Report of the statutory auditor
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Report of the statutory auditor
to the General Meeting of Geberit AG
Report on the audit of the financial statements
We have audited the financial statements of Geberit AG (the Company), which comprise the balance sheet as at 31 December 2022, and the income statement, and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.
In our opinion, the financial statements comply with Swiss law and the company’s articles of incorporation.
Basis for opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with Swiss law and Swiss Standards on Auditing (SA-CH). Our responsibilities under those provisions and standards are further described in the ‘Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements’ section of our report. We are independent of the Company in accordance with the provisions of Swiss law and the requirements of the Swiss audit profession, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements.
We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.
Our audit approach
Overall materiality: CHF 5,000,000
We tailored the scope of our audit in order to perform sufficient work to enable us to provide an opinion on the financial statements as a whole, taking into account the structure of the Company, the accounting processes and controls, and the industry in which the Company operates.
As key audit matter the following area of focus has been identified:
Impairment testing of equity investments
The scope of our audit was influenced by our application of materiality. Our audit opinion aims to provide reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement. Misstatements may arise due to fraud or error. They are considered material if, individually or in aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of the financial statements.
Based on our professional judgement, we determined certain quantitative thresholds for materiality, including the overall materiality for the financial statements as a whole as set out in the table below. These, together with qualitative considerations, helped us to determine the scope of our audit and the nature, timing and extent of our audit procedures and to evaluate the effect of misstatements, both individually and in aggregate, on the financial statements as a whole.
Rationale for the materiality benchmark applied
We chose total assets as the benchmark because, in our view, it represents a relevant and generally accepted benchmark for holding companies.
We agreed with the Audit Committee that we would report to them misstatements above CHF 500,000 identified during our audit as well as any misstatements below that amount which, in our view, warranted reporting for qualitative reasons.
We designed our audit by determining materiality and assessing the risks of material misstatement in the financial statements. In particular, we considered where subjective judgements were made; for example, in respect of significant accounting estimates that involved making assumptions and considering future events that are inherently uncertain. As in all of our audits, we also addressed the risk of management override of internal controls, including among other matters consideration of whether there was evidence of bias that represented a risk of material misstatement due to fraud.
Key audit matters
Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgement, were of most significance in our audit of the financial statements of the current period. These matters were addressed in the context of our audit of the financial statements as a whole, and in forming our opinion thereon, and we do not provide a separate opinion on these matters.
Impairment testing of equity investments
Key audit matter
Impairment testing of equity investments was deemed a key audit matter for the following two reasons:
Equity investments in Geberit Holding AG and Geberit Reinsurance Ltd. in the amount of CHF 1,212.3 million represent the largest asset category on the balance sheet (55.6% of total assets). If this investment had to be written down, it would have a significant impact on the equity of the Company.
Testing for impairment depends on the future results of the companies concerned. In addition, there is significant scope for judgement in determining the assumptions underlying forecast results.
Please refer to the notes to the financial statements and, specifically, the recognition, valuation and disclosure methods in note 2.2 ‘Significant investments’.
How our audit addressed the key audit matter
We tested the equity investments as at 31 December 2022 for impairment. Management has performed impairment tests on the investments in Geberit Holding AG and Geberit Reinsurance Ltd.
We performed the following:
- compared the actual results of each company with its prior budget in order to identify any assumptions that, with hindsight, appeared too optimistic regarding the cash flows;
- checked for plausibility the outlook based on the multiyear plan approved by the Board of Directors and discussed the outlook with Management.
We consider the valuation process applied by management to be adequate and a sufficient basis for the impairment testing of investments in subsidiaries.
The Board of Directors is responsible for the other information. The other information comprises the information included in the annual report, but does not include the financial statements, the consolidated financial statements, the remuneration report and our auditor’s reports thereon.
Our opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and we do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon.
In connection with our audit of the financial statements, our responsibility is to read the other information and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or our knowledge obtained in the audit, or otherwise appears to be materially misstated.
If, based on the work we have performed, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact. We have nothing to report in this regard.
Board of Directors’ responsibilities for the financial statements
The Board of Directors is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with the provisions of Swiss law and the company’s articles of incorporation, and for such internal control as the Board of Directors determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
In preparing the financial statements, the Board of Directors is responsible for assessing the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the Board of Directors either intends to liquidate the Company or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.
Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements
Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with Swiss law and SA-CH will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.
As part of an audit in accordance with Swiss law and SA-CH, we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional scepticism throughout the audit. We also:
- Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
- Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit 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.
- Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made.
- Conclude on the appropriateness of the Board of Directors’ use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our auditor’s report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our auditor’s report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Company to cease to continue as a going concern.
We communicate with the Board of Directors or its relevant committee regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.
We also provide the Board of Directors or its relevant committee with a statement that we have complied with relevant ethical requirements regarding independence, and communicate with them all relationships and other matters that may reasonably be thought to bear on our independence, and where applicable, actions taken to eliminate threats or safeguards applied.
From the matters communicated with the Board of Directors or its relevant committee, we determine those matters that were of most significance in the audit of the financial statements of the current period and are therefore the key audit matters. We describe these matters in our auditor’s report unless law or regulation precludes public disclosure about the matter or when, in extremely rare circumstances, we determine that a matter should not be communicated in our report because the adverse consequences of doing so would reasonably be expected to outweigh the public interest benefits of such communication.
Report on other legal and regulatory requirements
In accordance with article 728a paragraph 1 item 3 CO and PS-CH 890, we confirm that an internal control system exists which has been designed for the preparation of the financial statements according to the instructions of the Board of Directors.
We further confirm that the proposal for the appropriation of available earnings complies with Swiss law and the company’s articles of incorporation. We recommend that the financial statements submitted to you be approved.
Licensed audit expert
Auditor in charge
Licensed audit expert
Zürich, 7 March 2023