Purchase of own shares

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At the last annual general meeting, shareholder authority was obtained for the company to purchase its own shares up to a maximum of 10% of the number of ordinary shares in issue on 19 May 2005 for a period ending on the earlier of the next annual general meeting or 29 October 2005, provided that certain conditions (which relate to the purchase) are met.

The notice of annual general meeting proposes that shareholders approve a resolution updating and renewing this authority.

Shares in the company may also be purchased under the conditions of the Employee Benefit Trust, details of which are provided in the report on directors’ remuneration.

The company did not repurchase any of its shares during the year.

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