Sainsbury’s DB pension surplus rises £423m

The Sainsbury’s defined benefit pension surplus increased by £423m in the six months preceding September 2019 to £1,382m.

The supermarket’s Half-year report revealed that the increase was primarily driven by asset gains in both sections of the scheme on matching and hedging assets due to the fall in gilt yields.

Sainsburys’ DB scheme had two segregated sections – Sainsbury’s and Argos – and completed a triennial actuarial valuation in September 2018, which revealed a then-deficit of £538m.

The employer is contracted to contribute a total of £124m in 2019/20, including a £19m coupon from Sainsbury’s Property Scottish Partnership.

In May 2019, the scheme reported a surplus swing of £1,000m year-on-year, after recording a £261m deficit a year previously.

In the six months up to September, pension cash contributions totalled £48m.

The overall DB assets totalled £11,297m, up by around £1,500m year-on-year, while the liabilities rose from £9,360m to £9,877m during the same period.

Commenting on the report, Sainsbury’s chief executive, Mike Coupe, stated: "We have created positive momentum across the business through strategic investments in our customer offer.

"We have set out our plan to create one multi brand, multi-channel business. This will make the combined Sainsbury's and Argos offer much more accessible for customers and gives us the opportunity to make our business more efficient.

“I would like to thank colleagues for all their hard work at this busy time of year. We are very much looking forward to delighting our customers throughout the upcoming festive period."

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