Report of the Supervisory Board
It is with great satisfaction that I can look back on an extraordinarily successful 2019.
OMV has achieved considerable progress in implementing its Strategy 2025. I wish to choose just two examples, from the large number of activities, that represent key milestones on the path towards growth, further internationalization, integration of business models, and portfolio diversification. With the acquisition of an interest in ADNOC Refining, completed in 2019, OMV not only significantly increased its refinery capacity, but also established a fully integrated business model in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, a global trading joint venture co-founded by OMV will cover the growing demand in the Middle East, Africa, and above all Asia from Abu Dhabi. In the Upstream Business Segment OMV successfully completed the acquisition of a 50% share in newly established SapuraOMV in Malaysia and started producing gas for the Asian market, thus building a strong bridge to the world’s fastest-growing markets.
The successful operative and financial performance during the past year is the basis for the continued implementation of the strategic targets.
WOLFGANG C. BERNDT
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
The successful operative and financial performance during the past year is the basis for the continued implementation of the strategic targets. In spite of an increasingly difficult market environment, OMV has been able to achieve its historically highest net income for the year after tax. OMV’s strong financial position is also reflected in the proposed record dividend of EUR 2.00 per share, by means of which you, dear shareholders, partake in OMV’s successes.
In the following, I would like to inform you about the Supervisory Board’s work during the 2019 financial year:
Composition of the Executive Board and Supervisory Board
A change regarding the composition of the Executive Board team occurred in the middle of last year. Manfred Leitner, who had been in charge of the Downstream Business Segment for eight years, resigned from his board position – which would otherwise have expired at the end of the year – for personal reasons with effect as of July. I wish to thank Manfred Leitner on behalf of the entire Supervisory Board. He has been instrumental in the development of the Downstream Business Segment, increased its efficiency, and led it into Europe’s premier league. Following significant growth, this business segment has now reached a size that made it necessary and strategically expedient to split it into the Refining & Petrochemical Operations and Marketing & Trading segments – because the oil and gas industry faces challenges that will have a significant impact on the refinery business. In view of these changes, it is crucial that both the production facilities and the sales and trading business receive the highest levels of attention and are led by top management personnel. With the appointment of Thomas Gangl as member of the Executive Board responsible for Refining & Petrochemical Operations as of July 2019, OMV gained not only a top-class expert in the refining and petrochemicals sector, but also a long-standing expert with profound knowledge of OMV and vital management experience on various levels of the company, which has helped to build his excellent reputation. The Supervisory Board is delighted that we were able to fill this position on the Executive Board from our own ranks, since this further confirms the excellent quality of our Company.
The Marketing & Trading segment will focus strongly on the changes in the energy market and the diverging dynamics on each continent. Until the final appointment of this newly created Executive Board function, Rainer Seele will take charge of this segment on an interim basis.
With the extension of Rainer Seele’s and Johann Pleininger’s Executive Board mandates in July respectively September 2019, the Executive Board affirmed the composition of the executive team for the coming years and thus satisfied an important prerequisite for the continuation of the Company’s success story.
The composition of the Supervisory Board was also comprehensively renewed. OMV’s Annual General Meeting on May 14, 2019, elected a total of five new members – based on the proposal of ÖBAG – to the Supervisory Board: Thomas Schmid, Stefan Doboczky, Elisabeth Stadler, Christoph Swarovski, and Cathrine Trattner. The candidates were selected in compliance with legal requirements and on the basis of a large variety of criteria which, in addition to personal integrity, independence, and impartiality, included in particular professional qualifications and broad management experience. I, Wolfgang C. Berndt, was elected Chairman of the Supervisory Board at its constituent meeting held in the wake of the Annual General Meeting 2019, while Thomas Schmid was elected my first Deputy Chairperson and Alyazia Ali Al Kuwaiti my second Deputy Chairperson. There were no changes on the part of the employee representatives in 2019 compared with 2018.
Supervisory Board activities
The Supervisory Board carried out its activities during the financial year with great care and in accordance with the law, the Company’s Articles of Association, and the Internal Rules. It oversaw the Executive Board’s governance of OMV and advised it in decision-making processes on the basis of detailed written and verbal reports as well as constructive discussions between the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board. The Executive Board provided the Supervisory Board with regular, timely, and comprehensive reports on the Company’s operations, on the general economic situation in its key markets, and the overall business environment, as well as on the opportunities and risks to OMV’s business development.
The Supervisory Board’s activities were particularly focused, firstly, on personnel matters relating to the Executive Board, and secondly, on the further implementation of the strategy in line with the sustainability targets. The training program for members of the Supervisory Board in 2018 was followed by another intensive training program in 2019, featuring three events for the entire Supervisory Board as well as several onboarding events, especially for the new Supervisory Board members. Also, the annual self-evaluation by the Supervisory Board was performed, supported by an external advisor. The results will be the basis for activities and further trainings in 2020.
In 2018 and at the beginning of 2019, the Supervisory Board still dealt intensively with the acquisition of the 15% interest in ADNOC Refining and the related global trading joint venture, which was completed in mid-2019.
The Supervisory Board, and especially I as Chairman of the Supervisory Board, attach great importance to an intensive exchange with investors. At this year’s Corporate Governance Roadshow I, together with Investor Relations, visited major institutional investors and proxy advisors in Frankfurt, Berlin, London, and Vienna to discuss the governance model, the remuneration of the Executive Board, and OMV’s Sustainability Strategy.
At the end of the year, the decision to sell the Maari oil field represented a further step to optimize OMV’s portfolio. Upon completion of this transaction OMV will be a pure gas producer in New Zealand. This underlines OMV’s strategy to produce significantly more natural gas than oil in the future in order to reduce the carbon intensity of its product portfolio.
Activities of Supervisory Board committees
The Presidential and Nomination Committee placed particular focus on the preparation of the decisions regarding the appointment of Thomas Gangl and the extension of Rainer Seele’s and Johann Pleininger’s Executive Board mandates. In addition, it searched intensively for suitable candidates for the position of a new Executive Board member for Marketing & Trading. Furthermore, it focused on the issue of long-term Executive Board succession planning with special consideration of the diversity goals.
In 2019, the Remuneration Committee could build on the comprehensive evaluation of the Executive Board’s remuneration system conducted in 2018. In order to meet the new requirements of the Austrian Stock Corporation Act in connection with the implementation of the amendments to the EU Shareholder Rights Directive, a remuneration policy for the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board was drawn up, which will be submitted by the Supervisory Board to the 2020 Annual General Meeting for voting for the first time. In the context of the development of the remuneration policy for the Executive Board, feedback from investors during the aforementioned Corporate Governance Roadshow was specifically considered. Thus, from 2020, the variable remuneration system also incorporates non-financial/ESG targets – concrete carbon reduction and a diversity target.
In 2019, the Audit Committee looked at important topics related to accounting processes, the internal audit program, risk management, and the Group’s internal control system. The current auditor of the OMV Group, Ernst & Young Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft m.b.H., participated in each of the Audit Committee’s meetings, and the Supervisory Board regularly took advantage of the opportunity to discuss matters with the auditor without the presence of the members of the Executive Board. In addition, the Audit Committee initiated a selection procedure relating to the choice of the auditor for the 2021 financial year.
Meetings of the Portfolio and Project Committee are held regularly prior to the meetings of the Supervisory Board. The committee used its meetings in 2019 to prepare decisions regarding key investment and M&A projects on the basis of extensive information and intensive discussions.
A strategy meeting with the Executive Board was held again in 2019, focusing on petrochemicals and sustainability, in particular carbon reduction and new technologies.
Further details regarding the activities of the Supervisory Board and its committees can be found in the (consolidated) Corporate Governance Report.
Annual financial statements and dividends
Following a comprehensive audit and discussions with the auditor during meetings of the Audit Committee and the Supervisory Board, the Supervisory Board has approved the Directors’ Report and the Consolidated Annual Report pursuant to section 96(1) of the Austrian Stock Corporation Act as well as the Annual Financial Statements and the 2019 Consolidated Annual Financial Statements pursuant to section 96(4) of the Austrian Stock Corporation Act. Both the Annual Financial Statements and the Consolidated Annual Financial Statements for 2019 received an unqualified opinion from the auditing company Ernst & Young Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft m.b.H. The Supervisory Board also approved the (Consolidated) Corporate Governance Report audited by both the Supervisory Board and the Audit Committee as well as the (Consolidated) Report on Payments Made to Governments. The Supervisory Board found no issues during the audits. Following the audit, the Supervisory Board accepted the Executive Board’s suggestion to jointly propose in the Annual General Meeting distributing a dividend of EUR 2.00 per share, which corresponds to an increase of EUR 0.25 over the previous year. The remaining amount of the net profit after the distribution will be carried forward to new account. The Supervisory Board will audit the separate consolidated non-financial report (Sustainability Report) individually, and this report will be published separately and after the Annual Report together with the corresponding Supervisory Board report.
Thus, the 2019 financial year was a very successful one in every respect. Regarding the overall portfolio, important positions were adopted, which will shape OMV’s future lastingly. On behalf of the entire Supervisory Board, I would like to thank the Executive Board and all employees for their commitment and successful work in the 2019 financial year. I would like to give special thanks to OMV’s shareholders for their continued trust as well as to all of OMV’s customers and partners.
Vienna, March 11, 2020
For the Supervisory Board
Wolfgang C. Berndt m.p.