October 20, 2010 / 8:49 AM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Uniq Q3 profit up; reaches deal with pension trustee

* Agrees with pension trustee on deficit for equity swap

* Says has enough cash to meet future needs

* Q3 sales up 9.9 pct

* Shares up 7 pct (Adds details)

Oct 20 (Reuters) - British convenience food maker Uniq UNUNI.L said its third-quarter operating profit was slightly higher on business wins, and reached an agreement with its pension trustee, sending its shares up 7 percent.

Uniq, which was under the threat of being wound up due to its huge pension fund deficit, said it had sufficient cash to meet its business needs for the future.

The company, which sells desserts, sandwiches and salads to retailers like Marks & Spencer (MKS.L), had a pension fund deficit of 436 million pounds as at end-March 2009, dwarfing its market capitalisation of 8.4 million pounds as of Tuesday’s close.

Uniq, whose net cash at the end of the third quarter was 14.7 million pounds, said on Wednesday under the new plan, it would seek approval from shareholders and the regulator to implement a deficit for equity swap.

The company also said it started talks to renew its banking facilities, which expire on Dec. 31, as part of the overall pension solution.

In April, the company had agreed a deal with its pension trustee that would enable it to make no further payments into the scheme until 2013. [ID:nLDE63E079]

Uniq shares, which have lost more than half their value after Britain’s Pensions Regulator turned down the company’s new pension framework in July, were up 7 percent at 7.5 pence at 0845 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Tresa Sherin Morera in Bangalore; Editing by Prem Udayabhanu)

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