Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements
1. Basic information
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 by 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 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 the foreign exchange rate risks and interest rate risks with the cashflow-at-risk method.
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 as 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 a certain limit that is determined on the basis of clearly defined creditworthiness criteria such as rating, system relevance and state guarantees (e.g. for Swiss cantonal 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. 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 financial position and the level of currency fluctuation, despite the effective “natural hedging”. The Group does not hedge translation risks.
The currency risk over a period of 12 months is measured via the cashflow-at-risk (CfaR) method. By using statistical methods, the effect of probable changes in foreign exchange rates on the financial result of the Group is evaluated. As at 31 December 2020, the Group’s CfaR amounted to MCHF 22.7 (PY: MCHF 24.2), hence there was a 95% likelihood that any loss resulting from currency risk would not exceed MCHF 22.7.
The following parameters have been used for the calculation of the cashflow-at-risk (CfaR):
|J. P. Morgan
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 considered 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 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 at 31 December:
|Financial result, net + CfaR
|EBITDA/(Financial result, net + CfaR)
1 EBITDA = operating profit (EBIT) before depreciation and amortisation
Management of liquidity risk
Liquid funds, including the committed unused credit lines, must be available 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 692.3 (PY: MCHF 624.7).
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. The Group records allowances for potential credit losses based on an expected credit loss (ECL) model in accordance with IFRS 9 (see Note 6). Actual losses have not exceeded management’s expectations in the past. The COVID-19 crisis also did not result in any exceptional bad debt losses in the past financial year.
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 2020, the average balance of trade receivables is about 141% (PY: 139%) 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 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
|Foreign exchange rate risk
|Interest rate risk
|EBITDA/(financial result, net + CfaR)
|(Deficit)/excess of liquidity reserve
Impact of COVID-19
Since mid-March, the construction industry in Europe has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In several countries (e.g. Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, India and South Africa) most construction sites remained closed for extended periods. In other countries the restrictions enforced as a result of the pandemic led to a slowing of construction activities. Moreover, the majority of showrooms for sanitary products across Europe remained closed for around two months. Overall, these restrictions had a negative impact on the Geberit Group’s sales development in the second quarter in particular, although this was partially offset in the second half of the year as a result of catch-up effects. Despite the restrictions enforced due to COVID-19, the supply chain at Geberit remained mostly intact throughout the entire year. In response to the sharp decline in sales in the second quarter, activities that were not time-critical were postponed, while targeted savings measures were implemented. In addition, the restrictions enforced due to COVID-19 led to further savings in marketing and travel expenses in particular. However, future-oriented projects (e.g. product development and IT projects) were continued as planned. Ultimately, the good sales development in the second half of the year combined with the unusually low cost base resulted in extraordinarily high profitability.