The public companies in Hamburg are growing

29 November 2022 – Stefan Angele

The city’s businesses are thriving

Photo: foto-select, Shutterstock

Hamburg’s public companies are growing. This appears from the participation report 2021, which the red-green senate decided on Tuesday (November 29). It provides an overview of 116 out of a total of more than 350 legally independent companies in which the city has a direct or indirect stake. Therefore, the investments of these companies increased by a good 12 percent to a record of 2.08 billion euros in the past year compared to the year before.

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Positive development everywhere

The number of employees increased by 2.5 percent to 73,971. The total balance increased by 3.7 percent to 40.96 billion euros. Investment priorities are climate neutrality, heat conversion, mobility transition and digital transformation, said Finance Senator Andreas Dressel (SPD). Broken down by sector, supply and disposal companies accounted for the majority of investments with more than DKK 691 million. EUR, followed by transport (EUR 322 million), housing and urban development (EUR 320 million) and the port (EUR 304 million).

Companies emerge solidly through the crisis

“During the pandemic, our companies – also with the support of the Senate – showed strength and reliably continued to provide their important services to the citizens of Hamburg,” said Dressel. A significantly higher level of investment is planned in the medium term. The resulting depreciation will, however, also in the future put a significant burden on the companies’ annual results and thus the budget. According to the report, companies’ equity increased slightly to 13.17 billion euros in 2021. This was offset by liabilities of 18.02 billion euros – an increase of 4.8 percent compared to the previous year.

The pay gap will not get bigger

The remuneration report, which was also approved, shows the correlation between the average income of the employees and the maximum possibly executive remuneration. This was for 2021 Ratio at 1 to 3.81. So the spread has changed a bit fell, Dressel said. There is room for improvement Gender distribution in directorates, where the proportion of women is 22 percent despite increases in recent years.

The CDU is critical of higher debt

The CDU is critical of the increase in public sector debt. “Especially in times of rising interest rates, the finance senator should not ignore the associated risks,” says the parliamentary group’s expert on public companies, Thilo Kleibauer. “The increasing activities of the Hamburg holding companies generally need to be better controlled.” The left criticized the salary structure of public companies. “Managers should not earn multiples of a collective bargaining agreement,” said budget spokesman David Stoop. “It also does not fit in with our times that only 22 percent of the executive boards are still occupied by women.” Investments should be made in the public interest and not in one’s own political agenda, AfD MP Marco Schulz said. In addition, the companies’ offers must remain affordable for citizens. Anna von Treuenfels-Frowein of the FDP criticized that the Senate hid “numerous politically contentious investments in its public enterprises” and thus created shadow budgets.

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