May 14, 2019

Pensions discrimination ruling pushes Premier Foods to £43m loss

An anti-discrimination ruling on women's pensions helped Mr Kipling cake maker Premier Foods rack up a £43m loss in last financial year, as it became one of the first major employers to count the cost of a court ruling that affected millions of women who had paid into so-called final salary retirement schemes. Last year the High Court ruled that a practice that allowed male and female pensions to rise at different rates was discriminatory and must end. The pensions change, which has forced Premier to take a £42m accounting charge, has come at an unwelcome time for the group, which has high debts and has also been restructuring its business and writing down the values of some of its less popular brands. In the year to March, Premier took a £31m impairment loss on its Saxa salt and Sharwood's salt brands, while it also paid £17m in restructuring costs. Its revenues were flat on the same period a year earlier, at £824m, while excluding exceptional items, trading profit rose 5 per cent to £129m. This trading performance was ahead of market expectations, Premier said.

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