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Accounting convention

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 101 Reduced Disclosure Framework (FRS 101) and in accordance with applicable accounting standards. The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention and in accordance with applicable law. The principal accounting policies are summarised below. They have all been applied consistently throughout the year and the preceding year in dealing with items that are considered material in relation to the Company's financial statements. In accordance with Section 408 of the Companies Act 2006, a separate profit and loss account dealing with the results of the Company has not been presented.

As permitted by FRS 101, the Company has taken advantage of the disclosure exemptions available under that standard in relation to share-based payments, financial instruments, capital management, presentation of a cash flow statement, presentation of comparative information in respect of certain assets, standards not yet effective, impairment of assets, business combinations, discontinued operations and related party transactions.

Where required, equivalent disclosures are given in the consolidated financial statements.

Going concern

The directors have at the time of approving the financial statements a reasonable expectation that the Company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. Thus, they continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in preparing the financial statements. Further detail is contained in the Chief Financial Officer's report.

Investments

Investments are held at cost less provision for impairment, if any.

Foreign currencies

Transactions in currencies other than pounds sterling are recorded at the rates of exchange prevailing on the dates of the transactions. At each balance sheet date, monetary assets and liabilities that are denominated in foreign currencies are retranslated at the rates prevailing on the balance sheet date. Non-monetary items that are measured in terms of historical cost in a foreign currency are not retranslated. Gains and losses arising on retranslation are included in net profit or loss for the period.

Pension costs

The Company participates in a final salary defined benefit pension scheme in the United Kingdom which is funded by the payment of contributions to a separately administered trust fund. This is a defined benefit plan which shares the risks between entities under common control. For further details, see note 11.

There is no contractual arrangement or policy for charging the net benefit cost between the entities who participate in this scheme. The Company is considered to be the entity that is legally the sponsoring employer of this scheme. As such, the Company recognises the net defined benefit cost and the retirement benefit obligation as per the requirements of IAS 19 Employee Benefits, as described in further detail in the accounting policies of the consolidated financial statements.

For defined contribution schemes, the amount charged to the profit and loss account in respect of pension costs is the contributions payable in the year.

Leases

Rental costs under operating leases are charged to the profit and loss account on a straight-line basis over the period of the lease.

Tangible fixed assets

Tangible fixed assets are stated at cost net of depreciation and any provision for impairment. Depreciation is provided on a straight-line basis, to reduce the carrying value to the estimated residual value at the point of sale, at the following annual rates:

Fixtures and fittings10% to 20%

Intangible fixed assets

Intangible fixed assets are stated at cost net of amortisation and any provision for impairment. Amortisation is provided on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives, at the following annual rates:

Software10% to 33%

Taxation

Current UK corporation tax and foreign tax is provided at amounts expected to be paid (or recovered) using the tax rates and laws that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the balance sheet date.

Deferred tax is recognised in respect of all temporary differences that have originated but not reversed at the balance sheet date where transactions or events that result in an obligation to pay more tax in the future or a right to pay less tax in the future have occurred at the balance sheet date. Temporary differences are differences between the Company's taxable profits and its results as stated in the financial statements that arise from the inclusion of gains and losses in tax assessments in periods different from those in which they are recognised in the financial statements.

A net deferred tax asset is regarded as recoverable and therefore recognised only when, on the basis of all available evidence, it can be regarded as more likely than not that there will be suitable taxable profits from which the future reversal of the underlying temporary differences can be deducted.

Deferred tax is measured at the average tax rates that are expected to apply in the periods in which the temporary differences are expected to reverse based on tax rates and laws that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the balance sheet date.

Related party transactions

The Company has taken advantage of the exemption contained in FRS 8 Related Party Transactions not to disclose transactions or balances with wholly-owned entities of the Group.

Share-based payments

The Company has applied the requirements of IFRS 2 Share-based Payment.

The Company issues equity-settled share-based payments to certain employees. Equity-settled share-based payments are measured at fair value at the date of grant. The fair value determined at the grant date of the equity-settled share-based payments is expensed on a straight-line basis over the vesting period. At each balance sheet date, the Company revises its estimate of the number of equity instruments expected to vest as a result of the effect of non-market based vesting conditions. The impact of the revision of the original estimates, if any, is recognised in profit or loss such that the cumulative expense reflects the revised estimates with a corresponding adjustment to the equity-settled employee benefits reserve.

Critical judgements in applying the Company's accounting policies and key sources of estimation uncertainty

In the course of preparing the Company's financial statements, no judgement or key source of estimation uncertainty has been identified.