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Best-practice viability

Given the systemic uncertainties that currently exist, many Boards are less confident in stating that they have a reasonable expectation that the company will be able to continue in operation. However, Boards are still required to have a reasonable expectation of the company’s viability.

FTSE 100 Whitbread’s Annual Report is clear on the company’s specific circumstances and the degree of uncertainty about the future. It covers viability and risk in a single section. The viability statement notes some of the considerations that the Board has taken account of and highlights the longer-term prospects of the business. The section links through to risk and going concern.

The report was presented as a best-practice example of viability reporting in the FRC’s ‘Reporting in times of uncertainty’ paper.

Stephen Butler, Director of Stakeholder Engagement

The COVID-19 crisis and responses to it are creating unprecedented global uncertainty. Disclosure can be a powerful tool for companies to communicate how they are navigating through such uncertainty.

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