NETHERLANDS – Printing technology company Oce says higher pension premiums will hits its earnings in 2003.

The company said in a statement that while restructuring measures would cut operating expenses, it would be hit by the weak dollar and higher pension costs. “It should be noted, however, that the relative weakness of the US dollar and an increase in the pension premiums will tend to depress our result for 2003.”

Oce did not return calls seeking more specific information about the increase in pension premiums.

In its 2001 annual report, the most recent available, the company said its pension liabilities were 6.2 million euros, up from 1.3 million euros a year earlier. Pensions expenses were 51.9 million euros.

Oce posted a 4.3% increase in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation of 119.4 million euros in the fourth quarter. Revenues fell 5.4% to 81.0 million euros.