Accounting policies


Interest bearing bank loans and overdrafts are initially recorded at fair value, net of transaction costs. Subsequent to initial recognition, interest bearing borrowings are stated at amortised cost with any difference between cost and redemption value being capitalised to qualifying assets or recognised in the Consolidated income statement over the period of the borrowings on the effective interest rate basis.

Leased assets

Leases are classified as finance leases when the terms of the lease transfer substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership to the Group. All other leases are classified as operating leases. For property leases, the land and building elements are accounted for separately after determining the appropriate lease classification.

Finance leases

Assets funded through finance leases are capitalised either as property, plant and equipment, or intangible assets, as appropriate, and are depreciated/amortised over their estimated useful lives or the lease term, whichever is shorter. The amount capitalised is the lower of the fair value of the asset or the present value of the minimum lease payments during the lease term, measured at the inception of the lease. The resulting lease obligations are included in liabilities, net of attributable transaction costs. Finance costs on finance leases are charged directly to the income statement on the effective interest rate basis.

Operating leases

Assets leased under operating leases are not recorded on the balance sheet. Rental payments are charged directly to the income statement on a straight-line basis.

Sale and leaseback

A sale and leaseback transaction is one where the Group sells an asset and immediately reacquires the use of the asset by entering into a lease with the buyer.

The leaseback transaction is classified as a finance lease when the terms of the lease transfer substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership to the Group. All other leasebacks are classified as operating leases.

For sale and finance leasebacks, any profit from the sale is deferred and amortised over the lease term. For sale and operating leasebacks, the assets are expected to be sold at fair value, and accordingly the profit or loss from the sale is recognised immediately in the Consolidated income statement.

Lease incentives

Lease incentives primarily include upfront cash payments or rent-free periods. Lease incentives are capitalised and released against the relevant rental expense over the lease term.

Critical accounting estimates and assumptions

The Group has a number of complex high value lease arrangements. The Group follows the guidance of IAS 17 "Leases" to determine the classification of leases as operating leases versus finance leases. The classification of a lease as a finance lease as opposed to an operating lease will change EBITDA as the charge made by the lessor will pass through finance charges and depreciation will be charged on the capitalised asset. Retained earnings may also be affected depending on the relative size of the amounts apportioned to capital repayments and depreciation. IAS 17 "Leases" requires the Group to consider splitting property leases into their component parts (i.e. land and building elements). As only the building elements could be considered as a finance lease, management must make a judgement, based on advice from suitable experts, as to the relative value of the land and buildings.