DC THOMSON, the cash-rich media group behind the Press & Journal, the Beano and the Friends Reunited website, has become the latest company to look at closing its final salary pension scheme.
The Dundee-based company, whose full-year accounts yesterday showed a steady rise in pre-tax profits despite a dip in revenue, said that it was consulting employees over potential closure of its defined benefit scheme to future accrual from 2015.
It said the proposal was to “enable the company to continue to offer good, equitable but affordable long-term pensions”.
Although the surplus on the final salary scheme is now more than £100 million – helping the group’s assets rise to more than £1.03 billion – it said the closure proposal came “with the future in mind”.
During the year to 31 March, pre-tax profits rose by more than 7 per cent to £29.5m. Revenue fell to £271.8m from £284.1m, which DC Thomson said reflected economic conditions and the internet’s impact.
It said changes made to the structure of its businesses, the closure of printing plants and other cost savings had helped increase profits. Dividends paid to family shareholders rose to £16.9m.
Although advertising revenues from its newspapers and magazines division – which also includes the Courier and the Sunday Post – fell by 3.3 per cent to £29.4m, the company said the fall compared well with its peers. Earlier this month, its Dandy comic switched to online-only after 75 years in print.