Basis of preparation
The accounts have been prepared in accordance with the Companies Act 2006 applicable to companies reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee (IFRIC) interpretations, as adopted by the European Union in response to the IAS regulation (EC 1606/2002), under the historical cost convention modified to include revaluation of certain financial instruments, share options and pension assets and liabilities, held at fair value as described below.
The accounting policies adopted are consistent with those of the previous financial year except that the Group has adopted:
- Amendment to ‘IAS 32: Financial instruments: Presentation’ on classification of rights issues
- ‘IFRIC 19: Extinguishing financial liabilities with equity instruments’
- ‘IFRS 2: Share-based payment’ – Group cash-settled share-based payment transactions
These changes have not materially affected reported financial position or performance.
Significant judgements, key assumptions and estimates
The preparation of the accounts in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles 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 accounts and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results may differ from these estimates. The key estimates and assumptions used in these consolidated financial statements are set out below.
The timing of revenue recognition on long-term funded contracts depends on the assessed stage of completion of contract activity at the balance sheet date. This assessment requires the expected total contract revenues and costs to be estimated based on the current progress of the contract.
Revenue of £27.9m (2010: £23.6m) has been recognised in respect of contracts in progress at the year end with a total expected value of £129.3m (2010: £116.2m). A 5% increase in the proportion of the contract activity recognised in the current year would have increased operating profit by an estimated £1.1m (2010: £0.4m).
Goodwill is tested at least annually for impairment in accordance with the accounting policy for goodwill set out below. The recoverable amounts of cash generating units are determined based on value in use calculations. These calculations require the use of estimates including projected future cash-flows and other future events. See note 12 for details of the critical assumptions made and disclosures on the sensitivity of the impairment testing to these key assumptions.
Provisions for liabilities and charges
The consolidated financial statements include a provision for litigation of £196.1m (2010: £191.4m).
As previously reported, John Crane, Inc., a subsidiary of the Group, is currently one of many co-defendants in litigation relating to products previously manufactured which contained asbestos. Provision has been made for the future defence costs which the Group is expected to incur and the expected costs of future adverse judgments against John Crane, Inc. However, because of the significant uncertainty associated with the future level of asbestos claims and of the costs arising out of the related litigation, there can be no guarantee that the assumptions used to estimate the provision will result in an accurate prediction of the actual costs that may be incurred and, as a result, the provision may be subject to potentially material revisions from time to time if new information becomes available as a result of future events. John Crane, Inc. takes account of the advice of an expert in asbestos liability estimation in quantifying the expected costs. In the current period the method used to calculate the expected costs of defending claims has been conformed to the approach used to calculate the expected cost of adverse judgments following the appointment of Bates White LLC to value both elements of John Crane, Inc.’s exposure. See note 23 for details.
The Group has on occasion been required to take legal action to protect its intellectual property and other rights against infringement. It has also had to defend itself against proceedings brought by other parties, including product liability and insurance subrogation claims. Provision is made for any expected costs and liabilities in relation to these proceedings where appropriate, though there can be no guarantee that such provisions (which may be subject to potentially material revision from time to time) will accurately predict the actual costs and liabilities that may be incurred.
The consolidated financial statements include costs in relation to, and provision for, retirement benefit obligations. The costs and the present value of any related pension assets and liabilities depend on such factors as life expectancy of the members, the returns that plan assets generate and the discount rate used to calculate the present value of the liabilities. The Group uses previous experience and impartial actuarial advice to select the values of critical estimates. The estimates, and the effect of variances in key estimates, are disclosed in note 10.
At 31 July 2011 there is a retirement benefit asset of £140.6m (2010: £80.3m) which arises from the rights of the employers to recover the surplus at the end of the life of the scheme. If the pension schemes were wound up while they still had members, the schemes would need to buy out the benefits of all members. The buy outs would cost significantly more than the present value of the scheme liabilities calculated in accordance with IAS 19: Employee benefits.
The Group has recognised deferred tax assets of £26.0m (2010: £31.9m) relating to losses and £50.6m (2010: £47.4m) relating to the John Crane, Inc. litigation provision. The recognition of assets pertaining to these items involves judgement by management as to the likelihood of realisation of these deferred tax assets and this is based on a number of factors, which seek to assess the expectation that the benefit of these assets will be realised, including appropriate taxable temporary timing differences and it has been concluded that there are sufficient taxable profits in future periods to support recognition. Further detail on the Group’s deferred taxation position is included in note 6.
Basis of consolidation
The consolidated accounts incorporate the financial statements of Smiths Group plc ( the Company ) and its subsidiary undertakings, together with the Group’s share of the results of its associates.
Subsidiaries are all entities over which the Company has the power to govern the financial and operating policies generally accompanying a shareholding of more than one half of the voting rights. Subsidiaries are fully consolidated from the date on which this power is transferred to the Company to the date that control ceases.
Associates are entities over which the Group has significant influence but does not control, generally accompanied by a share of between 20% and 50% of the voting rights. Investments in associates are accounted for using the equity method.
The Company’s presentational currency is sterling. The results and financial position of all subsidiaries and associates that have a functional currency different from sterling are translated into sterling as follows:
- assets and liabilities are translated at the rate of exchange at the date of that balance sheet;
- income and expenses are translated at average exchange rates for the period; and
- all resulting exchange differences are recognised as a separate component of equity.
On consolidation, exchange differences arising from the translation of the net investment in foreign entities, and of borrowings and other currency instruments designated as hedges of such investments, are taken to shareholders’ equity. When a foreign operation is sold, the cumulative amount of such exchange differences is recognised in the income statement as part of the gain or loss on sale.
Exchange differences arising on transactions are recognised in the income statement. Those arising on trading are taken to operating profit; those arising on borrowings are classified as finance income or cost.
Revenue is measured at the fair value of the consideration received, net of trade discounts and sales taxes. Revenue is discounted only where the impact of discounting is material.
Sale of goods
Revenue from the sale of goods is recognised when the risks and rewards of ownership have been transferred to the customer, the amount of revenue can be measured reliably and recovery of the consideration is probable. For established products with simple installation requirements, revenue is recognised when the product is delivered to the customer in accordance with the agreed delivery terms. For products which are technically innovative, highly customised or require complex installation, revenue is recognised when the customer has completed its acceptance procedures.
Revenue from services is recognised in accounting periods in which the services are rendered, by reference to completion of the specific transaction, assessed on the basis of the actual service provided as a proportion of the total services to be provided. Depending on the nature of the contract, revenue will be recognised on the basis of the proportion of the contract term completed, the proportion of the contract costs incurred or the specific services provided to date.
Contracts for the construction of substantial assets are accounted for as construction contracts if the customer specifies major structural elements of the design, including the ability to amend the design during the construction process. These projects normally involve installing customised systems with site specific integration requirements.
Where the outcome of a construction contract can be estimated reliably, revenue and costs are recognised by reference to the stage of completion of the contract activity at the balance sheet date. The Group uses the ‘percentage of completion method’ to determine the appropriate amount to recognise in a given period. The assessment of the stage of completion is dependent on the nature of the contract, but will generally be based on the estimated proportion of the total contract costs which have been incurred to date. If a contract is expected to be loss-making, a provision is recognised for the entire loss.
The Group operates a number of equity-settled and cash-settled share-based compensation plans.
The fair value of the shares or share options granted is recognised as an expense over the vesting period to reflect the value of the employee services received. The fair value of options granted, excluding the impact of any non-market vesting conditions, is calculated using established option pricing models, principally binomial models. The probability of meeting non-market vesting conditions, which include profitability targets, is used to estimate the number of share options which are likely to vest.
For cash-settled share-based payment, a liability is recognised based on the fair value of the payment earned by the balance sheet date. For equity-settled share-based payment, the corresponding credit is recognised directly in reserves.
Pension obligations and post-retirement benefits
The Group has both defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
For defined benefit plans the liability for each scheme recognised in the balance sheet is the present value of the defined benefit obligation at the balance sheet date less the fair value of plan assets. The defined benefit obligation is calculated annually by independent actuaries using the projected unit credit method. The present value of the defined benefit obligation is determined by discounting the estimated future cash outflows using interest rates of high-quality corporate bonds that are denominated in the currency in which the benefits will be paid, and that have terms to maturity approximating to the terms of the related pension liability. Actuarial gains and losses arising from experience adjustments and changes in actuarial assumptions are recognised in full in the period in which they occur, outside of the income statement and are presented in the statement of comprehensive income. Past service costs are recognised immediately in the income statement, unless the changes to the pension plan are conditional on the employees remaining in service for a specified period of time (the vesting period). In this case, the past service costs are amortised on a straight-line basis over the vesting period.
For defined contribution plans, the Group pays contributions to publicly or privately administered pension insurance plans on a mandatory, contractual or voluntary basis. Contributions are expensed as incurred.
The Group also has certain post-retirement healthcare schemes which are accounted for on a similar basis to the defined benefit plans.
Items which are material either because of their size or their nature, and which are non-recurring, are presented within their relevant consolidated income statement category, but highlighted through separate disclosure. The separate reporting of exceptional items helps provide a better picture of the Company’s underlying performance. Items which are included within the exceptional category include:
- profits/(losses) on disposal of businesses and costs of acquisitions;
- spend on the integration of significant acquisitions and other major restructuring programmes;
- significant goodwill or other asset impairments;
- income and expenditure relating to John Crane, Inc. asbestos litigation; and
- other particularly significant or unusual items.
Exceptional items are excluded from the headline profit measures used by the Group. The basis of calculation of these measures is explained in note 3.
A discontinued operation is a component of the Group’s business that represents a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations that has been disposed of, has been abandoned or meets the criteria to be classified as held for sale.
Discontinued operations are presented on the income statement as a separate line and are shown net of tax.
Assets and businesses held for sale
Assets and businesses classified as held for sale are measured at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell. Impairment losses on initial classification as held for sale and gains or losses on subsequent re-measurements are included in the income statement. No depreciation is charged on assets and businesses classified as held for sale.
Assets and businesses are classified as held for sale if their carrying amount will be recovered or settled principally through a sale transaction rather than through continuing use. The asset or business must be available for immediate sale and the sale must be highly probable within one year.
Goodwill represents the excess of the cost of an acquisition over the fair value of the Group’s share of the identifiable net assets of the acquired subsidiary at the date of acquisition.
Goodwill arising from acquisitions of subsidiaries after 1 August 1998 is included in intangible assets, tested annually for impairment and carried at cost less accumulated impairment losses. Gains and losses on the disposal of an entity include the carrying amount of goodwill relating to the entity sold. Goodwill arising from acquisitions of subsidiaries before 1 August 1998 was set against reserves in the year of acquisition.
Goodwill is tested for impairment at least annually. Any impairment is recognised immediately in the income statement. Subsequent reversals of impairment losses for goodwill are not recognised.
Research and development
Expenditure on research and development is charged to the income statement in the year in which it is incurred with the exception of:
- amounts recoverable from third parties; and
- expenditure incurred in respect of the development of major new products where the outcome of those projects is assessed as being reasonably certain as regards viability and technical feasibility. Such expenditure is capitalised and amortised straight line over the estimated period of sale for each product, commencing in the year that sales of the product are first made.
The cost of development projects which are expected to take a substantial period of time to complete, and commenced after 1 August 2009, includes attributable borrowing costs.
Intangible assets acquired in business combinations
The identifiable net assets acquired as a result of a business combination may include intangible assets other than goodwill. Any such intangible assets are amortised straight line over their expected future lives.
The estimated useful lives are as follows:
Patents, licences and trademarks
up to 20 years
up to 12 years
up to 7 years
The assets’ useful lives are reviewed, and adjusted if appropriate, at each balance sheet date.
Software, patents and intellectual property
The estimated useful lives are as follows:
up to 7 years
Patents and intellectual property
shorter of the economic life and the period the right is legally enforceable
The assets’ useful lives are reviewed, and adjusted if appropriate, at each balance sheet date.
Property, plant and equipment
Property, plant and equipment is stated at historical cost less accumulated depreciation and any recognised impairment losses.
Land is not depreciated. Depreciation is provided on other assets estimated to write off the depreciable amount of relevant assets by equal annual instalments over their estimated useful lives. In general, the rates used are: Freehold and long leasehold buildings – 2%; Short leasehold property – over the period of the lease; Plant, machinery, etc. – 10% to 20%; Fixtures, fittings, tools and other equipment – 10% to 33%.
The cost of any assets which are expected to take a substantial period of time to complete whose construction began after 1 August 2009 includes attributable borrowing costs.
The assets’ residual values and useful lives are reviewed, and adjusted if appropriate, at each balance sheet date. An asset’s carrying amount is written down immediately to its recoverable amount if the asset’s carrying amount is greater than its estimated recoverable amount.
Leases in which a significant portion of the risks and rewards of ownership are retained by the lessor are classified as operating leases. Payments made under operating leases are charged to the income statement on a straight-line basis over the period of the lease.
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost and net realisable value. Cost is determined using the first-in, first-out (FIFO) method. The cost of finished goods and work in progress comprises raw materials, direct labour, other direct costs and related production overheads (based on normal operating capacity). The cost of items of inventory which take a substantial period of time to complete includes attributable borrowing costs for all items whose production began after 1 August 2009. Net realisable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less applicable variable selling expenses.
Trade and other receivables
Trade receivables are initially recognised at fair value and subsequently measured at amortised cost, less any appropriate provision for estimated irrecoverable amounts. A provision is established for irrecoverable amounts when there is objective evidence that amounts due under the original payment terms will not be collected.
Provisions for warranties and product liability, disposal indemnities, restructuring costs, vacant leasehold property and legal claims are recognised when: the Company has a legal or constructive obligation as a result of a past event; it is probable that an outflow of resources will be required to settle the obligation; and the amount has been reliably estimated. Provisions are not recognised for future operating losses.
Provisions are discounted where the time value of money is material.
Where there are a number of similar obligations, for example where a warranty has been given, the likelihood that an outflow will be required in settlement is determined by considering the class of obligations as a whole. A provision is recognised even if the likelihood of an outflow with respect to any one item included in the same class of obligations may be small.
The charge for taxation is based on profits for the year and takes into account taxation deferred because of temporary differences between the treatment of certain items for taxation and accounting purposes.
Deferred tax is provided in full using the balance sheet liability method. A deferred tax asset is recognised where it is probable that future taxable income will be sufficient to utilise the available relief. Tax is charged or credited to the income statement except when it relates to items charged or credited directly to equity, in which case the tax is also dealt with in equity.
Deferred tax is provided on temporary differences arising on investments in subsidiaries and associates, except where the timing of the reversal of the temporary differences is controlled by the Company and it is probable that the temporary difference will not reverse in the foreseeable future.
Deferred tax liabilities and assets are not discounted.
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include cash at bank and in hand and highly liquid interest-bearing securities with maturities of three months or less.
In the cash-flow statement, cash and cash equivalents are shown net of bank overdrafts, which are included as current borrowings in liabilities on the balance sheet.
The classification of financial assets depends on the purpose for which the assets were acquired. Management determines the classification of an asset at initial recognition and re-evaluates the designation at each reporting date. Financial assets are classified as: loans and receivables, available for sale financial assets or financial assets where changes in fair value are charged (or credited) to the income statement.
Financial assets are initially recognised at transaction price when the Group becomes party to contractual obligations. The transaction price used includes transaction costs unless the asset is being fair valued through the income statement.
The subsequent measurement of financial assets depends on their classification. Loans and receivables are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest rate method. Available for sale financial assets are subsequently measured at fair value, with unrealised gains and losses being recognised in other comprehensive income. Financial assets where changes in fair value are charged (or credited) to the income statement are subsequently measured at fair value. Realised and unrealised gains and losses arising from changes in the fair value of the ‘financial assets at fair value through the income statement’ category are included in the income statement in the period in which they arise.
Financial assets are derecognised when the right to receive cash-flows from the assets has expired, or has been transferred, and the Company has transferred substantially all of the risks and rewards of ownership. When securities classified as available for sale are sold or impaired, the accumulated fair value adjustments previously taken to reserves are included in the income statement.
Financial assets are classified as current if they are expected to be realised within 12 months of the balance sheet date.
Borrowings are initially recognised at the fair value of the proceeds, net of related transaction costs. These transaction costs, and any discount or premium on issue, are subsequently amortised under the effective interest rate method through the income statement as interest over the life of the loan, and added to the liability disclosed in the balance sheet. Related accrued interest is included in the borrowings figure.
Borrowings are classified as current liabilities unless the Group has an unconditional right to defer settlement of the liability for at least one year after the balance sheet date.
Derivative financial instruments and hedging activities
Derivatives are initially recognised at fair value on the date a derivative contract is entered into and are subsequently remeasured at their fair value. The method of recognising any resulting gain or loss depends on whether the derivative is designated as a hedging instrument and, if so, the nature of the item being hedged.
Changes in the fair value of any derivative instruments that do not qualify for hedge accounting are recognised immediately in the income statement.
Fair value hedge
Changes in the fair values of derivatives that are designated and qualify as fair value hedges are recorded in the income statement, together with any changes in the fair values of the hedged assets or liabilities that are attributable to the hedged risk.
The effective portions of changes in the fair values of derivatives that are designated and qualify as cash-flow hedges are recognised in equity. The gain or loss relating to any ineffective portion is recognised immediately in the income statement.
Amounts accumulated in the hedge reserve are recycled in the income statement in the periods when the hedged items will affect profit or loss (for instance when the forecast sale that is hedged takes place). If a forecast transaction that is hedged results in the recognition of a non-financial asset (for example, inventory) or a liability, the gains and losses previously deferred in the hedge reserve are transferred from the reserve and included in the initial measurement of the cost of the asset or liability.
When a hedging instrument expires or is sold, or when a hedge no longer meets the criteria for hedge accounting, any cumulative gain or loss existing in the hedge reserve at that time remains in the reserve and is recognised when the forecast transaction is ultimately recognised in the income statement. When a forecast transaction is no longer expected to occur, the cumulative gain or loss that was reported in other comprehensive income is immediately transferred to the income statement.
Net investment hedge
Hedges of net investments in foreign operations are accounted for similarly to cash-flow hedges. Any gain or loss on the hedging instrument relating to the effective portion of the hedge is recognised in other comprehensive income; the gain or loss relating to any ineffective portion is recognised immediately in the income statement.
When a foreign operation is disposed of gains and losses accumulated in equity related to that operation are included in the income statement.
Fair value of financial assets and liabilities
The fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities are the amounts at which the instrument could be exchanged in a current transaction between willing parties, other than in a forced or liquidation sale.
‘IFRS 7: Financial instruments: Disclosures’ requires fair value measurements to be classified according to the following hierarchy:
- level 1 – quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities;
- level 2 – valuations in which all inputs are observable either directly (ie as prices) or indirectly (ie derived from prices); and
- level 3 – valuations in which one or more inputs are not based on observable market data.
The Group uses the following methods to estimate the fair values of its financial instruments:
- cash, trade receivables and payables and floating rate borrowings – the carrying value is a good approximation of the fair value;
- government bonds – quoted market prices (level 1);
- fixed rate borrowings – quoted market prices of equivalent instruments (level 2); and
- forward exchange contracts, currency swaps, interest rate instruments and embedded derivatives – net present value of the future cash-flows, calculated using market data at the balance sheet date (principally exchange rates and yield curves) (level 2).
Borrowings are carried on the balance sheet at amortised cost adjusted for fair value interest rate hedging. The fair value of fixed rate borrowings is only used for supplementary disclosures.
Financial guarantees are initially recognised at the fair value of the consideration received.
At each subsequent balance sheet date an estimate is made of the payments which will be required under the guarantee in accordance with ‘IAS 37: Provisions, contingent liabilities and contingent assets’. The guarantee is then valued at the higher of its initial value less revenue recognised to date and the best estimate of the total payments which will be required under the contract.
Any gains or losses on the contract are recognised in the income statement.
Dividends are recognised as a liability in the period in which they are authorised. The interim dividend is recognised when it is paid and the final dividend is recognised when it has been approved by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting.
Recent accounting developments
The following standards and interpretations have been issued by the IASB and may affect future annual reports and accounts.
- Amendment to IFRIC 14, IAS 19 – Prepayments of a minimum funding requirement
- Amendment to ‘IAS 24: Related party disclosures’
- Amendment to ‘IFRS 7: Financial instruments: Disclosures’ on derecognition
- ‘IFRS 9: Financial instruments’
- ‘IFRS 10: Consolidated financial statements’
- ‘IAS 27 (Revised 2011): Separate financial statements’
- ‘IFRS 11: Joint arrangements’
- ‘IAS 28 (Revised 2011): Associates and joint ventures’
- ‘IFRS 12: Disclosure of interests in other entities’
- ‘IFRS 13: Fair value measurement’
- ‘IAS 19: Employee benefits (revised 2011)’
A review of the impact of these standards and interpretations is being undertaken, and the impact of adopting them will be determined once this review has been completed. Based on the work completed to date, the changes are not expected to have a material impact on the Group’s reported position or performance, except for the implementation of IAS 19: Employee benefits (revised 2011). This standard, which is expected to be implemented in the year ending 31 July 2014, subject to EU approval, may then result in the recognition of a financing charge in respect of retirement benefits. For the year ended 31 July 2011, calculating the finance charge in accordance with the new requirements would have increased finance costs by £39.2m. Under the current accounting policies the Group recognises actuarial gains and losses directly in Other comprehensive income, as required by the new standard.
The accounts of the parent company, Smiths Group plc, have been prepared in accordance with UK GAAP. The Company accounts are presented in separate financial statements.
The principal subsidiaries of the parent company are listed in the above accounts.
The ultimate parent company of the Group is Smiths Group plc, a company incorporated in England and listed on the London Stock Exchange.