In reviewing all the published annual and quarterly financial statements during the year, the directors took due care and reasonable steps to ensure that the requirements of accounting standards and relevant regulations were fully met. Their presentation reflects a balanced assessment of the Group’s performance and prospects.2 Internal Controls and Risk Management
The directors acknowledge their responsibility for the Group’s system of internal controls, which is designed to protect shareholders’ investments and the assets entrusted under its custody. The system was intended to provide reasonable (but not absolute) assurance against material financial mis-statement or loss. It includes formal policies and operating procedures in relation to the safeguarding of assets, maintenance of proper accounting records, reliability of financial information, compliance with applicable legislation, regulation and best practice. It also includes the identification and containment of business risks.
The Group has well-established internal audit and compliance functions. Formal procedures were in place for both internal and external auditors to report independently on their findings and make the appropriate recommendations to the Management and the Audit Committee.3 Relationship with external auditors
The external auditors attended all the scheduled meetings of the Audit Committee during the year. These quarterly meetings enabled the exchange of views on issues requiring attention. The role of the auditors and their participation during the year are stated in the report of the Audit Committee.