On behalf of the Board I am pleased to present Dechra's Corporate Governance Report for the year ended 30 June 2015.
In 2015, we have concentrated on executing our key strategies. Good progress has been made with our focused promotion of existing key products, demonstrated by the strong growth in the majority of our EU markets, and in North America in particular. We have also pushed ahead with the geographic expansion of the business, opening new subsidiaries in Canada and Poland.
Our approach to governance is informed by our belief that good governance enhances longer term shareholder value.
We aim to embed good corporate governance principles in all our policies. We encourage the Senior Executive Team (SET) and managers to suggest improvements to help ensure that we operate at a consistently high level of compliance.
This report explains the Company's governance framework and provides an overview of how the main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code (the Code) have been applied.
There were no changes in the membership at Board level or Committees during the year.
As reported to shareholders last year, my tenure as Chairman will end at the conclusion of the 2016 Annual General Meeting. The search for my successor is being overseen by Ishbel Macpherson, the Senior Independent Director.
The Board considered in September 2014 the report of an external evaluator of Board effectiveness and the details of how we have responded are reported within the Corporate Governance Report.
The risk assessment framework across the Group is a key focus of the Board and the SET. The recent appointment of a Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management will strengthen the capacity of the Board and SET to embed the appropriate risk culture across the Group and obtain independent assurance on risk and control processes. Further detail may be found in the Audit Committee Report. We also agreed the terms of reference for the SET to provide a greater focus for their activities as a leadership team.
The Code requires that the Directors explain their responsibility for preparing the Annual Report and Accounts and confirm that they consider, taken as a whole, it is fair, balanced and understandable and provides the information necessary for shareholders to assess the performance, strategy and business model of the Group. The Audit Committee has been asked to assist in reviewing the process undertaken by management. Further detail in relation to this is included in the Audit Committee Report. Following assurance from the Audit Committee, the Board gives this confirmation.
Relations with Shareholders
The Annual General Meeting will be held in Northwich on 23 October 2015 and I would like to encourage our shareholders to attend. It will provide you with an opportunity to meet the Board and ask any questions that you may have in respect of the Group's activities.
Finally, should you have any questions in relation to the report, please feel free to contact me or the Company Secretary.
7 September 2015