3 Summary of significant accounting policies
Summary of significant accounting and valuation rules
Foreign currency translation
The functional currencies of the Group’s subsidiaries are generally the currencies of the local jurisdiction. Transactions denominated in foreign currencies are recorded at the rate of exchange prevailing at the dates of the transaction, or at a rate that approximates the actual rate at the date of the transaction. At the end of the accounting period, receivables and liabilities in foreign currency are valued at the rate of exchange prevailing at the consolidated balance sheet date, with resulting exchange rate differences charged to the income statement. Exchange rate differences related to loans that are part of the net investment in foreign entities are recorded in “Other comprehensive income” and disclosed as cumulative translation adjustments.
For the consolidation, assets and liabilities stated in functional currencies other than Swiss francs are translated at the rates of exchange prevailing at the consolidated balance sheet date. Income and expenses are translated at the average exchange rates (weighted net sales) for the period. Translation gains or losses are recorded in “Other comprehensive income” and disclosed as cumulative translation adjustments.
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents consist of cash on hand, balances with banks and short-term, highly liquid financial investments with maturities of three months or less at their acquisition date that are readily convertible to known amounts of cash and which are subject to an insignificant risk of change in value. The carrying amount of cash and cash equivalents approximates to their fair value due to the short-term maturities of these instruments.
Securities and other short-term investments
Securities are marketable instruments that can be readily liquidated and have a remaining term of between 4 and 12 months. Other short-term investments primarily comprise fixed-term deposits and money-market investments with a remaining term of between 4 and 12 months. Both are either recognised at fair value through profit and loss or at amortised cost.
Inventories are stated at the lower of historical or manufacturing costs, or net realisable value. The manufacturing costs comprise all directly attributable costs of material and manufacture and other costs incurred in bringing the inventories to their present location and condition. Historical cost is determined using the weighted average cost formula, while the manufacturing cost is determined using the standard cost formula. Net realisable value corresponds to the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business less the estimated costs of completion and the selling costs. Allowances are made for obsolete and slow-moving inventories.
Property, plant and equipment
Property, plant and equipment are carried at historical or manufacturing costs less accumulated depreciation. Betterment that increases the useful lives of the assets, substantially improves the quality of the output, or enables a substantial reduction in operating costs is capitalised and depreciated over the remaining useful lives. Depreciation of property, plant and equipment is calculated using the straight-line method based on the following useful lives: buildings (15–50 years), production machinery and assembly lines (8–25 years), moulds (4–6 years), equipment and furnishings (4–25 years) and vehicles (5–10 years). Properties are not regularly depreciated. Repair and maintenance related to investments in property, plant and equipment are charged to the income statement as incurred.
Borrowing costs of all material qualifying assets are capitalised during the construction phase in accordance with IAS 23. A qualified asset is an asset for which an extensive period (generally more than a year) is required to transform it to its planned usable condition. If funds are specifically borrowed, the costs that can be capitalised are the actual costs incurred less any investment income earned on the temporary investment of these borrowings. If the borrowed funds are part of a general pool, the amount that can be capitalised must be determined by applying a capitalisation rate to the expenses related to this asset.
If there is any indication for impairment, the actual carrying amount of the asset is compared to its recoverable amount. If the carrying amount is higher than its estimated recoverable amount, the asset is reduced accordingly and the difference is charged to the income statement.
Goodwill and intangible assets
The Group records goodwill as the difference between the purchase price and the net assets of the company acquired, both measured at fair value. If the value of net assets is higher than the purchase price, this gain is credited immediately to the income statement.
Goodwill and intangibles such as patents, trademarks and software acquired from third parties are initially stated and subsequently measured at cost. Goodwill, trademarks and other intangible assets with an indefinite useful life are not regularly amortised but tested for impairment on an annual basis. Impairments are recorded immediately as expenses in the consolidated income statements and, in the case of goodwill, not reversed in subsequent periods. The amortisation of intangible assets with a definite useful life is calculated using the straight-line method based on the following useful lives: patents and technology (4–10 years), trademarks (5–12 years), software (4–6 years) and capitalised development costs (6 years).
Intangible assets with an indefinite useful life and goodwill are tested for impairment at each reporting date, at least. In this process, the actual carrying amount of the asset is compared with the recoverable amount. If the carrying amount is higher than its estimated recoverable amount, the asset is reduced correspondingly. The Group records the difference between recoverable amount and carrying amount as expense. The valuation is based on single assets or, if such valuation is not possible, on the level of the group of assets for which separately identifiable cashflows exist.
For the impairment tests of intangible assets with an indefinite useful life and goodwill, the Group applies the most recent business plans (period of four years) and the assumptions therein concerning development of prices, markets and the Group’s market shares. To discount future cashflows, the Group applies market or country-specific discount rates. Management considers the discount rates, the growth rates and the development of the operating margins to be the crucial parameters for the calculation of the recoverable amount. More detailed information is disclosed in Note 11.
Leases for property, plant and equipment mainly comprise buildings and vehicles.
Leases are reported as a right-of-use asset, while a corresponding liability is recognised on the date on which the leased asset becomes available for use by the Group. IFRS 16 (Leases) envisages a single accounting model for the lessee. Geberit makes use of the option to refrain from accounting for leases that have a term of no more than 12 months as well as minor-value assets with a value of less than CHF 5,000. The expenses from these agreements are directly recognised in other operating expenses.
According to IFRS 16, the lessee capitalises the right-of-use asset and recognises all future lease payments from the lease as a financial liability. This sum corresponds to the present value of all future lease payments. The lessee defines the agreement term and the interest rate used to discount the payments. If this discount rate is specified in the leasing agreement, this is applied (implicit interest rate). If this is not the case, the incremental borrowing rate (IBR) is applied. The term generally corresponds to the irrevocable lease term taking into account any termination, renewal and purchasing options, as long as their exercise is sufficiently secure. The leased asset is depreciated on the basis of the agreed term.
The Group recognises provisions when it has a present legal or constructive obligation to transfer economic benefits as a result of past events, and when a reasonable estimate of the amount of the obligation can be made. The Group warrants its products against defects and accrues provisions for such warranties at the time of sale based on estimated claims. Actual warranty costs are charged against the accrued provisions when incurred.
The Group focuses on sanitary technology and bathroom ceramics in the sanitary industry. The products are primarily sold through the wholesale channel. Net sales correspond to the amount of consideration to be expected from contracts with customers for the sale of products and do not include any amounts recovered on behalf of third parties.
Sales per transaction are recorded at a single point in time at which the customer obtains effective control over the products that have been delivered. This single point in time depends on the different terms of delivery.
Net sales include the invoiced amounts after deduction of rebates, cash discounts and customer bonuses. Customer bonuses are sales deductions linked to the achievement of predefined targets (e.g. level of sales).
All relevant expenses associated with advertising and promoting products are recorded in the financial period during which they are incurred.
Income tax expenses
The consolidated financial statements include current income taxes based on the taxable earnings of the Group companies and are calculated according to national tax rules. Uncertain tax positions are determined on the basis of the most likely amount method. Deferred taxes are recorded on temporary differences between the tax base of assets and liabilities and their carrying amount using the “liability method”. Deferred taxes are calculated either using the current tax rate or the tax rate expected to be applicable in the period in which these differences will reverse. If the realisation of future tax savings related to tax loss carryforwards and other deferred tax assets is not or no longer probable, the deferred tax assets are reduced accordingly.
A liability for deferred taxes for non-refundable taxes at source and other earning distribution-related taxes is recognised only for subsidiaries for which available earnings are intended to be remitted and of which the parent company controls the dividend policy (Note 18).
Research and development cost (R&D)
The majority of the expenses are incurred in relation to basic research, product and product range management, customer software development and R&D support/overheads, and these are charged directly to the income statement. The residual expenses relate to development costs for new products. If these concern major development projects, they are reviewed at each balance sheet date in order to verify whether the capitalisation criteria of IAS 38.57 are fulfilled. In the case that all criteria are fulfilled, the expenses are capitalised and amortised over a period of six years (Note 26).
Retirement benefit plans
The Group manages different employee pension plans structured as both defined benefit and defined contribution plans. These pension funds are usually governed by the regulations of the countries in which the Group operates.
For defined benefit plans, the present value of the defined benefit obligation is calculated periodically by independent pension actuaries using the projected unit credit method on the basis of the service years and the expected salary and pension trends. Actuarial gains and losses are immediately recognised in other comprehensive income as “Remeasurements of pension plans”. This item also includes the return on plan assets/reimbursement rights (excluding the interest based on the discount rate) and any effects of an asset ceiling adjustment. For defined benefit plans with an independent pension fund, the funded status of the pension fund is included in the consolidated balance sheet. Any surplus is capitalised in compliance with IAS 19.64 and IFRIC 14. The annual net periodic pension costs calculated for defined benefit plans are recognised in the income statement in the period in which they occur.
For defined contribution plans, the annual costs are calculated as a percentage of the pensionable salaries and are also charged to the income statement. Except for the contributions, the Group does not have any other future obligations.
Rebates granted to employees when buying Geberit shares under share purchase plans are charged to the income statement in the year the programmes are offered.
The fair value of the options allocated as part of the management long-term incentive and the management share purchase plan is determined at the grant date and charged on a straight-line basis to personnel expenses over the vesting period. The values are determined using the binomial model.
Earnings per share
The number of ordinary shares for the calculation of the earnings per share is determined on the basis of the weighted average of the issued ordinary shares less the weighted average number of the treasury shares. For the calculation of diluted earnings per share, an adjusted number of shares is calculated as the sum of the total of the ordinary shares used to calculate the earnings per share and the potentially dilutive shares from option programmes. The dilution from option programmes is determined on the basis of the number of ordinary shares that could have been bought for the amount of the accumulated difference between the market price and exercise price of the options. The relevant market price used is the average Geberit share price for the financial year.
Earnings per share and diluted earnings per share are defined as the ratio of the attributable net income to the relevant number of ordinary shares.
Financial assets are initially recorded at fair value plus transaction costs and subsequently remeasured at amortised cost less allowances for expected credit losses (“ECL”). It is not necessary for a loss event to occur before an impairment loss is recognised. Impairment is determined based on expected credit losses, which is the present value of the cash shortfalls over the expected life of the financial assets. Geberit incorporates forward-looking information into its customer default rates, grouping receivables by customer sector, rating and geography, taking into account the existence of collateral, if any.
Debts are initially recorded at fair value, net of transaction costs, and subsequently measured at amortised cost according to the effective interest rate method. The Group classifies debts as non-current when, at the balance sheet date, it has the unconditional right to defer settlement for at least 12 months after the balance sheet date.
Derivatives are initially recorded at fair value and subsequently adjusted for fair value changes. The recognition of derivatives in the Group’s balance sheet is based on internal valuations or on the valuation of the respective financial institution. See Note 15 for an allocation of the balance sheet items to the classification by categories.
Geberit purchases derivative financial instruments for the purpose of economically hedging specific commitments (see Note 4 and Note 15).