CFO: Scana Pension in Fine Shape Despite Markets

October 25, 2002 ( - Scana Corp. is in the unusual position of having its pension fund actually outperform its own return expectations and be adequately funded despite the bear markets.

In a conference call with analysts and investors to discuss third-quarter results, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Kevin Marsh said the fund’s overall return has been approximately 12.5%, Dow Jones reported.

That compares to the 9.5% return the Columbia, South Carolina energy company had anticipated at the beginning of the year.

Even though the value of the plan’s assets dropped 22% or $190 million to $660 million since January 2002, Marsh said the company anticipated a pension liability of $550 million, according to the Dow Jones report. Marsh said the company anticipates not having to put any additional cash into the plan.

Based on the first nine months of the year, Scana estimates its pension income will be $26 million for the year, but that amount could drop based on returns in the remainder of 2002, the company said.

Earlier, Scana reported net income rose $15 million, or 24%, to $78 million in the third quarter that ended September 30.

Numerous US companies have reported significant pension shortfalls that, in many cases, require large amounts of additional cash.