Annual Report 2016

Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

1. Basic information and principles of the report

2. Changes in Group structure

3. Summary of significant accounting policies

4. Risk assessment and management


The 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, analysed 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 recognising, analysing 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 a period of less than three months. Part of the liquid funds may be invested in government bonds (maximum MCHF 70 per country and usually with terms of less than 12 months). The residual liquid funds are generally held at banks on a short-term basis. 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 Group generates sales and costs 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 neutralised with cash outflows of the same currency. 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 +/- unrealised 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:

  2016 2015
Value-at-risk +/- unrealised gains/losses 6.3 5.6
Equity 1,635.2 1,482.2
(Value-at-risk +/- unrealised gains/losses)/equity 0.4% 0.4%

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:

  2016 2015
EBITDA 785.2 631.7
Financial result, net + CfaR 9.8 12.7
EBITDA/(Financial result, net + CfaR) 80x 50x

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.

  2016 2015
Combined foreign exchange rate and interest rate risk 9.7 19.1

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 amortisation 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 561.2 (PY: MCHF 516.8).

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 trade receivables at year-end is not representative because of the low sales volume in December. In 2016, the average balance of trade receivables is about 141% (PY: 176%) 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 organisation and regulatory obligations. Management is informed on a regular basis with key figures and reports about 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 2016 2015
Foreign exchange rate risk (VaR +/- unrealised gains/losses)/equity 0.4% 0.4%
Interest rate risk EBITDA/(financial result, net + CfaR) 80x 50x
Liquidity risk (Deficit)/excess of liquidity reserve MCHF 561.2 MCHF 516.8

5. Management of capital

6. Trade accounts receivable

7. Other current assets and current financial assets

8. Inventories

9. Property, plant and equipment

10. Other non-current assets and non-current financial assets

11. Goodwill and intangible assets

12. Short-term debt

13. Other current liabilities and provisions

14. Long-term debt

15. Financial instruments

16. Retirement benefit plans

17. Participation plans

18. Deferred tax assets and liabilities

19. Other non-current liabilities and provisions

20. Contingencies

21. Capital stock and treasury shares

22. Earnings per share

23. Other operating expenses, net

24. Financial result, net

25. Income tax expenses

26. Operating Leasing

27. Research and development cost

28. Cashflow figures

29. Segment reporting

30. Related party transactions

31. Foreign exchange rates

32. Subsequent events

33. Group companies as of December 31, 2016