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Notes 1-5

1. Basis of preparation

The consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the IASB. The consolidated financial statements are also prepared in accordance with IFRS adopted by the EU, the Companies Act 1985 and Article 4 of the EU IAS Regulations.

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with IFRS requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses during the reporting period. For a discussion on the Group’s critical accounting estimates see “Critical accounting estimates”. Actual results could differ from those estimates. The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised if the revision affects only that period or in the period of the revision and future periods if the revision affects both current and future periods.

Amounts in the consolidated financial statements are stated in pounds sterling.

Change in accounting policy

During the year, the Group changed its accounting policy with respect to the acquisition of minority interests in subsidiaries. Results for the years ended 31 March 2005, 2006 and 2007 have been restated. Further details are provided in note 39 to the consolidated financial statements.