We have been instructed by the company to review the financial information for the half-year ended 30 June 2005 which comprises the consolidated interim income statement, statement of recognised income and expense, consolidated interim balance sheet, consolidated interim cash flow statement and related notes. We have read the other information contained in the interim report and considered whether it contains any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the financial information.
The interim report, including the financial information contained therein, is the responsibility of, and has been approved by the directors. The directors are responsible for preparing the interim report in accordance with the Listing Rules of the Financial Services Authority.
As disclosed in note 2, the next annual accounts of the group will be prepared in accordance with accounting standards adopted for use in the European Union. This interim report has been prepared in accordance with the basis set out in note 2.
The accounting policies are consistent with those that the directors intend to use in the next annual accounts. As explained in note 2, there is, however, a possibility that the directors may determine that some changes are necessary when preparing the full annual accounts for the first time in accordance with accounting standards adopted for use in the European Union. As disclosed in note 2, the directors have anticipated that the revised IAS 19 ‘Employee Benefits – Actuarial Gains and Losses’, which has yet to be formally adopted for use in the European Union, will be so adopted in time to be applicable to the next annual accounts. The IFRS standards and IFRIC interpretations that will be applicable and adopted for use in the European Union at 31 December 2005 are not known with certainty at the time of preparing this interim financial information.
We conducted our review in accordance with guidance contained in Bulletin 1999/4 issued by the Auditing Practices Board for use in the United Kingdom. A review consists principally of making enquiries of group management and applying analytical procedures to the financial information and underlying financial data and, based thereon, assessing whether the disclosed accounting policies have been applied. A review excludes audit procedures such as tests of controls and verification of assets, liabilities and transactions. It is substantially less in scope than an audit and therefore provides a lower level of assurance. Accordingly, we do not express an audit opinion on the financial information. This report, including the conclusion, has been prepared for and only for the company for the purpose of the Listing Rules of the Financial Services Authority and for no other purpose. We do not, in producing this report, accept or assume responsibility for any other purpose or to any other person to whom this report is shown or into whose hands it may come save where expressly agreed by our prior consent in writing.
On the basis of our review we are not aware of any material modifications that should be made to the financial information as presented for the half-year ended 30 June 2005.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP
Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors
14 September 2005