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Accounting policies and definitions

During 2002 the Accounting Standards Board (ASB) delayed the mandatory implementation of a new accounting standard for Retirement Benefits (FRS17) in order to allow UK and international standards boards an opportunity to agree how to converge their different approaches to the recognition of actuarial gains and losses on post-retirement benefits. The group continues to provide additional information as required by FRS 17 by way of a note to the accounts. The group has exposures associated with defined benefit pension schemes and post-retirement benefits: the Miller defined benefit pension plans and post-retirement benefit plans, the ABI Pension Fund, and the South African post-retirement medical aid schemes, being the most significant. The updated valuations as at the year end, required for FRS17 disclosure purposes only, indicate a deficit on the schemes in aggregate, in excess of amounts provided in the balance sheet, of some US$201 million (2004: US$140 million), after taking account of the related deferred taxation. The group has no other significant exposures to pension and post-retirement liabilities as measured in accordance with FRS17. The changes from current UK GAAP (SSAP 24) required under FRS 17 are materially the same as those now permitted under the revised IAS 19 Employee Benefits.

In the determination and disclosure of reported sales volumes, the group aggregates the volumes of all consolidated subsidiaries and its equity-accounted associates, other than associates where primary responsibility for day-to-day management rests with others (such as Castel and Distell). In these latter cases, the financial results of operations are equity-accounted in terms of UK GAAP but volumes are excluded. Contract brewing volumes are excluded from total volumes; however turnover from contract brewing is included within group turnover.

The group has made some disclosures of its results on an organic, constant currency basis, to analyse the effects of acquisitions net of disposals and changes in exchange rates on the group’s results. Organic results exclude the first 12 months’ results of acquisitions and the last 12 months’ results of disposals. Constant currency results have been determined by translating the local currency-denominated results for the year ended 31 March 2005 at the exchange rates for the comparable period in the prior year. It is not the group’s policy to hedge foreign currency earnings and their translation is made at weighted (by monthly turnover) average rates.

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