BASIS OF PREPARATION

These financial statements have been prepared in accordance with applicable United Kingdom accounting standards, including Financial Reporting Standard 102 – 'The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland' ('FRS 102'), and with the Companies Act 2006. The financial statements have been prepared on the historical cost basis except for the modification to a fair value basis for certain financial instruments as specified in the accounting policies below.

This is the first year in which the financial statements have been prepared under FRS 102.  Details of how FRS 102 has affected the reported financial position and financial performance are given in note 24.

The financial statements are presented in Sterling (£).

BASIS OF CONSOLIDATION

The group financial statements consolidate the financial statements of PA Group Limited and all its subsidiary undertakings drawn up to 31 December each year. 

The parent company has taken advantage of section 408 of the Companies Act 2006 and has not included its own Profit and Loss Account in these financial statements. The parent company's profit for the year was £17,781,000 (2014: £20,981,000). 

The individual accounts of FRS 102 Limited have also adopted the following disclosure exemptions:

a) the requirement to present a statement of cash flows and related notes 

b) financial instrument disclosures, including: 

  • categories of financial instruments 

  • items of income, expenses, gains or losses relating to financial instruments

  • exposure to and management of financial risks.

JUDGEMENTS AND KEY SOURCES OF ESTIMATION UNCERTAINTY

The preparation of the financial statements requires management to make judgements, estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported. These estimates and judgements are continually reviewed and are based on experience and other factors, including expectations of future events that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. 

Revisions to accounting judgements and estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised and in any future periods affected.

The provisions held at 31 December 2015 include potential dilapidations charges on property and an onerous contract. The directors have calculated the provision using expected completion costs at the year end as per discussions with the relevant parties.  It is anticipated that these provisions will be fully utilised by the end of 2016.

The Directors can demonstrate that continuing to amortise some elements of goodwill over 20 years is a consistent and prudent approach and have continued to do so.

GOING CONCERN

After reviewing the group's forecasts and projections, the directors have a reasonable expectation that the group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future. The group therefore continues to adopt the going concern basis in preparing its consolidated financial statements.

GOODWILL

Goodwill arising on consolidation represents the excess of the fair value of consideration paid over the fair value of the identifiable net assets acquired and is amortised through the profit and loss account over its useful economic life. 

The Directors have assessed the estimated useful economic life of goodwill to be between 3 and 20 years, based upon their assessment of durability of the underlying business. The Directors review the level of goodwill for impairment at the end of the first full financial year following acquisition and in other periods if events or changes in circumstance indicate that the carrying value may not be recovered.

TANGIBLE FIXED ASSETS

Tangible fixed assets are stated at cost of acquisition less accumulated depreciation. 

The cost of tangible fixed assets includes the original purchase price of the asset and the costs attributable to bringing the asset to its working condition for its intended use.

Depreciation of tangible fixed assets is provided, from the date assets are acquired, on a straight-line basis calculated to write off the cost of each asset over the term of its useful life, at the following rates:

  • Freehold property                                          2%

  • Long leasehold property                                lease period

  • Computers and other office equipment         5% - 50%

Freehold land is not depreciated.


FIXED ASSET INVESTMENTS

Investments comprise investments in unquoted equity instruments or cash in escrow which are measured at fair value. Changes in fair value are recognised in profit or loss. Fair value is estimated by using a valuation technique.

a) Subsidiaries
The consolidated financial statements incorporate the financial statements of the company and entities (including special purpose entities) controlled by the group (its subsidiaries). Control is achieved where the group 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 total comprehensive income from the effective date of acquisition and up to the effective date of disposal, as appropriate using accounting policies consistent with those of the parent. All intra-group transactions, balances, income and expenses are eliminated in full on consolidation.

Investments in subsidiaries are accounted for at cost less impairment in the individual financial statements.

b) Restricted funds
Fixed asset investments include cash held by the Group and Company in escrow to meet potential future pension liabilities. The funds are not accessible by the Group without Trustee approval.

The Company operates one defined benefit scheme in the UK, namely the Press Association Pension Fund (1992).  As at each triennial valuation, by Lane Clark & Peacock Actuaries, on-going funding contributions are agreed. At the latest valuation, £2m per annum until 2024 was agreed with the Trustees of the fund. 

The Group has agreed a long term plan with the trustees to provide certainty for the group in terms of annual funding requirement and is targeting a full buyout over time to remove all liabilities from the Group.

IMPAIRMENT OF ASSETS

At each reporting date fixed assets are reviewed to determine whether there is any indication that those assets have suffered an impairment loss. If there is an indication of possible impairment, the recoverable amount of any affected asset is estimated and compared with its carrying amount. If estimated recoverable amount is lower, the carrying amount is reduced to its estimated recoverable amount, and an impairment loss is recognised immediately in profit or loss. 

If an impairment loss subsequently reverses, the carry amount of the asset is increased to the revised estimate of its recoverable amount, but not in excess of the amount that would have been determined had no impairment loss been recognised for the asset in prior years. A reversal of an impairment loss is recognised immediately in profit or loss. 

DEBTORS

Short term debtors are measured at transaction price, less any impairment. Loans receivable are measured initially at fair value, net of transaction costs, and are measured subsequently at amortised cost using the effective interest method, less any impairment. 

CREDITORS

Short term trade creditors are measured at the transaction price. Other financial liabilities are measured initially at fair value, net of transaction costs, and are measured subsequently at amortised cost using the effective interest method. 

LEASING

Leases are classified as finance leases whenever the terms of the lease transfer substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of the leased asset to the group. All other leases are classified as operating leases.

Assets held under finance leases are recognised initially at the fair value of the leased asset (or, if lower, the present value of minimum lease payments) at the inception of the lease. The corresponding liability to the lessor is included in the statement of financial position as a finance lease obligation. Lease payments are apportioned between finance charges and reduction of the lease obligation using the effective interest method so as to achieve a constant rate of interest on the remaining balance of the liability. Finance charges are deducted in measuring profit or loss. Assets held under finance leases are included in tangible fixed assets and depreciated and assessed for impairment losses in the same way as owned assets.

Rentals payable under operating leases are charged to profit or loss on a straight-line basis over the lease term, unless the rental payments are structured to increase in line with expected general inflation, in which case the group recognises annual rent expense equal to amounts owed to the lessor.

PROVISIONS

Provisions are recognised when the group has a present obligation (legal or constructive) as a result of a past event, it is probable that the group will be required to settle the obligation, and a reliable estimate can be made of the amount of the obligation. 

The amount recognised as a provision is the best estimate of the consideration required to settle the present obligation at the end of the reporting period, taking into account the risks and uncertainties surrounding the obligation. 

Where the effect of the time value of money is material, the amount expected to be required to settle the obligation is recognised at present value using a pre-tax discount rate. The unwinding of the discount is recognised as a finance cost in profit or loss in the period it arises. 

TAX

Current tax is recognised for the amount of income tax payable in respect of the taxable profit for the current or past reporting periods using the tax rates and laws that that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the reporting date.

Deferred tax is recognised in respect of all timing differences at the reporting date, except as otherwise indicated.

Deferred tax assets are only recognised to the extent that it is probable that they will be recovered against the reversal of deferred tax liabilities or other future taxable profits.

If and when all conditions for retaining tax allowances for the cost of a fixed asset have been met, the deferred tax is reversed.

Deferred tax is recognised when income or expenses from a subsidiary or associate have been recognised, and will be assessed for tax in a future period, except where:

  • the group is able to control the reversal of the timing difference

  • it is probable that the timing difference will not reverse in the foreseeable future.

A deferred tax liability or asset is recognised for the additional tax that will be paid or avoided in respect of assets and liabilities that are recognised in a business combination. The amount attributed to goodwill is adjusted by the amount of deferred tax recognised.

Deferred tax is calculated using the tax rates and laws that that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the reporting date that are expected to apply to the reversal of the timing difference.

With the exception of changes arising on the initial recognition of a business combination, the tax expense (income) is presented either in profit or loss, other comprehensive income or equity depending on the transaction that resulted in the tax expense (income).

Deferred tax liabilities are presented within provisions for liabilities and deferred tax assets within debtors. Deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are offset only if:

  • the group has a legally enforceable right to set off current tax assets against current tax liabilities, and

  • the deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities relate to income taxes levied by the same taxation authority on either the same taxable entity or different taxable entities which intend either to settle current tax liabilities and assets on a net basis, or to realise the assets and settle the liabilities simultaneously.

TURNOVER

Turnover comprises invoiced revenue and subscriptions net of value added tax arising on the sales of:

  • News and information services

  • Photo syndication and other picture services

Revenue is recognised as services are provided to customers or over the life of the individual project.

Revenue from the rendering of services is measured by reference to the stage of completion of the service transaction at the end of the reporting period provided that the outcome can be reliably estimated. When the outcome cannot be reliably estimated, revenue is recognised only to the extent that expenses recognised are recoverable.

FOREIGN CURRENCIES

Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency are translated into sterling at the exchange rates ruling at the end of the financial period. Exchange differences arising from the restatement of the net investment in overseas joint ventures are taken directly to reserves. The trading results of overseas joint ventures and subsidiaries are translated into sterling using the average exchange rate for the period and the difference in relation to closing rates is taken directly to reserves. All other currency differences are dealt with in the profit and loss account.

DIVIDENDS

Dividends are recognised in the profit and loss reserve in the period in which they are paid.

PENSIONS

The Group operates a defined benefit scheme which has now been closed to future accrual, under which contributions are paid by Group companies and employees to provide pension and other benefits expressed in terms of percentage of pensionable salary. The amounts charged to operating profit, as part of staff costs, are the current service costs and gains and losses on settlements and curtailments. Past service costs are recognised immediately in the profit and loss account if the benefits have vested. If the benefits have not vested, the costs are recognised over the period until vesting occurs. The interest cost and the expected return on assets are shown as a net amount of other finance costs or credits adjacent to interest. Actuarial gains and losses are recognised immediately in the statement of total recognised gains and losses. Pension scheme assets are measured at fair value and liabilities are measured on an actuarial basis using the projected unit method and discounted at a rate equivalent to the current rate of return on a high quality corporate bond of equivalent currency and term to the scheme liabilities. 

The resulting defined benefit asset or liability, net of related deferred taxation, is presented separately after other net assets on the face of the balance sheet. 

The Group operates two defined contribution schemes, one for staff who previously participated in the defined benefit scheme and the second for staff who did not previously participate in the defined benefit scheme. For these defined contribution schemes, the amounts charged to the profit and loss account are the contributions payable in the period.