Page last updated at 09:27 GMT, Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Pension black hole at Dawson International

Dyeing machines
Dawson said sales in the US continued to be challenging

Kinross-based textile company Dawson International has reported its pension liabilities have almost trebled in the past year to £19.3m.

In a statement, Dawson said that the increase in liabilities was due to lower corporate bond yields and increased estimates of life expectancy.

The company said it was in talks with pension trustees and the regulator to agree a way forward.

The firm unveiled annual pre-tax profits of £575,000 for 2009.

This was down from just over £1m the previous year.

Dawson said its knitwear division did well with its branded home furnishings division the only disappointment.

The group said the escalation of the pension deficit, from £6.7m to £19.3m, represented a significant challenge for its UK businesses and was likely to prevent it from making any new acquisitions.

Dawson, which produces cashmere jerseys and owns the Barrie brand, also supplies bed linen.

Last year, the company sold its Todd and Duncan cashmere yarn business to a Chinese firm for £6.1m.

Group chairman David Bolton said it had been a very difficult year and paid tribute to his staff.

He said: "I thank everyone for their continued resilience and efforts to sustain existing business and their creative approach to maximising opportunities as they emerge.

"It is this drive and determination that has seen the group return a satisfactory performance in a difficult year."

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