Notes contentsNotes to consolidated financial statements

27. Share capital and share premium

  Number of
At 1 January 2007 806,109 202 2,487
Issue of ordinary shares — share option schemes 1,919 12
At 31 December 2007 808,028 202 2,499
Issue of ordinary shares — share option schemes 1,248 6
At 31 December 2008 809,276 202 2,505

The total authorised number of ordinary shares is 1,198m shares (2007: 1,194m shares) with a par value of 25p per share (2007: 25p per share). All issued shares are fully paid. All shares have the same rights.

The Group manages its capital to ensure that entities in the Group will be able to continue as a going concern while maximising the return to shareholders through the optimisation of the debt and equity balance.

The capital structure of the Group consists of debt (see note 18), cash and cash equivalents (see note 17) and equity attributable to equity holders of the parent, comprising issued capital, reserves and retained earnings (see notes 27, 28 and 29).

The Group reviews its capital structure on a regular basis and will balance its overall capital structure through payments of dividends, new share issues as well as the issue of new debt or the redemption of existing debt in line with the financial risk policies outlined in note 19.