Glossary and basis of preparation
Average net debt
Average net debt is calculated as the average daily net bank borrowings of the Group, derived from the Group’s automated banking system. Net debt at a period end is calculated as the sum of the net bank borrowings of the Group, derived from the cash ledgers and accounts in the balance sheet.
Billings and estimated net new billings
Billings comprise the gross amounts billed to clients in respect of commission-based / fee-based income together with the total of other fees earned. Net new billings represent the estimated annualised impact on billings of new business gained from both existing and new clients, net of existing client business lost. The estimated impact is based upon initial assessments of the clients’ media budgets, which may not necessarily result in actual billings of the same amount.
The Group uses US dollar-based, constant currency models to measure performance. These are calculated by applying budgeted 2009 exchange rates to local currency reported results for the current and prior year. This gives a US dollar – denominated income statement and balance sheet which exclude any variances attributable to foreign exchange rate movements.
Free cash flow
Free cash flow is calculated as Headline operating profit before non cash charges for share-based incentive plans, depreciation of property, plant and equipment and amortisation of other intangible assets, including dividends received from associates, interest received, investment income received, proceeds from the issue of shares, and proceeds from the disposal of property, plant and equipment, less corporation and overseas tax paid, interest and similar charges paid, dividends paid to minority shareholders in subsidiary undertakings, purchases of property, plant and equipment and purchases of other intangible assets.
Gross margin/gross profit
The Group uses the terms gross margin and gross profit interchangeably.
Headline PBT less taxation (excluding net deferred tax credit in relation to the amortisation of acquired intangible assets and other goodwill items) and minority interests.
Headline operating profit/Headline PBIT
Profit before finance income/costs, taxation, investment gains and write-downs, goodwill impairment and other goodwill write-downs, amortisation and impairment of acquired intangible assets, share of exceptional gains/losses of associates and costs incurred in 2008 in changing the corporate structure of the Group.
Profit before taxation, investment gains and write-downs, goodwill impairment and other goodwill write-downs, amortisation and impairment of acquired intangible assets, share of exceptional gains/losses of associates, costs incurred in 2008 in changing the corporate structure of the Group, gains/losses arising from the revaluation of financial instruments and gains on termination of hedge accounting on repayment of TNS debt.
Headline operating profit as a percentage of revenue.
Pro forma (‘like-for-like’)
Pro forma comparisons are calculated as follows: current year, constant currency actual results (which include acquisitions from the relevant date of completion) are compared with prior year, constant currency actual results, adjusted to include the results of acquisitions for the commensurate period in the prior year. The Group uses the terms ‘pro forma’ and ‘like-for-like’ interchangeably.