Report of the independent auditors

REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT AUDITORS FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR ENDED ON 31 DECEMBER 2010 SUBMITTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF ANTWERP

Your Worships,

As required by law and the company’s Articles of Association, we are pleased to report to you on the audit assignment which you have entrusted to us. This report includes our opinion on the financial statements together with the required additional comments and information.

Unqualified audit opinion on the financial statements

We have audited the annual accounts of Antwerp Port Authority for the year ended 31 December 2010, prepared in accordance with Belgian GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), with the balance sheet showing a total of 1,262,376 (000) EUR and the income statement showing a profit for the year of 80,073 (000) EUR.

The Board of Directors of the company is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements. This responsibility includes among other things: designing, implementing and maintaining internal control relevant to the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, selecting and applying appropriate accounting principles, and making accounting estimates that are reasonable in the circumstances.

Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements, based on our audit. We have performed procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on our judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financialstatements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, we have considered internal control relevant to the company’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the company’s internal control. We have assessed the basis of the accounting principles used, the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by the company and the presentation of the financial statements, taken as a whole. Finally, the Board of Directors and responsible officers of the company have replied to all our requests for explanations and information. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

In our opinion, the financial statements as of 31 December 2010 give a true and fair view of the company’s assets, liabilities, financial position and results in accordance with the accounting standards applicable in Belgium.

Additional explanations and information

The preparation and the content of the directors’ report, as well as the company’s compliance with the relevant articles of the new municipal law, the Flemish Community decree of 2 March 1999 concerning seaport management and policy, and the Articles of Association, are the responsibilty of the Board of Directors. Our responsibility is to include in our report the following additional comments and information which do not change the scope of our audit opinion on the financial statements:

  • The directors’ report includes the information required by law and is in agreement with the financial statements. However, we are unable to express an opinion on the description of the principal risks and uncertainties confronting the company, or on the status, future evolution, or significant influence of certain factors on its future development. However, we can confirm that the information given is not in obvious contradiction with any information obtained in the context of our appointment.
  • We draw attention to the item “Important pending litigation and other important obligations” in the notes to the accounts “5.13 Rights and obligations not included in the balance sheet,” in which the Board of Directors states that an important claim is outstanding against the Port Authority. This represents large uncertainties, as the court concerned has not yet come to any decision. Depending on the outcome of this case, it could possibly have a large impact on the results and equity of the company.
  • Without prejudice to certain formal aspects of minor importance, the accounting records are maintained and the financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the applicable Belgian legal and regulatory requirements.
  • We do not have to report any transactions carried out or decisions made in violation of the Articles of Association or the Companies Act, to which port authorities are subject under the terms of art. 5 §2 of the Flemish Community decree of 2 March 1999. The proposed appropriation of the results is in accordance with the law and the Articles of Association.

 

Antwerp, 6 April 2011

For the Independent Auditors

Ann Coolsaet
Antwerp City Councillor
Guy Lauwers
Antwerp City Councillor
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