the 2003 and 2002 financial years the group has reduced
its level of borrowings so that its net debt was £9.6
billion at 31 March 2003 compared with £13.7 billion
at 31 March 2002 and £27.9 billion at 31 March
2001. The debt reduction in the 2003 and 2002 financial
years was achieved by the disposal of our stake in Cegetel,
a successful rights issue in June 2001, the mmO2 demerger,
sales of investments and the Yell business and the property
sale and leaseback transaction.
directors have a reasonable expectation that the group
has adequate resources to continue in operational existence
for the foreseeable future and therefore they continue
to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial
has been no significant change in the financial or trading
position of the group since 31 March 2003.
31 March 2003, the group had cash and short-term investments
of £6,431 million. At that date, £2,548
million of debt falls due for repayment in the 2004
financial year. The group had unused short-term bank
facilities, amounting to approximately £575 million
at 31 March 2003.
31 March 2002, the group had cash and short-term investments
of £4,739 million. In addition, the group had
unused committed short-term bank facilities, amounting
to approximately £2,100 million at 31 March 2002,
in support of a commercial paper programme or other
borrowings. The group also had £461 million of
uncommitted short-term bank facilities.