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Crystallisation of these principal risks could have an adverse effect on the Group’s results or financial condition. If more than one of these risks occur, the combined overall effect of such events may be compounded.
The chart below shows management’s assessment of material risks before mitigation. Various strategies are employed to reduce these inherent risks to an acceptable level.
The effectiveness of these mitigation strategies can change over time, for example with the acquisition or disposal of businesses. Some of these risks remain beyond the direct control of management. The risk management programme, including risk assessments, can therefore only provide reasonable but not absolute assurance that risks are managed to an acceptable level.
The Group faces many other risks which, although important and subject to regular review, have been assessed as less significant and are not listed here. These include, for example, certain financial risks. People-related risks and opportunities, including employee development and retention and health and safety risks detailed in the Sustainability section.
a: Strategic change, new business models
b: Pressure on margins
c: Market conditions and growth
d: Commodity price volatility
e: New competitors and technology
f: Information security
^ Risk is rising
<> Risk is unchanged
˅ Risk is falling
+ Issue has been added to the list of top Group risks this year
It should be noted that these risks are difficult to estimate with accuracy. The materialisation of these risks could have an adverse effect on the Group's results or financial condition. Various mitigation strategies are employed to reduce these inherent risks to an acceptable level. The Company also faces many other risks which, although important and subject to regular review, have been assessed as less significant (such as the impact of restructuring activity or product price volatility), which have been reported previously and which through changes in external factors and careful management are no longer material to the Group as a whole.
Many risk factors remain beyond the direct control of the Company and the risk management programme can only provide reasonable but not absolute assurance that key risk are managed to an acceptable level.