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Schering board under attack over pay rises

16 April 2004

BERLIN – Board members of German drugmaker Schering came under fire Friday for granting themselves pay rises linked to the company’s share price.  

Shareholders gathered for the Berlin-based company’s stiockholders’ meeting attacked the supervisory board for granting itself generous pay rises linked to the Schering stock price, saying that should not be the sole measure of success.

They insisted the board was being paid far more than at other top German companies.

At the same time, Schering said it aimed to hold earnings steady this year, despite a drug market that has been tightened by state spending cutbacks and the weak dollar.

“Going by the first few months, we continue to expect an operating profit of EUR 620 million for the full year,” chief executive Hubertus Erlen told shareholders gathered in Berlin.

Last year the matching figure was EUR 686 million, but Schering argues its profitability has not changed because EUR 40 million of the decline can be attributed to a temporary German government price ceiling on prescription drugs.

The French and Italian social security systems have imposed similar price caps.

Schering, Germany’s third-largest pharmaceuticals group, is to released first-quarter figures on 26 April.

[Copyright DPA with Expatica]

Subject: German news