Risk and opportunity management are crucial factors in the corporate management and operating activities of ÖBf AG.
ÖBf AG’s risk inventory is updated and evaluated every quarter by a risk management team while the analysis of risks and opportunities is completely revised each year with the involvement of second-tier management. The results are communicated directly to the Management Board and the Supervisory Board.
Due to the economic situation and climate change the focus remains concentrated on market and disaster risks.
Timber Market and Customer Risk
Falling sales will partly offset use in previous years triggered by damage and will have a positive impact on the sustainability of forest management.
Risk of Disaster
In 2007 and 2008 we saw an unusual accumulation of natural disasters such as windthrow, snow damage and, as a consequence, a massive outbreak of tree pests, in particular bark beetles. The timber that had been put into wet storage in 2007/08 for reasons of forest hygiene and to relieve the pressure on the market was shipped in the year under review. The economic results confirm this strategy of risk management.
Long-term counter strategies include using suitable silvicultural measures, setting up provisions for reforestation and strengthening areas of business that are less influenced by elemental conditions. Research projects on climate change and its impact on all business units were commissioned and in some cases have already been completed.
The default risk as regards trade receivables is mostly secured by bank guarantees or other commitments. There are also no major receivables and liabilities in foreign currencies. The long-term bank loan to finance the transfer of pension obligations to the Republic of Austria was secured for the entire term by means of an interest rate swap. No transactions are carried out using financial derivatives.
Staff and Processing Risk
Qualifications and motivation along with related measures in the field of personnel and organizational development constitute a permanent focal point for the company. Set processes, the internal control system and regular internal audits ensure the quality of performance.
The economic situation has increased risk across the entire spectrum of investments; investment management and controlling were expanded further.