GERMANY - Pension liabilities are still weighing on the ThyssenKrupp balance sheet, despite the firm's impressive EUR1.3bn cut in its net debt last year.
Investor confidence has fluctuated in the industrial giant since it announced its fiscal troubles last year, picking up only when the market turned bullish on cyclicals.
But despite ThyssenKrupp slashing its net debt from EUR7.73bn in 1999/2000 to EUR6.41bn for 2000/200, some commentators believe that further balance-sheet erosions are just biding time to surface.
According to the company’s annual report, total unfunded pension liabilities still stand at EUR6.91bn, including pension-related obligations, and post-retirement obligations other than pensions. The figure compares to almost EUR7bn for the previous, corresponding period.
Last year unfunded pension costs amounted to EUR433m.
The company has over 193,000 employees in 70 countries, and provides pensions to most of its employees in Germany. The majority of its staff in the US, Canada and UK also receive pension benefits. In other countries some employees receive benefits in accordance with local requirements.
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