Metal industry: After millions in damage - Aurubis board members facing dismissal

After the triple-digit million losses caused by fraud at the Hamburg copper manufacturer Aurubis, three out of four board members are threatened with personal consequences, including CEO Roland Harings.

Metal industry: After millions in damage - Aurubis board members facing dismissal

After the triple-digit million losses caused by fraud at the Hamburg copper manufacturer Aurubis, three out of four board members are threatened with personal consequences, including CEO Roland Harings. Representatives of the Supervisory Board are currently in “well-advanced discussions with three members of the Board of Directors about terminating their positions on the Board,” as Aurubis announced on Monday evening. Harings himself had expressed confidence in mid-December that "the investigations show that we have managed the company with all due care and responsibility."

In addition to Harings, CFO Rainer Verhoeven and Production Director Heiko Arnold would also lose their positions. A final decision by the entire supervisory board is planned for Tuesday. According to the information, Harings would resign from the board on September 30th, Verhoeven on June 30th and Arnold on February 29th. “These board members would continue to carry out their respective duties until their early departure.”

The supervisory board would use the personal details to draw the conclusions from the damage that had occurred at Aurubis after several spectacular cases of fraud and theft. The control committee had commissioned investigations into the board's responsibility in connection with the crimes from a law firm. The report was expected in mid-January.

Aurubis was the victim of criminals in several cases. The bottom line is that in December, when presenting the annual results for 2022/23 (September 30), the company spoke of a metal shortage of 169 million euros. Because of the damage, the operating profit before taxes (EBT), the most important internal control figure, fell by a good third to 349 million euros - with a decline in sales of almost 8 percent to 17.1 billion euros. According to earlier information from Harings, Aurubis has now significantly increased security precautions.

Large-scale fraud was particularly painful for the company. This was noticed during regular checks of the metal inventory. There were significant deviations from the target inventory as well as deviations in special samples of certain recycling deliveries. Aurubis assumes that manipulated samples with high levels of valuable metals were delivered, but that the deliveries then contained significantly less valuable metals - which ultimately led to excessive invoices being paid.

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