On Wednesday, July 19, a shareholders meeting at Straumur-Burdarás investment bank elected a new board. Two new members were elected, Hannes Smárason of FL-group and Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson of Baugur. Two shareholder representatives wanted to ask the former board about the recent infighting but the chair of the meeting, Pétur Gudmundarson solicitor, did not allow any questions, citing shareholder’s laws. Víglundur Thorsteinsson, chairman of Pension Fund Lífeyrissjódur verslunarmanna, was very angry, saying this was undemocratic.
Chairman Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson said that Víglundur Thorsteinsson was only interested in media attention and had never attempted to get information through formal channels. Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson declined to answer questions on whether he would change things at Straumur-Burdarás. He also did not want to comment on whether his joining the board was an affront to Björgólfur Thor.
A few weeks ago shareholders Kristinn Björnsson and Magnús Kristinsson sold their shares to FL-group and resigned from the board. The CEO, Thórdur Már Jóhannesson was fired during the dispute.
After-tax profit in the second quarter of 2006 of Straumur Burdarás was ISK 307 million, compared to ISK 3,052 million in the second quarter of 2005. After-tax profit in the first half of 2006 was ISK 19,387 million, as opposed to ISK 7,630 million in the first half of 2005. This amounts to a 154% increase.
In response to the publication of the second quarter results, CEO Fridrik Jóhannsson said, “The management of Straumur-Burðarás is pleased to announce that the Bank has delivered a profit in the second quarter despite a decline in main markets. This confirms the Bank’s strategy of focusing on strengthening revenue streams beyond capital gains. Interest and fee income was roughly ISK 5.3 billion in the first six months of the year, which amounts to almost four times the operating costs of the Bank during the period. This performance is a record six-month profit for Straumur-Burðarás.”
The price of shares fell today just over 1 percent even though the results were better than market analysts had forecasted.