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The integrity and objectivity of the financial statements and related financial information in this Annual Report are the responsibility of the management of the Company. The financial statements have been prepared in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles and include, when necessary, the best estimates and judgments of management.

The Company maintains a system of internal controls designed to provide reasonable assurance, at appropriate cost, that assets are safeguarded, transactions are executed in accordance with management’s authorization, and the accounting records provide a reliable basis for the preparation of the financial statements. The system of internal accounting controls is continually reviewed by management and improved and modified as necessary in response to changing business conditions and the recommendations of the Company’s internal auditors and independent auditors.

KPMG LLP, independent auditors, are engaged to render an opinion regarding the fair presentation of the consolidated financial statements of the Company. Their accompanying report is based upon an audit conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and included a review of the system of internal controls to the extent they considered necessary to support their opinion.

The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors, consisting solely of outside directors, meets periodically with management, internal auditors and the independent auditors to review matters relating to the Company’s financial reporting, the adequacy of internal accounting controls, and the scope and results of audit work. The internal auditors and independent auditors have free access to the Audit Committee.


Thomas M. Ryan
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer



David B. Rickard
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

February 7, 2000

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