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Ailing printer manufacturer to top-up pension

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NETHERLANDS - Dutch printer manufacturer Océ has today unveiled an €80m savings package for the firm but revealed it will also increase the cash contribution to its ailing Dutch pension fund.

Presenting its annual report for 2008 today, Océ’s chief financial officer Hans Kerkhoven said: “The cash contribution in the Netherlands is expected to increase by approximately €3m in 2009 due to the increase of the employers contribution.”

He added the company also expects an additional €120m pension cost in 2009 as the pension scheme’s funding level has deteriorated steeply since October last year.

Dutch media reports today indicated its funding level has decreased to 88.7% though offiicial figures are not available.

Océ claimed the pension liability on its balance sheet had not materially changed, amounting to €389m, down from €414m in 2007.

That said, pension expenses under IFRS for defined benefit schemes amounted to €27.3m and will increase to €36.8m in 2009.

Cash contributions for defined benefit pension schemes amounted to €43m, of which €28.4m was allocated to schemes in the Netherlands.

The Venlo-based multinational was the first to present its annual figures for 2008 in The Netherlands, but at the same time announced it will scrap further jobs.

The company reported a 95% drop in net profit; from nearly €80m in 2007 to less than €4m last year.

Giant Dutch pension fund ABP revealed in July it holds a 5.1% stake in Océ.

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