Information to the report
This section explains the basis of preparation of the financial report and provides a summary of the key accounting estimates and judgements.
About this report
The consolidated financial statements of Georg Fischer Ltd have been prepared in accordance with all of the current guidelines of Swiss GAAP FER (Swiss Generally Accepted Accounting Principles Accounting and Reporting Recommendations) and, furthermore, with the provisions of the Listing Rules of SIX Swiss Exchange and with Swiss company law. The consolidated financial statements are based on the financial statements of the GF Corporate Companies for the year ended 31 December, prepared in accordance with uniform corporate accounting principles.
Over the past year GF has reviewed the content and structure of the Financial Report in order to make it less complex and more relevant to users. This included:
- –a review of content to eliminate immaterial disclosures that may undermine the usefulness of the Financial Report by obscuring important information
- –reorganization of the notes to the financial statements by relevance into separate sections to help users understand the financial performance
- –moving the accounting policies and management assumptions and estimates used in preparation of the financial statements to the respective notes in order to increase financial information quality
The purpose of these changes is to provide users with key financial information that is understandable and clearly structured to explain GFʼs financial performance and financial position.
The consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the purchase cost method with the exception of marketable securities, participations under 20%, and derivative financial instruments, which are measured at fair value. The preparation of the consolidated financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and contingent liabilities at the balance sheet date. If in the future such estimates and assumptions, which are based on management’s best judgment at the balance sheet date, deviate from the actual circumstances, the original estimates and assumptions will be modified as appropriate in the year in which the circumstances change.
Changes in accounting principles
In the year under review the Swiss GAAP FER accounting principles have not been changed.
Scope and principles of consolidation
The scope of consolidation includes Georg Fischer Ltd and all Swiss and foreign Corporate Companies which the parent company, directly or indirectly, controls either by holding more than 50% of the voting rights or by otherwise having the power to govern their operating and financial policies. These entities are fully consolidated; assets, liabilities, income, and expenses are incorporated in the consolidated accounts. Intercompany balances and transactions (accounts receivable, accounts payable, income, and expenses) are eliminated upon consolidation. Non-controlling interests are presented separately in the equity and in the net income of consolidated companies, but as a component of consolidated equity and consolidated net income, respectively. Gains arising from intercompany transactions are eliminated in full. Capital consolidation is based on the acquisition method, whereby the acquisition cost of a Corporate Company is eliminated at the time of acquisition against the fair value of net assets acquired, determined according to uniform corporate accounting principles.
Joint ventures in which the GF Corporation exercises joint control together with a joint venture partner are treated according to the method of proportionate consolidation.
Companies in which the GF Corporation has a non-controlling interest of at least 20% but less than 50%, or over which it otherwise has significant influence, are included in the consolidated financial statements using the equity method of accounting and presented as investments in associates. Investments conferring less than 20% of the voting rights are stated at fair value and presented under other financial assets.
Corporate Companies prepare their financial statements in their functional currency. Monetary assets and liabilities held in foreign currencies are translated at the spot rate on the balance sheet date. Foreign exchange gains and losses resulting from transactions and from the translation of balance sheet items denominated in foreign currencies are reported in the income statement.
The consolidated financial statements are prepared and presented in Swiss francs. For consolidation purposes, the financial statements of the foreign entities are translated into Swiss francs as follows: balance sheets at year-end rates, income and cash flow statements at average rates for the year under review. Any translation differences resulting from the different translation of the balance sheets and income statements or from the translation of corporate loans with equity character denominated in foreign currencies are recognized in equity, by taking the deferred tax effect into consideration. Upon the divestment of a foreign subsidiary, the related cumulative exchange differences are transferred to the income statement.
Other evaluation principles
Significant evaluation principles, which are necessary to understand the respective notes, are reflected in these notes.
Management assumptions and estimates
The preparation of the financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that could materially affect the consolidated financial statements of GF, particularly with regard to the items shown in the table below, if the actual result differ from managementʼs estimates and assumptions. These management assumptions and estimates are described in the following notes:
Definition of non-Swiss GAAP FER measures
The subtotal “Gross value added” includes all operating income less cost of materials and products, changes in inventory, and operating expenses.
As the subtotal “Gross value added” is an important key figure for GF, it is reported separately in the income statement.
The EBITDA corresponds to the operating result (EBIT) before depreciation on tangible fixed assets and amortization on intangible assets. For GF, the EBITDA is an important operational key figure, which, on the one hand, displays a harmonization to the cash flow from operating activities, and, on the other hand, is used as a reference for multiples.
“Free cash flow” consists of cash flow from operating activities together with cash flow from investing activities and it is reported separately in the cash flow statement.
“Free cash flow” is not only an important performance indicator for GF but is also a generally accepted and widely used performance figure in the financial sector.