DENMARK - Pensions group PKA said it would put more money into alternatives in the next few years to spread risk, after announcing its first 2011 results.

PKA, which manages five pension funds in the healthcare sector, finished 2011 with a return of DKK12.9bn (€1.7bn), or 9.4%, down from the DKK16.6bn, or 13.7%, announced the year before.

Peter Damgaard Jensen, PKA’s managing director, said: “There is no doubt PKA will invest in more so-called alternative investments in the next few years, such as agriculture, commodities and infrastructure.

“By doing this, we can continue to spread our risk and make a stable return for our members’ pensions, in spite of the big swings on the financial markets.”

He said there was every reason to be satisfied with a return of DKK12.9bn for 2011 given that it had been a very challenging year for investors.

PKA attributed the return in particular to a marked fall in interest rates, which PKA had protected itself against by hedging.

Apart from this, the pensions group said it achieved good returns on a range of alternative investments, including infrastructure and private equity, which were less affected by the economic crisis.

Damgaard Jensen stressed that PKA had been not forced in the past year to act against its investment strategy.

“We are still in a position to take risks and maintain a high proportion of shares, which will benefit our members in the long term,” he said.

“But the market development calls for a broader spread of risk, and we are going to continue with this by implementing our strategy for the next few years.”

PKA’s assets under management rose to DKK160bn in 2011 from DKK137bn in 2010, and total contributions were slightly higher at DKK6.4bn after DKK6.3bn.

Membership numbers in the five pension funds rose to 252,000 from 246,000.