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Voestalpine accounting scandal: fraud of up to 100 million euros revealed

Voestalpine accounting scandal: fraud of up to 100 million euros revealed

CEO Eibensteiner told the assembled shareholders that voestalpine would learn from the case and would continue to develop and improve its internal control system where necessary. The incident has attracted a lot of attention in recent weeks and has “put voestalpine in the wrong light” in the eyes of the public. “Or in the words of our Federal President: that’s not who we are,” Eibensteiner explained.

“We have constantly reviewed our dedicated commitment. We only wanted to make information available to the general public once the investigation into the case was completed and we were able to provide comprehensive information so as not to leave room for public speculation about guilt and responsibility,” explained the voestalpine CEO of the management approach.

The damages known so far in detail: The manipulation of the balance sheet led to the need for value adjustments totaling EUR 100 million. According to Eibensteiner, equity was reduced retroactively as of 1 April 2022 by EUR 81.6 million. “This is the time back to 2012/13,” the CEO explained. In the 2022/23 financial year, the impact on the profit and loss statement would amount to EUR 1.4 million and the results for the first three quarters of the 2023/24 financial year would be corrected by around EUR 17 million.

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“This results in the previously mentioned value adjustment requirement of EUR 100 million, which reduces voestalpine AG’s equity from EUR 7.6 billion to EUR 7.5 billion as of March 31, 2024.”

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Ebensteiner further emphasized: “I reiterate that there was no direct outflow of funds and the €100 million cannot be considered as financial damage.” The accounting consequences have now been corrected retrospectively and are fully taken into account in the 2023/24 annual financial statements.

The election of a new supervisory board is also on the agenda of today's annual general meeting. Eder will stand for election for the last time “but only for a short period, three years,” he says. There are two reasons for this: “First, I will be 75 years old, and second, I think I am replaceable,” says Eder, who looks back on 50 years at Voest, which was initially nationalized.