ITN’s growing pension shortfall could threaten the company’s future, it has emerged.
The bleak forecast was revealed in ITN’s annual report and accounts for 2008 where directors warned that the pension uncertainty cast “significant doubt upon the group’s and company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.
The accounts showed the pension deficit leapt to £39.9m by the end of 2008, up from £22.8m in 2007.
The company’s directors warned that this was likely to go “significantly higher” during the current year, when a valuation is finalised. An ITN spokeswoman said: “The size of the deficit is still being worked on by the scheme actuary as part of the triennial valuation process, so we can’t put a figure on it at this stage.
“We are in discussions with the trustees and are committed to agreeing an appropriate recovery plan which balances our ability to deliver more funding into the scheme while continuing to grow the business.”
In the report, auditors Deloitte stated: “The directors have received indications that following the marked decline of equity markets since June 2008, it is likely that the pension scheme will show a significant deficit, which may require funding contributions in excess of the company’s expected cash resources.”