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The directors present their report together with the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended 25 March 2023.


Mark Sanderson

Group legal director
and Company secretary

The directors present their report together with the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended 25 March 2023."


As permitted by legislation, some of the matters normally included in this report have instead been included in the Strategic Report, as the board considers them to be of strategic importance. Specifically, these relate to the Company's business model and strategy, future business developments, research and development activities and risk (including financial risk) management.

The Corporate governance report is incorporated in this report by reference.

After the balance sheet date, but prior to approval of the annual report, Severfield completed the acquisition of Voortman Steel Construction Holdings B.V. ('VSCH'). See note 28 for further details.


The present membership of the board is set out on Our Board of Directors.

The chairman has no other significant commitments.

The service agreements of the executive directors and the letters of appointment of the non-executive directors are available for inspection at the Company's registered office. Brief details are also included in the Directors Remuneration Report.

Appointment and replacement of directors

In accordance with the Company's articles, directors shall be no fewer than two and no more than 12 in number. Subject to applicable law, a director may be appointed by an ordinary resolution of shareholders in general meeting following nomination by the board or a member (or members) entitled to vote at such a meeting, or following retirement by rotation if the director chooses to seek re-election at a general meeting. In addition, the directors may appoint a director to fill a vacancy or as an additional director, provided that the individual retires at the next AGM. A director may be removed by the Company as provided for by applicable law, in certain circumstances set out in the Company's articles of association (for example bankruptcy or resignation), or by a special resolution of the Company. We have decided this year to continue to adopt voluntarily the practice that all directors stand for re-election on an annual basis, in line with the recommendations of the Code.

Powers of the directors

The business of the Company is managed by the board, who may exercise all the powers of the Company subject to the provisions of the Company's articles of association, the Companies Act 2006 ('the Act') and any ordinary resolution of the Company.

Directors' indemnities

The articles entitle the directors of the Company to be indemnified, to the extent permitted by the Act and any other applicable legislation, out of the assets of the Company in the event that they suffer any loss or incur any liability in connection with the execution of their duties as directors.

In addition, and in common with many other companies, the Company had during the year, and continues to have in place, directors' and officers' insurance in favour of its directors and other officers in respect of certain losses or liabilities to which they may be exposed due to their office.

Share capital

The Company has a single class of share capital which is divided into ordinary shares of 2.5p each. No other securities have been issued by the Company. At 25 March 2023, there were 309,538,321 ordinary shares in issue and fully paid. Further details relating to share capital, including movements during the year, are set out in note 23 to the financial statements. During the period, shares in the Company were issued to satisfy awards under the Company's share incentive schemes. Further details regarding employee share-based payment schemes are set out in note 22. No shareholder holds shares in the Company which carry special rights with regard to control of the Company. There are no shares relating to an employee share scheme which have rights with regard to control of the Company that are not exercisable directly and solely by the employees.

Voting rights and restrictions on transfer of shares

All of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of the Company have equal voting rights, with one vote per share. There are no special control rights attaching to them save that the control rights of any ordinary shares held in the EBT can be directed by the Company to satisfy the vesting of outstanding awards under its various employee share plans. In relation to the EBT and any unallocated Company shares held in it, the power to vote or not vote is at the absolute discretion of the trustee.

Significant shareholdings

As at 1 June 2023, the Group had been notified of the following voting rights to the Company's shares in accordance with the Disclosure Rules and Transparency Rules of the UK Listing Authority:

2.5p share
M&G Investment Management Ltd28,969,8919.36
Chelverton Asset Management24,513,3057.92
JO Hambro Capital Management24,030,2967.76
Unicorn Asset Management22,000,0007.11
Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd16,910,3965.46
Invesco (including Perpetual & Trimark)16,373,9395.29

The Company is not aware of any agreements or control rights between existing shareholders that may result in restrictions on the transfer of securities or on voting rights. The rights, including full details relating to voting of shareholders and any restrictions on transfer relating to the Company's ordinary shares, are set out in the articles and in the explanatory notes that accompany the Notice of the 2023 AGM.

Powers for the Company to buy back its shares and to issue its shares

At the Company's annual general meeting ('AGM') held on 8 September 2022, shareholders authorised the Company to make market purchases of ordinary shares representing up to 10 per cent of its issued share capital at that time and to allot shares within certain limits approved by shareholders. These authorities will expire at the 2023 AGM (see below) and a renewal will be sought. The Company did not purchase any of its ordinary shares during the year.

The Directors were granted authority at the previous annual general meeting on 8 September 2022, to allot shares in the Company: (i) up to one-third of the Company's issued share capital; and (ii) up to two-thirds of the Company's issued share capital in connection with a rights issue. These authorities apply until the end of the 2023 AGM (or, if earlier, until the close of business on 30 September 2023).

During the period, the directors did not use their power to issue shares under the authorities but did issue shares to satisfy options and awards under the Company's share incentive schemes.

The directors were also granted authority at the previous annual general meeting on 8 September 2022, under two separate resolutions, to disapply pre-emption rights. These resolutions, which followed the Pre-emption Group's Statement of Principles (March 2015) on disapplying pre-emption rights applicable at that time, sought the authority to disapply pre-emption rights over 10 per cent of the Company's issued ordinary share capital. These authorities apply until the end of the 2023 AGM (or, if earlier, until the close of business on 30 September 2023). During the period, the directors did not use these powers.


The directors declared an interim dividend for the six months ended 24 September 2022 of 1.3p per ordinary share (2022:1.2p per ordinary share).

Change of control

There are no agreements between the Group and its directors or employees providing for compensation for loss of office or employment that occurs because of a takeover bid.

The Group's banking arrangements expire in December 2026 and can be terminated upon a change of control of the Group.

The Company's share plans contain provisions that take effect in such an event but do not entitle participants to a greater interest in the shares of the Company than created by the initial grant or award under the relevant plan.

Amendment of articles of association

Any amendments to the articles may be made in accordance with the provisions of the Act by way of special resolution.

Political contributions

No contributions were made to any political parties during the current or preceding year.

Going concern

After making enquiries, the directors have formed a judgement at the time of approving the financial statements that there is a reasonable expectation that the Group has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for at least 12 months from the approval of the financial statements. For this reason, the directors continue to adopt the going concern basis in preparing the financial statements.

The key factors considered by the directors in making the statement are set out in the financial review on Our Financial Performance.

Anti-corruption and bribery matters

The Group updated its anti-bribery policy during the year and prohibits all forms of bribery, both in giving and receiving, wherever it operates. This includes its own employees and any agent or business partner acting on its behalf. No concerns have arisen in relation to such matters during the year and the Group does not regard corruption or bribery as a principal risk. Part of our policy is to undertake due diligence on the risks associated with operating in any high-risk locations.

Employment policies

The company gives full and fair consideration to applications for employment by disabled persons where the candidates aptitude and abilities adequately meet the requirements of the role. It is the Company's policy to provide continuing development of, and to arrange appropriate training wherever practicable where an existing employee becomes disabled. The company also provides equal opportunities for the training, career development and promotion of disabled persons.

Additional disclosures

Additional information that is relevant to this report, and which is incorporated by reference into this report, including information required in accordance with the UK Companies Act 2006 and Listing Rule 9.8.4R, can be located as follows:

Disclosure of information to the external auditor

The directors who held office at the date of approval of this directors' report confirm that, so far as they are each aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the Company's auditor is unaware and each director has taken all the steps that they ought to have taken as a director in order to make themselves aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the Company's auditor is aware of that information.

This confirmation is given and should be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of section 418 of the Act.

External auditor

KPMG LLP acted as the auditor for the Company for the year ended 25 March 2023. KPMG LLP has expressed its willingness to continue in office as external auditor and a resolution to appoint it will be proposed at the forthcoming AGM.

Annual general meeting

The notice concerning the AGM on Wednesday 6 September 2023, together with explanatory notes on the resolutions to be proposed and full details of the deadlines for exercising voting rights, is contained in a circular to be sent to shareholders with this report.

The directors' report was approved by the board and signed on its behalf by:

Mark Sanderson
Company secretary
14 June 2023