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Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

26. Share capital and share premium

Number
of shares
000s
Ordinary
shares
m
Share
premium
m
At 1 January 2006 804,020 201 2,477
Issue of ordinary shares – share option schemes 2,089 1 10
At 31 December 2006 806,109 202 2,487
Issue of ordinary shares – share option schemes 1,919 12
At 31 December 2007 808,028 202 2,499

The total authorised number of ordinary shares is 1,194m shares (2006: 1,190m shares) with a par value of 25p per share (2006: 25p per share). All issued shares are fully paid. All shares have the same rights.

The Group manages its capital to ensure that entities in the Group will be able to continue as a going concern while maximising the return to shareholders through the optimisation of the debt and equity balance.

The capital structure of the Group consists of debt (see note 21), cash and cash equivalents (see note 20) and equity attributable to equity holders of the parent, comprising issued capital, reserves and retained earnings (see notes 26, 27 and 28).

The Group reviews its capital structure on a regular basis and will balance its overall capital structure through payments of dividends, new share issues as well as the issue of new debt or the redemption of existing debt in line with the financial risk policies outlined in the Business Review.

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