Pension Scheme Funding and Banking Arrangements

18 June 2012

Pension scheme funding

Howden Joinery Group plc ('the Group') is pleased to announce that it has reached agreement with the Trustees of its defined benefit pension scheme in relation to the schedule of payments towards the funding of the scheme's deficit for the three years ending 5 April 2015 (the "pension years"). This agreement, which is subject to The Pensions Regulator not objecting to the terms of the agreement, follows the triennial actuarial valuation of the scheme as at 5 April 2011.

Under the agreement, the Group's contributions to the pension deficit are expected be as follows:

Pension year ending 5 April 2013 2014 2015
£35m £35m £35m

However, the contributions are subject to profit in the financial year that ends during the relevant pension year falling between agreed levels. Below or above the range, the contribution for the pension year will be reduced or increased by £10m respectively.

The agreement will result in an expected cash contribution to the pension deficit in the current financial year (ending 29 December 2012) of £40m. This includes payments in respect of the previous agreement with the trustees, reached in 2009.

Banking arrangements

The Group has reached agreement to extend its existing £160m committed bank facility, until July 2016, having previously run to May 2014. Details of the existing facility are given in notes 22 and 30a of the Group's 2011 Annual Report and Accounts (the key elements of which are set out below).

Half Yearly Report

The Group will issue its Half Yearly Report on 19 July 2012.

Investors/analysts: Media:
Gary Rawlinson Brunswick Kate Holgate
Head of Investor Relations Zoe Bird
+44 (0)207 535 1127 +44 (0)207 404 5959
+44 (0)7989 397527


Details of the bank facility

The facility is secured on the property, other assets and investments of the Group.

The available facility limit is calculated every week, based on the asset backing at the time, and can never exceed £160m. As at 24 December 2011, the Group had available £145m of undrawn committed borrowing facilities, in respect of which all conditions precedent had been met.

The loan carries interest at a rate of LIBOR plus a margin. The margin varies between 200 and 250 basis points and is determined by the Group's rolling Adjusted Profit Before Tax.

Under the terms of the facility, none of the Group's principal subsidiary companies can sign up to additional secured borrowings, other than those expressly permitted within the terms of the facility. The facility (i) permits normal trade credit granted to it in the ordinary course of business, (ii) allows up to £20m of additional secured borrowings and (iii) allows up to £10m of finance lease borrowing.


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