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- >Note 4
The Geberit Group runs a risk-management system approved by the Board of Directors.
The policy defines a structured process according to which the business risks are systematically managed. In this process, risks are identified, analyzed and evaluated concerning the likelihood of occurrence and magnitude, and risk-control measurements are determined. Each member of management is responsible for the implementation of the risk-management measures in his area of responsibility. The Board of Directors is periodically informed about the major changes in the risk assessment and about risk-management actions taken. The permanent observation and control of the risks is a management objective. For risks concerning accounting and financial reporting, a special assessment is carried out as part of the risk control process. The Geberit internal control system for financial reporting defines in this regard control measures that reduce the related risks.
Financial risks are monitored by the treasury department of the Geberit Group, which acts in line with the directives of the treasury policy issued by the Group. Risk-management focuses on recognizing, analyzing and hedging foreign exchange rate, interest rate, liquidity and counterparty risks, with the aim of limiting their effect on cashflow and net income. The Group measures its risks with the value-at-risk method for foreign exchange rate risks and the cashflow-at-risk method for interest rate risks.
Management of counterparty risks from treasury activities
Financial contracts are agreed only with third parties that have at least an A (S&P) or A2 (Moody’s) rating, or are considered to be relevant to the financial system. Management believes that the risk of losses from the existing contracts is remote.
In general, liquid funds are invested for less than three months. Part of the liquid funds is invested in government bonds (maximum MCHF 70 per country and usually with terms of less than 12 months). The residual liquid funds are generally put into fixed-term deposits at banks. To avoid cluster risks, the value of an investment per third party may not exceed MCHF 50 (or MCHF 70 for the major Swiss banks). In addition, investments with the same counterparty may not exceed half of the Group’s total deposits. The Group has not suffered any losses on such transactions to date.
Management of foreign exchange rate risk
The Geberit Group generates sales and profits in Switzerland and abroad in foreign currencies. Therefore, exchange rate changes have an impact on the consolidated results. in order to limit such risks, the concept of “natural hedging” is considered as the primary hedging strategy. Hereby, the foreign exchange rate risk of cash inflows in a certain currency is neutralized with cash outflows of the same currency. For the most important currencies EUR (approx. 70% of sales) and USD (approx. 5% of sales), in principle, the relative portion of sales and costs is almost equal. Therefore, currency fluctuations influence the profit margin of the Group only to a marginal extent; i.e. the Group is exposed to a relatively small transaction risk. However, the translation risk that results from the translation of profits generated abroad can still substantially influence the consolidated results depending on the level of currency fluctuation, despite the effective “natural hedging”. The Group does not hedge translation risks.
Any remaining currency risks are measured with the value-at-risk (VaR) method. By using statistical methods, the effect of probable changes in foreign exchange rates on the fair value of foreign currency positions and therefore on the financial result of the Group is evaluated. The risk is controlled with the key figure (VaR +/- unrealized gains/losses from foreign exchange positions)/equity. Based on internal limits, it is decided whether any hedging measures have to be taken. Normally, forward exchange contracts are used as hedging instruments. The limit for the key figure is determined annually and amounts to 0.5% (PY: 0.5%) of equity for the reporting period.
The following parameters have been used for the calculation of the value-at-risk (VaR):
|Model||Method||Confidence level||Holding period|
|J. P. Morgan||Variance-covariance approach||95%||30 days|
Foreign exchange rate risk as of December 31:
|Value-at-risk +/- unrealized gains/losses||3.0||3.2|
|(Value-at-risk +/- unrealized gains/losses)/equity||0.2%||0.2%|
Management of interest rate risk
Basically, two types of interest rate risk exist:
a) the fair market value risk for financial positions bearing fixed interest rates
b) the interest rate risk for financial positions bearing variable interest rates
The fair market value risk does not have a direct impact on the cashflows and results of the Group. Therefore, it is not measured. The refinancing risk of positions with fixed interest rates is taken into account with the integration of financial positions bearing fixed interest rates with a maturity under 12 months in the measurement of the interest rate risk.
The interest rate risk is measured using the cashflow-at-risk (CfaR) method for the interest balance (including financial positions bearing fixed interest rates with a maturity under 12 months). By using statistical methods, the effect of probable interest rate changes on the cashflow of a financial position is evaluated. The calculation of the CfaR is based on the same model as the calculation of the value-at-risk regarding the foreign exchange rate risk.
The Group’s risk is controlled with the key figure EBITDA/(financial result, net, for the coming 12 months + CfaR). Based on internal limits, it is decided whether any hedging measures have to be taken. The limit is reviewed annually and amounts to a minimum of 20 for the reporting period (PY: 20).
Interest rate risk as of December, 31:
|Financial result, net + CfaR||0.9||1.7|
|EBITDA/(Financial result, net + CfaR)||730x||349x|
Combined foreign exchange rate and interest rate risk
The following table shows the combined foreign exchange rate and interest rate risk according to the calculation method of the value-at-risk model, and includes all foreign exchange rate risk, and interest rate risk positions and instruments described above. Foreign exchange rate risks and interest rate risks are monitored with the key figures as previously mentioned.
|Combined foreign exchange rate and interest rate risk||4.1||5.6|
Management of liquidity risk
Liquid funds (including the committed unused credit lines) must be available in order to cover future cash drains in due time amounting to a certain liquidity reserve. This reserve considers interest and amortization payments and capital expenditures and investments in net working capital. At the balance sheet date, the liquid funds including the committed unused credit lines exceeded the defined liquidity reserve by MCHF 864.7 (PY: MCHF 590.5).
The liquidity required for the acquisition of Sanitec is covered by a deal-specific credit facility and surplus liquid funds.
Management of credit risk
Major credit risks to the Group mainly result from the sale of its products (debtor risk). Products are sold throughout the world, but primarily within continental Europe. Ongoing evaluations of the customers’ financial situation are performed and, generally, no further collateral is required. Concentrations of debtors’ risk with respect to trade receivables are limited due to the large number of customers of the Group. The Group records allowances for potential credit losses. Actual losses have not exceeded management’s expectations in the past.
The maximum credit risk resulting from receivables and other financial assets basically corresponds to the net carrying amount of the asset. The balance of receivables at year-end is not representative because of the low sales volume in December. In 2014, the average balance of receivables is about 150% of the amount at year-end.
The Group uses several instruments and procedures to manage and control the different financial risks. These instruments are regularly reviewed in order to make sure that they meet the requirements of financial markets, changes in the Group organization and regulatory obligations. Management is informed on a regular basis with key figures and reports about the compliance with the defined limits. At the balance sheet date, the relevant risks, controlled with statistical and other methods, and the corresponding key figures are as follows:
|Type of risk||Key figure||2014||2013|
|Foreign exchange rate risk||(VaR +/- unrealized gains/losses)/equity||0.2%||0.2%|
|Interest rate risk||EBITDA/(financial result, net + CfaR)||730x||349x|
|Liquidity risk||(Deficit)/excess of liquidity reserve||MCHF 864.7||MCHF 590.5|