The Directors are well aware of their duty under s172(1) of the Companies Act 2006 to act in the way which they consider, in good
faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the Company for the benefit of its stakeholders as a whole, and in doing so, to
have a regard (amongst other matters) to:
The likely consequences of any decision in the long term;
The interests of the Company’s employees;
The need to foster the Company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers, and others;
The impact of the Company’s operations on the community and the environment;
The desirability of the Company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct;
The need to act fairly towards all stakeholders of the Company.
The Board determines the strategic objectives and policies of the Company to best support the delivery of long-term value, providing overall strategic direction within an appropriate framework of controls, delegated authority, and rewards.
The Board is collectively responsible for the success of the Company. Stakeholder interests and the matters listed above are factored into Board discussion and decisions, as described below:
Principal Decisions Statement
The principal decisions noted below relate to actions taken by the Group, rather than by the Company. They are included here as they relate to subsidiaries of the Company, and as these actions strengthen the position of the subsidiaries – and thus benefit the Company as their owner.
Principal decisions taken in 2019
Stakeholder & Long-Term Considerations
The re-financing in 2019 reduced the Group’s overall cost of capital and increased its capacity for future acquisition and investment activity. The Board reviewed and debated funding options in detail and believe the chosen funding enables the Group to meet its long-term growth plans.
The Board also believes that carefully managed growth and expansion, enabled by debt will benefit all stakeholder groups:
1. Our people continue to be part of an expanding Group with opportunities for personal growth and advancement 2. Our customers benefit from increasing economies of scale and new product offerings, either from acquisition or self-funded development 3. Our shareholders benefit from the resulting increase in share value; and 4. Our suppliers from increased business with a well-funded customer.
Reduction of legal entities with the Group
The Board approved a programme to reduce the number of legal entities in the Group during 2019. This impacted Italy, Spain, and the UK. The benefits of this programme were reviewed in detail and the conclusion that the resulting simplification and reduction in cost worthy of the investment.
The impact on stakeholders was considered as part of the decision-making process and the Board believe the following benefits have ensued:
1. Harmonisation of employment terms in Italy, France and the UK benefited some of the workforce; and 2. Consolidation of purchasing, simplified our relationship with many suppliers
How the Board engages with stakeholders and summarises its obligations
Shareholder & Lenders
Our shareholders and lenders provide access to capital which is essential to deliver the Group’s strategic goals.
In 2019 the Group changed its primary debt lenders to a syndicate of three financial institutions. The Board engages formally with this syndicate through the provision of monthly financial reports, and an annual review meeting. Informal updates were also held during 2019 between the CFO and members of the syndicate.
The Board understands and is committed to adhering to the Facilities Agreement with the syndicate.
Our suppliers are critical to ensuring we can delivery a high-quality service to our customers.
The Board understands the importance of treating our suppliers fairly, adhering to contractual agreements and paying within agreed timescales. The Board expects our suppliers to maintain effective controls to protect our customers’ security and privacy of data.