The directors are responsible for preparing the Annual report and the Group and parent company financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations.
Company law requires the directors to prepare Group and parent company financial statements for each financial year. Under that law they are required to prepare the Group financial statements in accordance with IFRS as adopted by the EU and applicable law and have elected to prepare the parent company financial statements in accordance with UK Accounting Standards and applicable law (UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice).
Under company law the directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Group and parent company and of their profit or loss for that period. In preparing each of the Group and parent company financial statements, the directors are required to:
The directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the parent company’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the parent company and enable them to ensure that its financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They have general responsibility for taking such steps as are reasonably open to them to safeguard the assets of the Group and to prevent and detect fraud and other irregularities.
Under applicable law and regulations, the directors are also responsible for preparing a Directors’ report, Directors’ remuneration report and Corporate governance statement that complies with that law and those regulations.
The directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Group’s website. Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.
The Group’s business activities, together with the factors likely to affect its future development, performance and position are set out in the Business review and a summary of the principal risks affecting the business are shown within Principal Risks and Uncertanties. The financial position of the Group, its cash flows, liquidity position, borrowing facilities and financial risks are described in the Finance Director's review. In addition, notes 1, 13, 14 and 16 of the consolidated financial statements include the Group’s objectives, policies and processes for financial risk management, details of its cash and cash equivalents, indebtedness and borrowing facilities and its financial instruments, hedging activities and its exposure to counterparty credit risk, liquidity risk, currency risk, interest rate risk and commodity pricing risk.
As described in the Finance Director's review, the Group meets its funding requirements through a mixture of shareholders’ funds, bank borrowings, bonds, notes and finance leases. The chart within this section shows the maturity profile of the Group’s outstanding debt facilities; a total of £567 million is due to expire in 2011. The Group has a further £450 million of term funding available that is currently undrawn.
The Group’s forecasts and projections, taking into account reasonably possible changes in trading performance, show that the Group has sufficient financial resources. As a consequence, the directors have a reasonable expectation that the Company and the Group are well placed to manage their business risks and to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future, despite the current uncertain global economic outlook. Accordingly, the directors continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the consolidated financial statements.
Each of the persons who is a director at the date of approval of this report confirms that:
i) so far as the director is aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the Company’s auditors are unaware; and
ii) the director has taken all steps that he or she ought to have taken as a director in order to make himself or herself aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the Company’s auditors are aware of that information.
This confirmation is given and should be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of Section 418 of the Companies Act 2006.
Each of the persons who is a director at the date of approval of this report confirms that to the best of his or her knowledge:
i) each of the Group and parent company financial statements, prepared in accordance with IFRS and UK Accounting Standards respectively, gives a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, financial position and profit or loss of the issuer and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole; and
ii) the Directors’ report includes a fair review of the development and performance of the business and the position of the Company and the undertakings included in the consolidation taken as a whole, together with a description of the principal risks and uncertainties that they face.
By order of the Board
General Counsel and Company Secretary
February 9, 2011