Topi Manner, the CEO of Finnair, saw his income increase by roughly a quarter during what he described as the biggest peacetime crisis in aviation history. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


WHILE THOUSANDS of Finns were laid off, temporarily or permanently, in the restaurant and tourism sector during the first year of to the coronavirus pandemic, the earnings of senior executives at some of the sector’s largest companies increased, reports STT.

Many of the companies simultaneously received cost support from the government to continue their operations in the face of the disruption caused by the pandemic.

Topi Manner, the CEO of Finnair, saw his income rise by around 25 per cent during what he described as the biggest peacetime crisis in aviation history, reveals data made available by the Finnish Tax Administration on Wednesday. Manner reported a total of 1.3 million euros in taxable earned and capital income in 2020, representing a year-on-year increase of roughly 265,000 euros.

The increase was driven by a surge in earned income, according to STT.

The Finnish state-owned airline suspended its services almost entirely at the onset of the pandemic and resorted to widespread temporary lay-offs during the course of last year.

Rolf Jansson, the CEO of VR, contrastively reported a drop of a couple of per cent in earned income to about 600,000 euros.

Aku Vikström of Noho Partners, one of the largest restaurant groups in Finland, reported more than 495,000 euros in taxable income, a jump of 125,000 euros from the previous year, despite the shutdowns made by the company in response to restrictions on restaurant operations.

Noho Partners, which has been one of the most vocal critics of the restrictions in the country, implemented widespread temporary lay-offs and posted an operating loss of roughly 25 million euros in 2020. It has yet to receive any financial support from the central administration, although its application for closure compensation remains pending with the State Treasury.

Jaana Korhola, the CEO of Compass Group Finland, saw her income jump by 40 per cent year-on-year to about 333,000 euros. Bianca Brink of Sodexo, in turn, reported a roughly 33-per-cent drop in income to 211,000 euros.

Both Sodexo and Compass Group Finland have received about 1.6–1.8 million euros in cost support during the pandemic.

The CEO of Lapland Hotels, Ari Vuorentausta, reported 195,000 euros in annual income, an increase of over 40,000 euros from the previous year. Maarit Aho of Santa Hotels saw her income almost halve from 208,000 to 116,000 euros, while Jari Annala of Sokotel saw his stay roughly unchanged at 453,000 euros.

Each of the hotel groups has received 1.2–1.8 million euros in cost support during the pandemic.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT