Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements
- 1. Basis of preparation
- 2. Significant accounting policies
- 3. Segment analysis
- 4. Operating profit/(loss)
- 5. Investment income and financing costs
2. Significant accounting policies
The Consolidated Financial Statements are prepared on a historical cost basis except for certain financial and equity instruments that have been measured at fair value.
Basis of consolidation
The Consolidated Financial Statements incorporate the financial statements of the Company and entities controlled, both unilaterally and jointly, by the Company.
Accounting for subsidiaries
A subsidiary is an entity controlled by the Company. Control is achieved where the Company has the power to govern the financial and operating policies of an entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities.
The results of subsidiaries acquired or disposed of during the year are included in the income statement from the effective date of acquisition or up to the effective date of disposal, as appropriate. Where necessary, adjustments are made to the financial statements of subsidiaries to bring their accounting policies into line with those used by the Group.
All intra-group transactions, balances, income and expenses are eliminated on consolidation.
Minority interests in the net assets of consolidated subsidiaries are identified separately from the Group’s equity therein. Minority interests consist of the amount of those interests at the date of the original business combination and the minority’s share of changes in equity since the date of the combination. Losses applicable to the minority in excess of the minority’s share of changes in equity are allocated against the interests of the Group except to the extent that the minority has a binding obligation and is able to make an additional investment to cover the losses.
The acquisition of subsidiaries is accounted for using the purchase method. The cost of the acquisition is measured at the aggregate of the fair values, at the date of exchange, of assets given, liabilities incurred or assumed, and equity instruments issued by the Group in exchange for control of the acquiree, plus any costs directly attributable to the business combination. The acquiree’s identifiable assets and liabilities are recognised at their fair values at the acquisition date.
Goodwill arising on acquisition is recognised as an asset and initially measured at cost, being the excess of the cost of the business combination over the Group’s interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities recognised.
The interest of minority shareholders in the acquiree is initially measured at the minority’s proportion of the net fair value of the assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities recognised.
Previously held identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities of the acquired entity are revalued to their fair value at the date of acquisition, being the date at which the Group achieves control of the acquiree. The movement in fair value is taken to the asset revaluation surplus.
Interests in joint ventures
A joint venture is a contractual arrangement whereby the Group and other parties undertake an economic activity that is subject to joint control; that is, when the strategic financial and operating policy decisions relating to the activities require the unanimous consent of the parties sharing control.
The Group reports its interests in jointly controlled entities using proportionate consolidation. The Group’s share of the assets, liabilities, income, expenses and cash flows of jointly controlled entities are combined with the equivalent items in the results on a line-by-line basis.
Any goodwill arising on the acquisition of the Group’s interest in a jointly controlled entity is accounted for in accordance with the Group’s accounting policy for goodwill arising on the acquisition of a subsidiary.
Investments in associates
An associate is an entity over which the Group has significant influence and that is neither a subsidiary nor an interest in a joint venture. Significant influence is the power to participate in the financial and operating policy decisions of the investee but is not control or joint control over those policies.
The results and assets and liabilities of associates are incorporated in the Consolidated Financial Statements using the equity method of accounting. Under the equity method, investments in associates are carried in the consolidated balance sheet at cost as adjusted for post-acquisition changes in the Group’s share of the net assets of the associate, less any impairment in the value of the investment. Losses of an associate in excess of the Group’s interest in that associate are not recognised. Additional losses are provided for, and a liability is recognised, only to the extent that the Group has incurred legal or constructive obligations or made payments on behalf of the associate.
Any excess of the cost of acquisition over the Group’s share of the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities of the associate recognised at the date of acquisition is recognised as goodwill. The goodwill is included within the carrying amount of the investment.
The licences of the Group’s associated undertaking in the US, Verizon Wireless, are indefinite lived assets as they are subject to perfunctory renewal. Accordingly, they are not subject to amortisation but are tested annually for impairment, or when indicators exist that the carrying value is not recoverable.
Goodwill arising on the acquisition of an entity represents the excess of the cost of acquisition over the Group’s interest in the net fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities of the entity recognised at the date of acquisition.
Goodwill is initially recognised as an asset at cost and is subsequently measured at cost less any accumulated impairment losses. Goodwill is held in the currency of the acquired entity and revalued to the closing rate at each balance sheet date.
Goodwill is not subject to amortisation but is tested for impairment.
Negative goodwill arising on an acquisition is recognised directly in the income statement.
On disposal of a subsidiary or a jointly controlled entity, the attributable amount of goodwill is included in the determination of the profit or loss recognised in the income statement on disposal.
Goodwill arising before the date of transition to IFRS, on 1 April 2004, has been retained at the previous UK GAAP amounts, subject to being tested for impairment at that date. Goodwill written off to reserves under UK GAAP prior to 1998 has not been reinstated and is not included in determining any subsequent profit or loss on disposal.
Licence and spectrum fees
Licence and spectrum fees are stated at cost less accumulated amortisation. The amortisation periods range from 3 to 25 years and are determined primarily by reference to the unexpired licence period, the conditions for licence renewal and whether licences are dependent on specific technologies. Amortisation is charged to the income statement on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives from the commencement of service of the network.
Computer software licences are capitalised on the basis of the costs incurred to acquire and bring into use the specific software. These costs are amortised over their estimated useful lives, being 3 to 5 years.
Costs that are directly associated with the production of identifiable and unique software products controlled by the Group, and that are expected to generate economic benefits exceeding costs beyond one year, are recognised as intangible assets. Direct costs include software development employee costs and directly attributable overheads.
Software integral to a related item of hardware equipment is accounted for as property, plant and equipment.
Costs associated with maintaining computer software programs are recognised as an expense when they are incurred.
Research and development expenditure
Expenditure on research activities is recognised as an expense in the period in which it is incurred.
An internally-generated intangible asset arising from the Group’s development activity is recognised only if all of the following conditions are met:
- an asset is created that can be separately identified;
- it is probable that the asset created will generate future economic benefits; and
- the development cost of the asset can be measured reliably.
Internally-generated intangible assets are amortised on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives. Where no internally-generated intangible asset can be recognised, development expenditure is charged to the income statement in the period in which it is incurred.
Other intangible assets
Other intangible assets with finite lives are stated at cost less accumulated amortisation and impairment losses. Amortisation is charged to the income statement on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of intangible assets from the date they are available for use. The estimated useful lives are as follows:
Brands 1 – 10 years
Customer bases 2 – 5 years
Property, plant and equipment
Land and buildings held for use are stated in the balance sheet at their cost, less any subsequent accumulated depreciation and subsequent accumulated impairment losses.
Equipment, fixtures and fittings are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and any accumulated impairment losses.
Assets in the course of construction are carried at cost, less any recognised impairment loss. Depreciation of these assets commences when the assets are ready for their intended use.
The cost of property, plant and equipment includes directly attributable incremental costs incurred in their acquisition and installation.
Depreciation is charged so as to write off the cost or valuation of assets, other than land and properties under construction, using the straight-line method, over their estimated useful lives, as follows:
Freehold buildings 25 – 50 years
Leasehold premises the term of the lease
Equipment, fixtures and fittings:
- Network infrastructure 3 – 25 years
- Other 3 – 10 years
Depreciation is not provided on freehold land.
Assets held under finance leases are depreciated over their expected useful lives on the same basis as owned assets or, where shorter, the term of the relevant lease.
The gain or loss arising on the disposal or retirement of an item of property, plant and equipment is determined as the difference between the sales proceeds and the carrying amount of the asset and is recognised in the income statement.
Impairment of assets
Goodwill is not subject to amortisation but is tested for impairment annually or whenever there is an indication that the asset may be impaired.
For the purpose of impairment testing, assets are grouped at the lowest levels for which there are separately identifiable cash flows, known as cash-generating units. If the recoverable amount of the cash-generating unit is less than the carrying amount of the unit, the impairment loss is allocated first to reduce the carrying amount of any goodwill allocated to the unit and then to the other assets of the unit pro-rata on the basis of the carrying amount of each asset in the unit. Impairment losses recognised for goodwill are not reversed in a subsequent period.
Recoverable amount is the higher of fair value less costs to sell and value in use. In assessing value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset for which the estimates of future cash flows have not been adjusted.
The Group prepares and internally approves formal ten year management plans for its businesses. The first five years of these plans are used for the value in use calculations, except in markets which are forecast to grow ahead of the long term growth rate. In such cases, the ten year plan is used until the forecast growth rate trends towards the long term growth rate, up to a maximum of ten years. Long range growth rates are used for cash flows into perpetuity beyond the relevant five or ten year period.
Property, plant and equipment and finite lived intangible assets
At each balance sheet date, the Group reviews the carrying amounts of its property, plant and equipment and finite lived intangible assets to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have suffered an impairment loss. If any such indication exists, the recoverable amount of the asset is estimated in order to determine the extent, if any, of the impairment loss. Where it is not possible to estimate the recoverable amount of an individual asset, the Group estimates the recoverable amount of the cash-generating unit to which the asset belongs.
If the recoverable amount of an asset or cash-generating unit is estimated to be less than its carrying amount, the carrying amount of the asset or cash-generating unit is reduced to its recoverable amount. An impairment loss is recognised immediately in the income statement.
Where an impairment loss subsequently reverses, the carrying amount of the asset or cash-generating unit is increased to the revised estimate of its recoverable amount, not to exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined had no impairment loss been recognised for the asset or cash-generating unit in prior years. A reversal of an impairment loss is recognised immediately in the income statement.
Disposal groups held for sale
Disposal groups held for sale are stated at the lower of carrying value and fair value less costs to sell.
Group revenue comprises revenue of the Company and its subsidiary undertakings plus the Group’s share of the revenue of its joint ventures and excludes sales taxes and discounts.
Revenue from mobile telecommunications comprises amounts charged to customers in respect of monthly access charges, airtime usage, messaging, the provision of other mobile telecommunications services, including data services and information provision, fees for connecting users of other fixed line and mobile networks to the Group’s network, revenue from the sale of equipment, including handsets, and revenue arising from partner market agreements.
Access charges and airtime used by contract customers are invoiced and recorded as part of a periodic billing cycle and recognised as revenue over the related access period, with unbilled revenue resulting from services already provided from the billing cycle date to the end of each period accrued and unearned revenue from services provided in periods after each accounting period deferred. Revenue from the sale of prepaid credit is deferred until such time as the customer uses the airtime, or the credit expires.
Other revenue from mobile telecommunications primarily comprises equipment sales, which are recognised upon delivery to customers, and customer connection revenue. Customer connection revenue is recognised together with the related equipment revenue to the extent that the aggregate equipment and connection revenue does not exceed the fair value of the equipment delivered to the customer. Any customer connection revenue not recognised together with related equipment revenue is deferred and recognised over the period in which services are expected to be provided to the customer.
Revenue from data services and information provision is recognised when the Group has performed the related service and, depending on the nature of the service, is recognised either at the gross amount billed to the customer or the amount receivable by the Group as commission for facilitating the service.
Incentives are provided to customers in various forms and are usually offered on signing a new contract or as part of a promotional offering. Where such incentives are provided on connection of a new customer or the upgrade of an existing customer, revenue representing the fair value of the incentive, relative to other deliverables provided to the customer as part of the same arrangement, is deferred and recognised in line with the Group’s performance of its obligations relating to the incentive.
For equipment sales made to intermediaries, revenue is recognised if the significant risks associated with the equipment are transferred to the intermediary and the intermediary has no general right of return. If the significant risks are not transferred, revenue recognition is deferred until sale of the handset to an end customer by the intermediary or the expiry of the right of return.
Intermediaries are incentivised by the Group to connect new customers and upgrade existing customers. Where such incentives are separable from the initial sale of equipment to an intermediary, the incentive is accounted for as an expense upon connection, or upgrade, of the customer.
Revenue from other businesses primarily comprises amounts charged to customers of the Group’s fixed line businesses, mainly in respect of access charges and line usage, invoiced and recorded as part of a periodic billing cycle.
In revenue arrangements including more than one deliverable, the arrangement consideration is allocated to each deliverable based on the fair value of the individual element. The Group generally determines the fair value of individual elements based on prices at which the deliverable is regularly sold on a standalone basis, after considering volume discounts where appropriate.
Inventory is stated at the lower of cost and net realisable value. Cost is determined on the basis of weighted average costs and comprises direct materials and, where applicable, direct labour costs and those overheads that have been incurred in bringing the inventories to their present location and condition.
Leases are classified as finance leases whenever the terms of the lease transfer substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of the asset to the lessee. All other leases are classified as operating leases.
Assets held under finance leases are recognised as assets of the Group at their fair value at the inception of the lease or, if lower, at the present value of the minimum lease payments as determined at the inception of the lease. The corresponding liability to the lessor is included in the balance sheet as a finance lease obligation. Lease payments are apportioned between finance charges and reduction of the lease obligation so as to achieve a constant rate of interest on the remaining balance of the liability. Finance charges are recognised in the income statement.
Rentals payable under operating leases are charged to the income statement on a straight line basis over the term of the relevant lease. Benefits received and receivable as an incentive to enter into an operating lease are also spread on a straight line basis over the lease term.
In preparing the financial statements of the individual entities within the Group, transactions in currencies other than the entity’s functional currency are recorded at the rates of exchange prevailing on the dates of the transactions. At each balance sheet date, monetary items denominated in foreign currencies are retranslated at the rates prevailing on the balance sheet date. Non-monetary items carried at fair value that are denominated in foreign currencies are retranslated at the rate prevailing on the date when fair value was determined. Non-monetary items that are measured in terms of historical cost in a foreign currency are not retranslated.
Changes in the fair value of monetary securities denominated in foreign currency classified as available for sale are analysed between translation differences and other changes in the carrying amount of the security. Translation differences are recognised in the income statement and other changes in carrying amount are recognised in equity.
Translation differences on non-monetary financial assets and liabilities are reported as part of the fair value gain or loss. Translation differences on non-monetary financial assets, such as investments in equity securities classified as available for sale, are included in equity.
For the purpose of presenting Consolidated Financial Statements, the assets and liabilities of entities with a functional currency other than sterling are expressed in sterling using exchange rates prevailing on the balance sheet date. Income and expense items and cash flows are translated at the average exchange rates for the period and exchange differences arising are recognised directly in equity. Such translation differences are recognised in the income statement in the period in which a foreign operation is disposed of.
Goodwill and fair value adjustments arising on the acquisition of a foreign operation are treated as assets and liabilities of the foreign operation and translated accordingly.
In respect of all foreign operations, any exchange differences that have arisen before 1 April 2004, the date of transition to IFRS, are deemed to be nil and will be excluded from the determination of any subsequent profit or loss on disposal.
The net foreign exchange gains recognised in the Consolidated Income Statement for continuing operations is £373 million (2007: £92 million loss, 2006: £36 million loss). A loss of £794 million was recognised in the 2007 financial year for discontinued operations.
All borrowing costs are recognised in the income statement in the period in which they are incurred.
Post employment benefits
For defined benefit retirement plans, the difference between the fair value of the plan assets and the present value of the plan liabilities is recognised as an asset or liability on the balance sheet. Scheme liabilities are assessed using the projected unit funding method and applying the principal actuarial assumptions as at the balance sheet date. Assets are valued at market value.
During the year ended 31 March 2006, the Group early adopted the amendment to IAS 19, “Employee Benefits”, and applied it from 1 April 2004. Accordingly, actuarial gains and losses are taken to the statement of recognised income and expense as incurred. For this purpose, actuarial gains and losses comprise both the effects of changes in actuarial assumptions and experience adjustments arising because of differences between the previous actuarial assumptions and what has actually occurred.
Other movements in the net surplus or deficit are recognised in the income statement, including the current service cost, any past service cost and the effect of any curtailment or settlements. The interest cost less the expected return on assets is also charged to the income statement. The amount charged to the income statement in respect of these plans is included within operating costs or in the Group’s share of the results of equity accounted operations as appropriate.
The Group’s contributions to defined contribution pension plans are charged to the income statement as they fall due.
Cumulative actuarial gains and losses as at 1 April 2004, the date of transition to IFRS, have been recognised in the balance sheet.
Income tax expense represents the sum of the current tax payable and deferred tax.
Current tax payable or recoverable is based on taxable profit for the year. Taxable profit differs from profit as reported in the income statement because some items of income or expense are taxable or deductible in different years or may never be taxable or deductible. The Group’s liability for current tax is calculated using UK and foreign tax rates and laws that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the balance sheet date.
Deferred tax is the tax expected to be payable or recoverable in the future arising from temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities in the financial statements and the corresponding tax bases used in the computation of taxable profit. It is accounted for using the balance sheet liability method. Deferred tax liabilities are generally recognised for all taxable temporary differences and deferred tax assets are recognised to the extent that it is probable that taxable profits will be available against which deductible temporary differences can be utilised. Such assets and liabilities are not recognised if the temporary difference arises from the initial recognition (other than in a business combination) of assets and liabilities in a transaction that affects neither the taxable profit nor the accounting profit. Deferred tax liabilities are not recognised to the extent they arise from the initial recognition of goodwill.
Deferred tax liabilities are recognised for taxable temporary differences arising on investments in subsidiaries and associates, and interests in joint ventures, except where the Group is able to control the reversal of the temporary difference and it is probable that the temporary difference will not reverse in the foreseeable future.
The carrying amount of deferred tax assets is reviewed at each balance sheet date and adjusted to reflect changes in probability that sufficient taxable profits will be available to allow all or part of the asset to be recovered.
Deferred tax is calculated at the tax rates that are expected to apply in the period when the liability is settled or the asset realised, based on tax rates that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the balance sheet date.
Tax assets and liabilities are offset when there is a legally enforceable right to set off current tax assets against current tax liabilities and when they either relate to income taxes levied by the same taxation authority on either the same taxable entity or on different taxable entities which intend to settle the current tax assets and liabilities on a net basis.
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 recognised directly in equity.
Financial assets and financial liabilities, in respect of financial instruments, are recognised on the Group’s balance sheet when the Group becomes a party to the contractual provisions of the instrument.
The Group has applied the requirements of IFRS to financial instruments for all periods presented and has not taken advantage of any exemptions available to first time adopters of IFRS in this respect. During the year ended 31 March 2006, the Group early adopted IFRS 7, “Financial Instruments: Disclosures”, amendments to IAS 39, “Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement” and IFRS 4, “Insurance Contracts”, regarding “Financial Guarantee Contracts” and amendments to IAS 39 regarding “The Fair Value Option” and “Cash Flow Hedge Accounting of Forecast Intragroup Transactions” and applied them from 1 April 2004.
Trade receivables do not carry any interest and are stated at their nominal value as reduced by appropriate allowances for estimated irrecoverable amounts. Estimated irrecoverable amounts are based on the ageing of the receivable balances and historical experience. Individual trade receivables are written off when management deems them not to be collectible.
Other investments are recognised and derecognised on a trade date where a purchase or sale of an investment is under a contract whose terms require delivery of the investment within the timeframe established by the market concerned, and are initially measured at cost, including transaction costs.
Other investments classified held for trading and available-for-sale are stated at fair value. Where securities are held for trading purposes, gains and losses arising from changes in fair value are included in net profit or loss for the period. For available-for-sale investments, gains and losses arising from changes in fair value are recognised directly in equity, until the security is disposed of or is determined to be impaired, at which time the cumulative gain or loss previously recognised in equity, determined using the weighted average costs method, is included in the net profit or loss for the period.
Other investments classified as loans and receivables are stated at amortised cost using the effective interest method, less any impairment.
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash on hand and call deposits, and other short term highly liquid investments that are readily convertible to a known amount of cash and are subject to an insignificant risk of changes in value.
Trade payables are not interest bearing and are stated at their nominal value.
Financial liabilities and equity instruments
Financial liabilities and equity instruments issued by the Group are classified according to the substance of the contractual arrangements entered into and the definitions of a financial liability and an equity instrument. An equity instrument is any contract that evidences a residual interest in the assets of the Group after deducting all of its liabilities and includes no obligation to deliver cash or other financial assets. The accounting policies adopted for specific financial liabilities and equity instruments are set out below.
Capital market and bank borrowings
Interest bearing loans and overdrafts are initially measured at fair value (which is equal to cost at inception), and are subsequently measured at amortised cost, using the effective interest rate method, except where they are identified as a hedged item in a fair value hedge. Any difference between the proceeds net of transaction costs and the settlement or redemption of borrowings is recognised over the term of the borrowing.
Equity instruments issued by the Group are recorded at the proceeds received, net of direct issue costs.
Derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting
The Group’s activities expose it to the financial risks of changes in foreign exchange rates and interest rates.
The use of financial derivatives is governed by the Group’s policies approved by the Board of directors, which provide written principles on the use of financial derivatives consistent with the Group’s risk management strategy. Changes in values of all derivatives of a financing nature are included within investment income and financing costs in the income statement. The Group does not use derivative financial instruments for speculative purposes.
Derivative financial instruments are initially measured at fair value on the contract date and are subsequently re-measured to fair value at each reporting date. The Group designates certain derivatives as either:
- hedges of the change of fair value of recognised assets and liabilities (“fair value hedges”); or
- hedges of net investments in foreign operations.
Hedge accounting is discontinued when the hedging instrument expires or is sold, terminated, or exercised, or no longer qualifies for hedge accounting.
Fair value hedges
The Group’s policy is to use derivative instruments (primarily interest rate swaps) to convert a proportion of its fixed rate debt to floating rates in order to hedge the interest rate risk arising, principally, from capital market borrowings. The Group designates these as fair value hedges of interest rate risk with changes in fair value of the hedging instrument recognised in the income statement for the period together with the changes in the fair value of the hedged item due to the hedged risk, to the extent the hedge is effective. The ineffective portion is recognised immediately in the income statement.
Net investment hedges
Exchange differences arising from the translation of the net investment in foreign operations are recognised directly in equity. Gains and losses on those hedging instruments (which include bonds, commercial paper and foreign exchange contracts) designated as hedges of the net investments in foreign operations are recognised in equity to the extent that the hedging relationship is effective. These amounts are included in exchange differences on translation of foreign operations as stated in the statement of recognised income and expense. Gains and losses relating to hedge ineffectiveness are recognised immediately in the income statement for the period. Gains and losses accumulated in the translation reserve are included in the income statement when the foreign operation is disposed of. During the year ended 31 March 2006, the Group adopted the Amendments to IAS 21, “The Effect of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates”, with effect from 1 April 2004, being the date of transition to IFRS for the Group.
Put option arrangements
The potential cash payments related to put options issued by the Group over the equity of subsidiary companies are accounted for as financial liabilities when such options may only be settled other than by exchange of a fixed amount of cash or another financial asset for a fixed number of shares in the subsidiary.
The amount that may become payable under the option on exercise is initially recognised at fair value within borrowings with a corresponding charge directly to equity. The charge to equity is recognised separately as written put options over minority interests, adjacent to minority interests in the net assets of consolidated subsidiaries. The Group recognises the cost of writing such put options, determined as the excess of the fair value of the option over any consideration received, as a financing cost.
Such options are subsequently measured at amortised cost, using the effective interest rate method, in order to accrete the liability up to the amount payable under the option at the date at which it first becomes exercisable. The charge arising is recorded as a financing cost. In the event that the option expires unexercised, the liability is derecognised with a corresponding adjustment to equity.
Provisions are recognised when the Group has a present obligation as a result of a past event and it is probable that the Group will be required to settle that obligation. Provisions are measured at the directors’ best estimate of the expenditure required to settle the obligation at the balance sheet date and are discounted to present value where the effect is material.
The Group issues equity-settled share-based payments to certain employees. Equity-settled share-based payments are measured at fair value (excluding the effect of non market-based vesting conditions) 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, based on the Group’s estimate of the shares that will eventually vest and adjusted for the effect of non market-based vesting conditions.
Fair value is measured using a binomial pricing model, being a lattice-based option valuation model, which is calibrated using a Black-Scholes framework. The expected life used in the model has been adjusted, based on management’s best estimate, for the effects of non-transferability, exercise restrictions and behavioural considerations.
The Group uses historical data to estimate option exercise and employee termination within the valuation model; separate groups of employees that have similar historical exercise behaviour are considered separately for valuation purposes. The expected life of options granted is derived from the output of the option valuation model and represents the period of time that options are expected to be outstanding. Expected volatilities are based on implied volatilities as determined by a simple average of no less than three international banks, excluding the highest and lowest numbers. The risk-free rates for periods within the contractual life of the option are based on the UK gilt yield curve in effect at the time of grant.
Some share awards have an attached market condition, based on Total Shareholder Return (“TSR”), which is taken into account when calculating the fair value of the share awards. The valuation for the TSR is based on Vodafone’s ranking within the same group of companies, where possible, over the past five years. The volatility of the ranking over a three year period is used to determine the probable weighted percentage number of shares that could be expected to vest and hence affect fair value.
The fair value of awards of non-vested shares to the Board of directors and Executive Committee is equal to the closing price of the Vodafone’s shares on the date of grant, as these awards are entitled to dividend equivalents during the vesting period. Awards of non-vested shares to other employees are not entitled to dividends during the vesting period and the fair value reflects a discount to the closing share price of Vodafone’s shares on the date of grant equal to the present value of expected dividends to be received over the vesting period.