John Lewis Partnership plc annual report and accounts 2012
Directors’ report continued
environmental issues resides with the Partnership’s Director of Personnel. More detailed information on the Partnership’s CSR policies and procedures is set out in the Business Review, and copies of its published CSR reports can be found on the Partnership website, www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk.
Charitable and political donations
The Partnership donated £4,494,000 (2011: £4,695,000) for charitable purposes during the year, comprising £4,049,000 (2011: £4,170,000) for welfare causes and £445,000 (2011: £525,000) for music and arts, learning and the environment. In addition, we provided substantial financial and practical support to causes in the communities where we trade, as detailed on page 20 of the Business Review. The Partnership made no political donations.
Dividends on Preference Shares were £222,000 (2011: £222,000). Dividends on SIP shares (issued in connection with the BonusSave scheme) were £1,663,000 (2011: £1,268,000).
Purchase of shares
The Company currently has in issue 3,696,995 5% Cumulative preference shares and 500,000 7.5% Cumulative preference shares. In addition to these share classes, the company has in issue 612,000 Deferred Ordinary shares and 84,750,000 SIP shares, the latter of which are used in relation to the Partnership’s BonusSave scheme. Under the Constitution of the Partnership, the 612,000 Deferred Ordinary Shares in John Lewis Partnership plc are held in trust for the benefit of employees of John Lewis plc and of certain other companies.
There are not any voting rights attaching to the Cumulative Preference shares unless the dividend is six months in arrears or unless a resolution is proposed which directly affects the interest of these shares as a class.
At the annual general meeting held on 27 May 2011, the company was authorised to make market purchases of up to £3,696,995 nominal of the 5% Cumulative Preference Stock and up to £500,000 nominal of the 7.5% Cumulative Preference Stock representing the remaining stock in issue. No purchases were made during the year and shareholders will be invited to renew the authority at the annual general meeting, as detailed on page 86. The Board considers that these stocks are an inefficient form of fixed interest finance and that it would be advantageous to the company to acquire them over time, as suitable opportunities arise.
The directors, after reviewing the group’s operating budgets, investment plans and financing arrangements, consider that the company and the group have adequate resources to continue in operation for the foreseeable future. A full description of the group’s business activities, financial position, cash flows, liquidity position, committed facilities and borrowing position, together with the factors likely to affect its future development and performance, is set out in the Business Review and in the notes to the accounts. The company and group have, at the date of this report, sufficient financing available for their estimated requirements for the foreseeable future and, accordingly, the directors are satisfied that it is appropriate to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements.
Auditors and disclosure of information to auditors
A resolution to reappoint PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as auditors and to authorise the directors to fix their remuneration will be proposed at the annual general meeting.
The directors of the group have taken all the steps that they each ought to have taken as directors in order to make themselves aware of any information needed by the group’s auditors in connection with preparing their report and to establish that the auditors are aware of that information. So far as the directors are aware there is no such information of which the group’s auditors are unaware.
For and by Order of the Board
23 April 2012