UK supermarket chain Tesco has slashed its pension deficit by almost £3bn (€3.5bn) over the course of 12 months on the back of improving corporate bond yields and its decision to update the discount rate model used for accounting purposes.In its preliminary results for 2017-18 announced on Wednesday, Tesco said the pension deficit had fallen to £2.7bn, from £5.5bn at the same time last year.The supermarket group’s chief financial officer Alan Stewart said the reduction stemmed from a combination of factors.“45% is driven by the external factors, the mortality and the experience of the scheme; 55%… is due to the change in the discount rate methodology where we’re now looking at the bonds,” he told investors in October. Rising yields on corporate bonds, which drive the discount rate used for accounting purposes, also proved beneficial, the company said.Annual contributions to the pension deficit remained steady over the full-year period, but Tesco said they would increase by £15m to £285m from April this year. “This is a small increase on the previously agreed £270m, and is in line with our expectations,” Stewart told investors last year.Stewart also noted that it was “worth pointing out that our scheme is very young compared to the majority of schemes. Only 18% of all members are currently drawing a pension.“This means the liabilities are very long term, with over half of the benefits due to be paid in a period beyond 30 years from now.”Dave Lewis, Tesco’s chief executive, welcomed the news, which saw the UK’s largest grocer report annual profits of more than £1bn for the first time in four years.“We have further improved profitability, with group operating margin reaching 3% in the second half. We are generating significant levels of cash and net debt is down by almost £6bn over the last three years,” he said. “All of this puts us firmly on track to deliver our medium-term ambitions and create long-term value for every stakeholder in Tesco.”Analysts were broadly positive on the results. Barclays Research estimated the pension deficit could drop to £2.1bn by 2021.JPMorgan Cazenove said: “We turn buyers of Tesco shares for the first time in five years as its cash flow, top line and balance sheet have improved on a standalone basis. We see Tesco as the most visible turnaround in our food retail universe.”
NEW DELHI: India all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday announced that he and his fiance, Serbian actress Natasha Stankovic, are expecting their first child.Hardik made this announcement on popular social media platform Instagram, along with their pictures, which went viral instantly. Hardik’s Instagram post read: “Natasa and I had a great journey together and it is just about to get better. Together we are excited to welcome a new life into our lives very soon. We’re thrilled for this new phase of our life and seek your blessings and wishes.” Earlier this year, Hardik had announced his engagement to Natasa via social media as well. On January 1, Hardik had himself shared an image of him proposing to Natasa on social media and had captioned it: “Mai tera, Tu meri jaane, saara Hindustan. 01.01.2020 #engaged.” The news of the India all-rounder Hardik’s engagement to Natasa came as a huge surprise not just to his fans, but also to many members of the Indian team. IANS
31 Jul 2014 England field four new caps for Boys Home Internationals England has included four new caps in its squad for the Boys Home Internationals being played at Western Gailes in Scotland on 5th – 7th August. The newcomers, all having been capped at under 16 level, are Harry Hall (West Cornwall), Matty Lamb (Hexham, Northumberland), Jamie Li (Bath, Somerset) and Jonathan Thomson (Lindrick, Yorkshire). The members of the six-strong side that finished fourth in the recent European Boys Team Championships in Oslo are also included, Jamie Dick (Forest Hills, Gloucestershire), Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest, Cheshire), Bradley Moore (Kedleston Park, Derbyshire), Marco Penge (Golf at Goodwood, Sussex), Jack Singh Brar (Remedy Oak, Dorset) and Ashton Turner (Kenwick Park, Lincolnshire) while Jake Storey (Alnmouth, Northumberland) completes the line-up. McCullen, Moore, Penge and Singh Brar were members of the England side that finished second behind the winners, Ireland, in last year’s event at Forest Pines in Lincolnshire. Hall, who will celebrate his 17th birthday on 6th August, won the Welsh Youths Open Championship earlier this year. He was also represented England Golf in the Irish Boys Open and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, finishing equal eighth in the latter. Lamb, 16, finished runner-up in this year’s Fairhaven Trophy and equal fourth in the English under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy. A former winner of the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, he also finished fifth in the McEvoy Trophy. Li (image copyright Leaderboard Phtography), 17, lost a three-way playoff for the Carris Trophy, the English Boys under 18 Championship, last year when he also finished equal fourth in the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship in Portugal. This year, he has finished tied sixth in the McEvoy Trophy and seventh in the Fairhaven Trophy. Thomson, 18, is a former North of England under 16 champion who helped Yorkshire win the Boys County Finals in 2012, winning four of his five games. He finished third in the 2013 Fairhaven Trophy and third in this year’s Darwin Salver. Also in 2014 he has represented England Golf in the German Boys, Irish Boys and Dutch Junior Opens. Dick, 18, earned his first boys cap in the recent European Boys Team Championships having won this year’s Darwin Salver and lost a playoff for the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship. He also finished equal fourth in the Welsh Youths Open Championship and represented England Golf in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. McCullen, who will turn 18 the day after the internationals, is the English boy champion following his playoff victory over Moore in the recent Carris Trophy at Moor Park. Last year’s Lancashire County and boy champion, he was a member of the Lancashire team that won the Men’s County Finals at Minchinhampton, while this year he has also won the McEvoy Trophy. Moore, 16, has been highly successful in recent years. He won the English Boys under 14 Championship in 2011, finished second in the under 16 championship last year and lost the playoff to McCullen for the 2014 under 18 title. In 2013 he won the McEvoy Trophy and the European Young Masters and was a semi-finalist in the British Boys. This year he has won the Irish Boys Open, finished runner-up in the McEvoy ad well as the Carris Trophy. Penge, 16, was England under 15 and under 16 champion in 2013 and has won the Fairhaven Trophy for the past two years. He became a boy cap last year when he also won the Douglas Johns Trophy and was fourth in the European Young Masters. This year he has finished runner-up in the Darwin Salver, tied third in the McEvoy Trophy and equal fourth in defending his English under 16 title. Singh Brar, 17, a boy international for the past three years, enjoyed a successful 2013 in which he won the Berkhamsted Trophy, the South of England Boys and the under 17 title at the Irish Boys Open. He also finished runner-up in the Duke of York Young Champions and the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship. This year he finished tied fourth in defence of the Berkhamsted Trophy and equal eighth in the Darwin Salver. Storey, 18, the English under 16 champion in 2012, has just won the Northumberland County Championship. Last year, when he earned his first boy cap, he finished third in the South of England Boys while in 2014 he has finished equal sixth in the McEvoy Trophy and was a member of the trio that finished second in the Carris Trophy Nations Cup. Turner, 18, has also been a boy cap for the past three years. A former Lincolnshire boy champion, in 2013 he won the Bernard Darwin Salver and the Daily Telegraph Junior Championship and finished runner-up in the McEvoy Trophy. This year, he reached the last 32 of the Amateur Championship and finished sixth in the Darwin Salver during which he had a hole-in-one. England has claimed 18 victories in the Boys Home Internationals, losing the title to Ireland last year having been champions for the previous two years.