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Responsibilities in respect of the preparation of financial statements

The directors are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements. The directors are required to prepare financial statements for the Group in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by the EU (IFRSs) and have also elected to prepare financial statements for the Company in accordance with IFRSs. Company law requires the directors to prepare such financial statements in accordance with IFRSs, the Companies Act 1985 and Article 4 of the IAS Regulation.

International Accounting Standard 1 requires that financial statements present fairly for each financial year the Company's financial position, financial performance and cash flows. This requires the faithful representation of the effects of transactions, other events and conditions in accordance with the definitions and recognition criteria for assets, liabilities, income and expenses set out in the International Accounting Standards Board's 'Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements'.

In virtually all circumstances, a fair presentation will be achieved by compliance with all applicable IFRSs. Directors are also required to:

  • properly select and apply accounting policies;
  • present information, including accounting policies, in a manner that provides relevant, reliable, comparable and understandable information; and
  • provide additional disclosures when compliance with the specific requirements in IFRSs is insufficient to enable users to understand the impact of particular transactions, other events and conditions on the entity's financial position and financial performance.

The directors are responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Company, for safeguarding the assets, for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities and for the preparation of a directors' report and directors' remuneration report which comply with the requirements of the Companies Act 1985.

The directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the Company website. Legislation in the UK governing the preparation and dissemination of financial statements differs from legislation in other jurisdictions.

The directors confirm that so far as they are aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the Company's auditors are unaware and that each director has taken all the 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 S234ZA of the Companies Act 1985.

The following information, together with the letters from the chairmen of the Nomination, Audit and Compensation Committees, the statements regarding directors' responsibilities and statement of going concern set out above and the directors' remuneration and interests in the share capital of the Company set out on pages 136 to 139, are included in the Directors' report, which also includes the sections 'Letter to share owners', 'What we think' and 'Operating & financial review'.