said.