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DaimlerChrysler makes E915m pension contribution

GLOBAL – Car giant DaimlerChrysler says it has cut its liabilities with pension fund contributions of almost a billion euros in the first nine months of the year.

It contributed 915 billion euros in the first nine months – including 859 million euros in the third quarter alone. It contributed 500 million euros in the first three months of last year.

It said: “The lower increase in accrued liabilities was partly related to higher contributions to pension funds than in the prior-year period.”

The accrued liability of its pension plans and similar obligations rose to 14.2 billion euros at the end of September, from 13.5 billion euros at the end of 2003, according to the group’s third-quarter interim report.

And its minimum pension liability appears in the report as 6.76 billion euros as at the end of September – unchanged from the start of the year but down from 7.2 billion euros at the start of the year.

Its expected return on plan assets for its German and non-German plans for the nine-month period this year was a negative 1.76 billion euros – roughly flat with the prior year period.

The group added that its voluntary early retirement program was accepted by 503 staff in the first nine months – down from 791 a year before.

But it also said that 5,417 were “involuntarily affected” by the plan during the period.

The Stuttgart-based company posted overall operating profit of 1.3 billion euros with revenue up two percent at 34.9 billion euros.

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