Unilever records €0.9bn pensions deficit

Unilever’s pension liability net of assets rose to €0.9bn (£790m) as at 31 December 2018, a €0.6bn (£525m) increase on its recorded H1 2018 results.

The consumer goods company said the increase was driven by the impact of “adverse equity markets” in Q4 2018.

The results are also a €0.3bn (£263m) increase on the €0.6bn (£525m) recorded at the end of 2017.

Unilever said: “Pension liability net of assets increased to €0.9bn (£790m) at year-end from €0.6bn (£525m) as at 31 December 2017. The increase in the net pension liability arose in the fourth quarter driven by the impact of adverse equity markets on pension assets.”

As a result, the group said its pensions financing charge was €25m (£22m) for 2018, down from the €96m (£84m) recorded in 2017, reflecting a lower pension deficit at the beginning of 2018.

In July, Unilever said it expected its remaining deficit to be dealt with through investment returns.

The group said it gained €142m (£124m) through the remeasurement of its defined benefit pension plans, down from the €641m (£561m) during the first half of 2017. Its pension assets for funded schemes in surplus hit €2.3bn (£2bn), up from the €2.17bn (£1.9bn) as of 31 December 2017.

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