Made up: boost for Boots as it becomes first company to adopt

John Ralfe, its head of corporate finance, told Accountancy Age: ‘You can make a better comparison of what’s happening in pension schemes. We think it’s a good thing. We’ve nothing to hide. Without wanting to sound too cynical, only if you have something to hide would you not want to apply for it.’

Under FRS 17 companies will have to measure assets and liabilities using market values rather than at historical cost. The standard will take effect in stages but by 2003 it will be fully effective.

Boots’ pension surplus comes in marked contrast to that of BT’s which reported a deficit of around £1bn. The company put the cash shortfall down to former employees’ longevity.

Since it was published FTSE companies have voiced concerns over the volatility the new standard will bring and analysts’ understanding.

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