The Board's objective is to maintain an appropriate balance of debt and equity financing to enable the Group to continue as a going concern, to sustain future development of the business and to maximise returns to shareholders and benefits to other stakeholders.
The Board closely manages trading capital, defined as net assets plus net debt A. Net debt is calculated as total debt (obligations under finance leases and borrowings as shown in the Consolidated Balance sheet), less cash and cash equivalents. The Group's net assets at the end of the period were £262.4 million (2015: £241.9 million) and it had net debt of £164.9 million (2015: £127.0 million).
The main areas of capital management revolve around working capital management and compliance with externally imposed financial covenants. The Group's objectives when managing capital are to safeguard its ability to continue as a going concern and balance the needs of the Group to grow, whilst operating with sufficient headroom within its bank covenants.
The components of working capital management include monitoring inventory turn, age of inventory, age of receivables, receivables days, payables days, balance sheet reforecasting, period projected profit/(loss), weekly cash flow forecasts and daily cash balances. Major investment decisions are based on reviewing the expected future cash flows and all major capital expenditure requires approval by the Board. There were no changes in the Group's approach to capital management during the period.
In the previous year the three-year £100 million revolving facility was extended by a further two years and the amount of the facility was increased to £210 million. As at 27 November 2016, £52.5 million of the facility had been utilised. The Group regularly reviews its financing arrangements. Throughout the period, the Group has complied with all covenants imposed by lenders. In addition, a key aspect of capital management was the strategic operating agreement with Morrisons and the operation of MHE JVCo, a company jointly owned with Morrisons, discussed in Note 5.4.
Given the Group's commitment to expand the business and the investment required to complete Andover CFC and future CFCs, the declaration and payment of a dividend is not part of the short-term capital management strategy of the Group.
At the Balance Sheet date, the Group's undrawn facilities and cash and cash equivalents were as follows:
|Total facilities available||400.6||409.6|
|Facilities drawn down†||4.2||(215.8)||(172.8)|
|Undrawn facilities at end of period‡||184.8||236.8|
|Cash and cash equivalents gross of drawn overdraft facility||3.9||50.9||45.8|
† In the prior year the three-year £100 million revolving facility was extended by a further two years and the amount of the facility was increased to £210 million.
‡ The undrawn facility at the end of the period, includes transaction costs. If transaction costs are excluded, then the undrawn facility is £183.6 million.
As at 27 November 2016, £52.5 million of the facility had been utilised. Transaction costs of £1.2 million relating to the facility amendment have been capitalised. The Group regularly reviews its financing arrangements.
A See Alternative Performance Measures