Pensions deficit adds to BAA loss
UK - BAA, the UK airports operator, suffered a £575m loss in the first half of this year, and almost half of this was generated by its defined benefit pension fund.
Financial results issued today to 30 June 2009 revealed while the Ferrovial-owned firm generated £1.15bn in revenue in the first six months of this year, it suffered a £218.5m non-cash charge sparked by a deficit in its DB scheme.
The firm said most of the increase in the deficit occurred in the second quarter of this year and was driven by the shifting inflation curve - a change which in the main opposes activity in other European pension funds as they tapped gains in the equities market.
BAA said the actuarial valuation to 30 June 2009 showed a deficit of £249.8m, and claimed it was created largely by a rise in the forward inflation curve as this in turn increased scheme liabilities.
That said, the firm stated it does not expect to have to make additional cash payments to close the latest accounting deficit as it is already making annual cash payments of £70m to the pension fund until 2011.
BAA endured a £17.1m non-cash charge related to its UK defined benefit plan at the end of 2008 against a surplus to the pension fund of £95.4m, according to today's financial results.
Full details of the BAA's pension fund status were unavailable today, but figures from Pension Funds Online suggest the total value of the fund was £2.078bn at the end of 2008. This is a reduction from total assets of £2.3bn and a surplus of £144m, under IAS19 accounting standards, in 2007.
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