Balance sheet

Goodwill

In accordance with IFRS 3 (Business Combinations), goodwill is capitalised. Goodwill resulting from business combinations is attributed to the group of so-called cash-generating units (CGUs) that benefits from the synergies of this business combination. In accordance with IAS 36 (Impairment of Assets), a CGU is defined as the smallest identifiable group of assets that generates cash inflows largely independently from the cash inflows of other assets or groups of assets. As a rule, single locations represent CGUs at METRO GROUP. At METRO Cash & Carry, goodwill is monitored at the level of the three customer clusters Horeca (focusing on hotels, restaurants and catering firms), traders (focusing on independent resellers such as kiosk operators, bakers and butchers) as well as multispecialists (focusing on the remaining customer groups as well as service companies and offices). At Media-Saturn and Real, goodwill is generally monitored at the level of the organisational unit sales line per country. Goodwill impairment tests are therefore conducted at the level of this respective group of cash-generating units.

Goodwill is regularly tested for impairment once a year – or more frequently if changes in circumstances indicate a possible impairment. If an impairment exists, an impairment loss is recognised through profit or loss. To determine a possible impairment, the recoverable amount of a CGU is compared to the respective carrying amount of the CGU. The recoverable amount is the higher of value in use and fair value less costs to sell. An impairment of the goodwill allocated to a CGU applies only if the recoverable amount is lower than the total of carrying amounts. No reversal of an impairment loss is performed if the reasons for the impairment in previous years have ceased to exist.

Other intangible assets

Purchased other intangible assets are recognised at cost of purchase. In accordance with IAS 38 (Intangible Assets), internally generated intangible assets are capitalised at their production cost. Research costs, in contrast, are not capitalised, but immediately recognised as expenses. The cost of manufacture includes all expenditure directly attributable to the development process. This may include the following costs:

Direct costs

Direct material costs

Direct production costs

Special direct production costs

Overhead
(directly attributable)

Material overhead

Production overhead

Depreciation/amortisation/impairment losses

Development-related administrative costs

Borrowing costs are factored into the determination of production costs only in the case of so-called qualified assets pursuant to IAS 23 (Borrowing Costs). Qualified assets are defined as non-financial assets that take a substantial period of time to prepare for their intended use or sale.

The subsequent measurement of other intangible assets with a finite useful life is effected based on the cost model. No use is made of the revaluation option. All other intangible assets of METRO GROUP with a finite useful life are subject to straight-line amortisation. Capitalised internally created and purchased software as well as comparable intangible assets are amortised over a period of up to ten years, while licences are amortised over their useful life. These intangible assets are examined for indications of impairment at each closing date. If the recoverable amount is below the amortised cost, an impairment loss is recognised. The impairment loss is reversed if the reasons for the impairment in previous years have ceased to exist.

Other intangible assets with an infinite useful life are not subject to straight-line amortisation, but are subjected to an impairment test at least once a year. Impairments and value gains are recognised through profit or loss based on the historical cost principle.

Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment are recognised at amortised cost pursuant to IAS 16 (Property, Plant and Equipment). The manufacturing cost of internally generated assets includes both direct costs and directly attributable overhead. Borrowing costs are only capitalised in relation to qualified assets as a component of acquisition or production costs. In line with IAS 20 (Accounting for Government Grants and Disclosure of Government Assistance), investment grants received are offset against the acquisition or production costs of the corresponding asset without recognition of an item of deferral for the grants on the liabilities side. Reinstatement obligations are included in the cost of purchase or production at the discounted settlement value. Subsequent purchase or production costs of property, plant and equipment are only capitalised if they result in a higher future economic benefit for METRO GROUP.

Property, plant and equipment are solely depreciated on a straight-line basis using the cost model pursuant to IAS 16. The optional revaluation model is not applied. Throughout the group, depreciation is based on the following useful lives:

Buildings

10 to 33 years

Leasehold improvements

8 to 15 years or shorter rental contract duration

Business and office equipment

3 to 13 years

Machinery

3 to 8 years

Capitalised reinstatement costs are depreciated on a pro rata basis over the useful life of the asset.

Pursuant to IAS 36, an impairment test will be carried out if there are any indications of impairment of property, plant and equipment. Impairment losses on property, plant and equipment will be recognised if the recoverable amount is below the amortised cost. Impairment losses are reversed up to the amount of amortised acquisition or production costs if the reasons for the impairment have ceased to exist.

In accordance with IAS 17 (Leases), economic ownership of leased assets is attributable to the lessee if all the material risks and rewards incidental to ownership of the asset are transferred to the lessee (finance lease). If economic ownership is attributable to a METRO GROUP company acting as lessee, the leased asset is capitalised at fair value or at the lower present value of the minimum lease payments when the lease is signed. Analogous to the comparable purchased property, plant and equipment, leased assets are subject to depreciation over their useful lives or the lease term if the latter is shorter. However, if it is sufficiently certain that ownership of the leased asset will be transferred to the lessee at the end of the lease term, the asset is depreciated over its useful life. Payment obligations resulting from future lease payments are carried as liabilities. Conversely, they are recognised as receivables by the lessor.

An operating lease applies when economic ownership of the leased object is not transferred to the lessee. The lessee does not recognise assets or liabilities for operating leases, but merely recognises rental expenses in its income statement over the term of the lease using the straight-line method, while the lessor recognises an asset as well as a receivable.

In the case of leasing agreements relating to buildings and related land, these two elements are generally treated separately and classified as finance or operating leases.

Investment properties

In accordance with IAS 40 (Investment Property), investment properties comprise real estate assets that are held to earn rentals and/or for an increase in value. Analogous to property, plant and equipment, they are recognised at cost less depreciation and potentially required impairment losses based on the cost model. Measurement at fair value through profit or loss based on the fair value model does not apply. Depreciation of investment properties is effected over a useful life of 15 to 33 years. Furthermore, the fair value of these properties is stated in the notes. It is determined on the basis of recognised measurement methods, including an assessment and the consideration of project development opportunities.

Financial assets

Financial assets (financial investments) that do not represent associates under IAS 28 (Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures) or joint ventures under IAS 11 (Construction Contracts) are recognised in accordance with IAS 39 (Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement) and assigned to one of the following categories:

  • “Loans and receivables”
  • “Held to maturity”
  • “At fair value through profit or loss”
  • “Available for sale”

The first-time recognition of financial assets is effected at fair value. In the process, incurred transaction costs are considered for all categories with the exception of the category “at fair value through profit or loss”. Measurement is effected at the trade date.

Depending on the classification to the categories listed above, financial assets are capitalised either at amortised cost or at fair value:

  • “Loans and receivables” are non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market. They are recognised at amortised cost using the effective interest method.
  • The measurement category “held to maturity” includes non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments and fixed maturity, with the company having both the positive intention and the ability to hold them to maturity. They are also recognised at amortised cost using the effective interest method.
  • The category “at fair value through profit or loss” comprises all financial assets “held for trading” as the fair value option of IAS 39 is not applied within METRO GROUP. For clarification purposes, the entire category is referred to as “held for trading” in the notes to the consolidated financial statements. Financial instruments “held for trading” are financial assets that are either acquired or incurred principally for the purpose of selling or repurchasing in the near term or that are part of a portfolio of financial instruments that are managed together and for which there is evidence of a recent pattern of short-term profit-taking. Furthermore, this category includes derivative financial instruments that are not part of an effective hedge. Financial instruments “held for trading” are measured at fair value through profit or loss.
  • The category “available for sale” represents a residual category for primary financial assets that cannot be assigned to any of the other three categories. METRO GROUP does not make use of the optional designation of financial assets to the category “available for sale”. “Available for sale” financial assets are recognised at fair value in equity. Fluctuations in the fair value of “available for sale” financial assets are recognised in other comprehensive income. The amounts recognised are not reclassified to profit or loss for the respective period until the financial asset is derecognised or an impairment of the assets has occurred.

Investments are assets to be classified as “available for sale”. Securities are classified as “held to maturity”, “available for sale” or “held for trading”. Loans are classified as “loans and receivables”.

Financial assets designated as hedged items as part of a fair value hedge are recognised at fair value through profit or loss.

Equity instruments for which no quoted price on an active market exists and whose fair value cannot be reliably measured, as well as derivatives on such equity instruments, are recognised at cost. This applies to several investments of METRO GROUP.

At each closing date, financial assets that are not measured at fair value through profit or loss are examined for objective, substantial indications of impairment. Such indications include delayed interest or redemption payments, defaults and changes in the borrower’s creditworthiness. If there are any such indications, the respective financial asset is tested for impairment by comparing the carrying amount to the present value. The present value of financial assets measured at amortised cost corresponds to the present value of expected future cash flows, discounted at the original effective interest rate. However, the present value of equity instruments measured at cost in the category “available for sale” corresponds to expected future cash flows discounted at the current market interest rate. If the present value is lower than the carrying amount, an impairment loss is recognised for the difference. Where decreases in the fair value of financial assets in the category “held for sale” were previously recognised in other comprehensive income outside of profit or loss, these are now recognised in profit or loss to the amount of determined impairment.

If, at a later date, the present value increases again, the impairment loss is reversed accordingly. In the case of financial assets recognised at amortised cost, the impairment loss reversal is limited to the amount of amortised cost which would have occurred without the impairment. In the category “available for sale”, the reversal of previously recognised impairment losses for equity instruments is shown outside of profit or loss in other comprehensive income, while for debt instruments it is shown in profit or loss up to the amount of the impairment previously recognised through profit or loss. Increases in value for debt instruments beyond this are recognised outside of profit or loss in other comprehensive income.

Financial assets are derecognised when the contractual rights to cash flows from the item in question are extinguished or have expired or the financial asset is transferred.

Other financial and non-financial assets

The financial assets included in other financial and non-financial assets that are classified as “loans and receivables” under IAS 39 are measured at amortised cost.

Other assets include, among others, derivative financial instruments to be classified as “held for trading” in accordance with IAS 39. All other receivables and assets are recognised at amortised cost.

Prepaid expenses and deferred charges comprise transitory accruals.

Deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities

Deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are determined using the asset-liability method in accordance with IAS 12 (Income Taxes). Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognised for temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets or liabilities in the consolidated financial statements and their tax base. Deferred tax assets are also considered for unused tax loss and interest carry-forwards.

Deferred tax assets are recognised only to the extent that it is probable that sufficient taxable profit will be available in the future to allow the corresponding benefit of that deferred tax asset to be realised.

Deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are netted if these income tax assets and liabilities concern the same tax authority and refer to the same tax subject or a group of different tax subjects that are jointly assessed for income tax purposes. Deferred tax assets are remeasured at each closing date and adjusted if necessary.

Deferred taxes are determined on the basis of the tax rates expected in each country upon realisation. In principle, these are based on the valid laws or legislation that has been passed at the time of the closing date.

The assessment of deferred taxes reflects the tax consequence arising from how METRO GROUP expects to recover the carrying amounts of its assets and settle its obligations as of the closing date.

Inventories

In accordance with IAS 2 (Inventories), merchandise carried as inventories is reported at cost of purchase. The cost of purchase is determined either on the basis of a separate measurement of additions from the perspective of the procurement market or by means of the weighted average cost method. Supplier compensation to be classified as a reduction in the cost of purchase lowers the carrying amount of inventories.

Merchandise is valued as of the closing date at the lower of cost or net realisable value. Merchandise is written down on a case-by-case basis if the net realisable value declines below the carrying amount of the inventories. Such net realisable value corresponds to the anticipated estimated selling price less the estimated direct costs necessary to make the sale.

When the reasons for a write-down of the merchandise have ceased to exist, the previously recognised impairment loss is reversed.

METRO GROUP’s inventories never meet the definition of so-called qualified assets. As a result, interest expenses on borrowings relating to inventories are not capitalised pursuant to IAS 23 (Borrowing Costs).

Trade receivables

In accordance with IAS 39, trade receivables are classified as “loans and receivables” and recognised at amortised cost. Where their recoverability appears doubtful, the trade receivables are recognised at the lower present value of the estimated future cash flows. Aside from the required specific bad debt allowances, a generalised specific allowance is carried out to account for the general credit risk.

Income tax assets and liabilities

The disclosed income tax assets and liabilities concern domestic and foreign income taxes for the reporting period as well as prior periods. They are determined in compliance with the tax laws of the respective country.

In addition, the effects of tax risks are considered in the determination of income tax liabilities. The premises and assessments underlying these risks are regularly reviewed and considered in the determination of income tax.

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents comprise cheques, cash on hand, bank deposits and other short-term liquid financial assets, such as accessible deposits on lawyer trust accounts or cash in transit, with an original term of up to three months and are valued at their respective nominal values.

Non-current assets held for sale, liabilities related to assets held for sale and discontinued operations

In accordance with IFRS 5 (Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations), an asset is classified as a non-current asset held for sale if the respective carrying amount will be recovered principally through a sale transaction rather than through continuing use. A sale must be planned and realisable within the subsequent twelve months. The valuation of the asset’s carrying amount pursuant to the relevant IFRS must directly precede a first-time classification as held for sale. In case of reclassification, the asset is measured at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell and presented separately in the balance sheet. Analogously, liabilities related to assets held for sale are presented separately in the balance sheet.

In accordance with IFRS 5, a discontinued operation is recognised as such if it is held for sale or has already been disposed of. An operation is a component of an entity representing a separate material business operation or geographical business operation which forms part of an individual, approved plan for divestment of a separate material business operation or geographical business operation or represents a subsidiary that was acquired solely for resale. The valuation of the component of an entity’s carrying amount pursuant to the relevant IFRS must directly precede the first-time classification as held for sale. In case of reclassification, the discontinued operation is measured at the lower value of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell. Discontinued operations are presented separately in the income statement, the balance sheet, the cash flow statement and the segment reporting, and explained in the notes. With the exception of the balance sheet, the previous year’s amounts are restated accordingly.

Employee benefits

Employee benefits include:

  • Short-term employee benefits
  • Post-employment benefits
  • Obligations similar to pensions
  • Termination benefits
  • Share-based compensation

Short-term employee benefits include wages and salaries, social security contributions, vacation pay and sickness benefits and are recognised as liabilities at the repayment amount as soon as the associated job performance has been rendered.

Post-employment benefits are provided in the context of defined benefit or defined contribution plans. In the case of defined contribution plans, periodic contribution obligations to the external pension provider are recognised as expenses for post-employment benefits at the same time as the beneficiary’s job performance. Missed payments or prepayments to the pension provider are accrued as liabilities or receivables. Liabilities with a term of over twelve months are discounted.

The actuarial measurement of provisions for post-employment benefits plans as part of a defined benefit plan is effected in accordance with the projected unit credit method stipulated by IAS 19 (Employee Benefits) on the basis of actuarial opinions. Based on biometric data, this method takes into account known pensions and pension entitlements at the closing date as well as expected increases in future wages and pensions. Where the employee benefit obligations determined or the fair value of the plan assets increase or decrease between the beginning and end of a financial year as a result of experience adjustments (for example, a higher fluctuation rate) or changes in underlying actuarial assumptions (for example, the discount rate), this will result in so-called actuarial gains or losses. These are recognised in other comprehensive income with no effect on profit or loss. Effects of plan changes and curtailments are recognised fully under service costs through profit or loss. The interest element of the addition to the provision contained in the pension expense is shown as interest paid under the financial result. Insofar as plan assets exist, the amount of the provision is generally the result of the difference between the present value of defined benefit obligations and the fair value of the plan assets.

Provisions for obligations similar to pensions (such as anniversary allowances and death benefits) are comprised of the present value of future payment obligations to the employee or his or her surviving dependants less any associated assets measured at fair value. The amount of provisions is determined on the basis of actuarial opinions in line with IAS 19. Actuarial gains and losses are recognised in profit or loss in the period in which they are incurred.

Termination benefits comprise severance payments to employees. These are recognised as liabilities through profit or loss when contractual or factual payment obligations towards the employee are to be made in relation to the termination of the employment relationship. Such an obligation is given when a formal plan for the early termination of the employment relationship exists to which the company is bound. Benefits with terms of more than twelve months after the closing date must be recognised at their present value.

The share bonuses granted under the share-based payment system are classified as “cash-settled share-based payments” pursuant to IFRS 2 (Share-based Payment). Proportionate provisions measured at the fair value of the obligations entered into are formed for these payments. The proportionate formation of the provisions is prorated over the underlying vesting period and recognised in profit or loss as personnel expenses. The fair value is remeasured at each closing date during the vesting period until exercised based on an option pricing model. Provisions are adjusted accordingly in profit or loss.

Where granted share-based payments are hedged through corresponding hedging transactions, the hedging transactions are measured at fair value and shown under other financial and non-financial assets. The portion of the hedges’ value fluctuation that corresponds to the value of fluctuation of the share-based payments is recognised in personnel expenses. The surplus amount of value fluctuations is recognised in other comprehensive income outside of profit or loss.

(Other) provisions

In accordance with IAS 37 (Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets), (other) provisions are formed if legal or constructive obligations to third parties exist that are based on past business transactions or events and will probably result in an outflow of financial resources that can be reliably determined. The provisions are stated at the anticipated settlement amount with regard to all identifiable risks attached. With individual obligations, the settlement amount with the highest possible probability of occurrence is used. If the determination of the provision for an individual situation results in a range of equally probable settlement amounts, the provision will be set at the average of these settlement amounts. For a multitude of uniform situations, the provision is set at the expected value resulting from the weighting of all possible results with the related probabilities.

Long-term provisions with a term of more than one year are discounted to the closing date using an interest rate for matching maturities which reflects current market expectations regarding interest rate effects. Provisions with a term of less than one year are discounted accordingly if the interest rate effect is material. Claims for recourse are not netted with provisions, but recognised separately as an asset if their realisation is considered virtually certain.

Provisions for onerous contracts are formed if the unavoidable costs of meeting the obligations under a contract exceed the expected economic benefits resulting from the contract. Provisions for deficient rental cover related to leased objects are based on a consideration of individual leased properties. Provisions in the amount of the present value of the funding gap are formed for all closed properties or properties with deficient rental cover. In addition, a provision is created for store-related risks related to leased, operational or not yet closed stores insofar as a deficient cover of operational costs or a deficient rental cover despite consideration of a possible subleasing for the respective location arises from current corporate planning over the basic rental term.

Provisions for restructuring measures are recognised if a constructive obligation to restructure was formalised by means of the adoption of a detailed restructuring plan and its communication vis-à-vis those affected as of the closing date. Restructuring provisions only comprise obligatory restructuring expenses that are not related to the company’s current activities.

Warranty provisions are formed based on past warranty claims and the sales of the current financial year.

Financial liabilities

According to IAS 39, financial liabilities that do not represent liabilities from finance leases are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • “At fair value through profit or loss” (“held for trading”)
  • “Other financial liabilities”

The first-time recognition of financial liabilities and subsequent measurement of financial liabilities “held for trading” is effected based on the same stipulations as for financial assets.

The category “other financial liabilities” comprises all financial liabilities that are not “held for trading”. They are carried at amortised cost using the effective interest method as the fair value option is not applied within METRO GROUP.

Financial liabilities designated as the hedged item in a fair value hedge are carried at their fair value. The fair values indicated for the financial liabilities have been determined on the basis of the interest rates prevailing on the closing date for the remaining terms and redemption structures.

In principle, financial liabilities from finance leases are carried at the present value of future minimum lease payments.

A financial liability is derecognised only when it has expired, that is, when the contractual obligations have been redeemed or annulled or have expired.

Other financial and non-financial liabilities

Other financial and non-financial liabilities are carried at their settlement amounts unless they represent derivative financial instruments, put options given out to interests or earn-out liabilities, which are recognised at fair value under IAS 39.

Prepaid expenses and deferred charges comprise transitory accruals.

Trade liabilities

Trade liabilities are recognised at amortised cost.