Steelmaker Corus’ pension loses e1.2bn

UK/NETHERLANDS – As if making a 458 million pound (675 million euro) loss and losing your chief executive on the same day wasn’t enough, Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus also said its pension lost 797 million pounds (1.2 billion euros) in 2002.

Corus reported a net pension asset at the end of 2002 of 68 million pounds under the FRS17 reporting standard. But this surplus – unusual perhaps in the light of reported huge pension scheme deficits – masks the fact that the scheme has lost 797 million pounds in the year.

At the end of 2001 it was worth 865 million pounds. As recently as the end of June 2002 it was valued at 790 million pounds.

The market value of its assets declined to 10.4 billion from 11.3 billion at the end of 2001, though the value of its liabilities rose to 10.3 billion pounds from 9.56 billion pounds.

The company today reported a 458 million pound net loss for 2002, on turnover of 7.2 billion pounds. The losses - and warnings that it may have to close some UK plants – have led to chief executive Tony Pedder being forced to resign.

"In the light of the company's performance, the Board, including Mr. A.P. Pedder, chief executive, has concluded that a change of leadership is required," the company said.

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