Financial instruments

A financial instrument is a contract that simultaneously gives rise to a financial asset of one entity and a financial liability or equity instrument of another entity.

In this connection, financial assets particularly comprise cash and cash equivalents, equity instruments held in other entities (e.g. investments or share portfolios), trade accounts receivable, other loans and receivables granted, and primary and derivative financial instruments that are held for trading. Financial liabilities generally establish a contractual obligation to deliver cash or other financial assets. These include in particular bonds and other securitized liabilities, liabilities to banks, trade accounts payable, finance lease liabilities and derivative financial instruments. Within the Group, regular way purchases and sales of primary financial instruments are generally recorded as of the settlement date, i.e. at the date of delivery and transfer of title. Derivative financial instruments are recognized as of the trade date. Financial assets and financial liabilities are generally reported gross (i.e. without being netted).

Financial assets are recognized if Aurubis has a contractual right to receive cash and cash equivalents or other financial assets from another company. Financial assets are always recognized initially at fair value. Thereby, in the case of financial assets that will not be measured subsequently at fair value through profit or loss, the transaction costs directly attributable to the purchase have to be taken into account. The fair values recognized in the statement of financial position represent the market prices of the financial assets to the extent that these can be determined directly by reference to an active market. Otherwise, they are measured using normal market procedures (valuation models), applying the market parameters specific to the instrument. Non-interest-bearing financial assets with a term exceeding one year are discounted. For financial assets with a residual term of less than one year, it is assumed that the fair value corresponds to the nominal value. Financial assets designated in foreign currency are measured on initial recognition with the valid rate applicable at the date of the transaction and as at the balance sheet date with the mid-market rate as at the balance sheet date. Financial assets are derecognized if the contractual rights to payments from the financial assets no longer exist or all opportunities and risks are essentially transferred. Any financial assets sold without recourse were derecognized.

The non-current receivables reported as “Other financial fixed assets” are assigned to the category “loans and receivables” and, if significant, are measured at amortized cost, applying the effective interest method.

On account of their short terms to maturity, trade accounts receivable are measured at nominal value, less allowances for doubtful debts. The allowances take adequate account of credit default risks, which are determined on the basis of past experience and individual assessments of the risks. Actual defaults result in derecognition of the receivables affected.

Impairment losses relating to trade accounts receivable are recorded in an allowance account. The decision as to whether a credit default risk is recorded using an allowance account or through direct reduction of the receivables depends on how reliable the assessment of the risk situation is.

Financial assets held for trading are measured at fair value. These include derivative financial instruments that are not included in an effective hedging relationship in accordance with IAS 39 and therefore have to be classified as “held for trading”.

In addition, delivery contracts are concluded in the Aurubis Group for non-ferrous metals to cover the expected requirement for raw materials and also for the sale of finished products. In the process, physical delivery contracts may be terminated by making compensation payments due to changes in demand. Price-fixed metal delivery contracts are therefore also recognized as derivative financial instruments. Since these are not included in an effective hedging relationship in accordance with IAS 39, they are similarly classified as “held for trading”.

Gains or losses resulting from the subsequent measurement of “held for trading” financial assets are recognized in profit or loss.

Other financial assets are allocated to the category “loans and receivables” and, to the extent that they are non-current, are measured at amortized cost, applying the effective interest method.

Cash and cash equivalents have a remaining term on initial recognition of up to three months and are measured at nominal value.

Within the Aurubis Group, the “available-for-sale” category represents the residual amount of primary financial assets that fall under IAS 39 and are not assigned to another category. They include the interests in affiliated companies that are reported under financial fixed assets, other investments and securities classified as fixed assets. They are generally measured at fair value, which is derived from the stock market price, provided a price quoted in an active market is available. Subsequent gains and losses resulting from measurement at fair value are recognized in equity as a component of other comprehensive income. This does not apply if these are permanent or significant impairment losses and also if these are foreign-currency-related changes in the value of debt instruments, which are recognized in profit or loss. The accumulated gains or losses deriving from measurement at fair value that are recorded as a component of other comprehensive income are only recognized in profit or loss upon disposal of the financial assets. If the fair value of non-quoted equity instruments cannot be reliably determined, the interests are measured at acquisition cost (net of impairment losses, if appropriate).

No financial instruments were reclassified into other measurement categories either in fiscal year 2015/16 or in fiscal year 2014/15.

Within the Aurubis Group, an impairment loss is recognized if the carrying amount of a financial asset is higher than the present value of the future cash flows. The test of whether impairment exists is carried out at every balance sheet date. Indications such as considerable financial problems on the part of the debtor are taken into account in order to determine objectively whether evidence of impairment exists.

In order to resolve the question of impairment, the existing credit relationships that are assigned to the category “loans and receivables” need to be analyzed and then measured subsequently at amortized cost. At every balance sheet date, an investigation is required in order to assess whether there are objective indications of impairment that should be recognized in the financial statements. The amount of the loss is calculated as the difference between the carrying amount of the asset and the present value of the expected future cash flows, discounted with the original effective interest rate of the financial instrument (recoverable amount). In this connection, for the sake of simplicity, cash flows from short-term receivables are not discounted. The carrying amount of the asset is reduced to the recoverable amount by means of a direct write-down or by using an allowance account and the reduction is recognized in profit or loss.

For equity instruments of the “available-for-sale” category, an impairment loss is recognized if there are considerable adverse changes in the issuer’s environment or the fair value is significantly lower than the original cost for a long period. The loss is determined as the difference between the current fair value and the carrying amount of the financial instrument. While reversals of impairment losses on debt instruments are to be recognized in profit or loss, in the case of equity instruments they may only be recognized in equity.

Financial liabilities are recognized if there is a contractual obligation to transfer cash and cash equivalents or other financial assets to another company. Financial liabilities are always initially recognized at fair value. The directly attributable transaction costs are also deducted for all financial liabilities that are not subsequently measured at fair value and are amortized over the term of the liability applying the effective interest method. Financial liabilities denominated in foreign currency are measured on initial recognition with the valid rate applicable at the date of the transaction and as at the balance sheet date with the mid-market rate.

Primary financial liabilities, which include borrowings, trade accounts payable and other primary financial liabilities, are generally measured at amortized cost. If the interest effect is not insignificant, non-interest-bearing liabilities, or liabilities bearing low interest rates, with a residual term exceeding one year, are discounted. In the case of liabilities with a residual term of less than a year, it is assumed that the fair value corresponds to the settlement amount.

Liabilities under finance leases are recognized on inception of the lease at the lower of the present value of the leasing payments and the fair value of the leased asset. In subsequent periods, the redemption portions included in the leasing payments reduce the corresponding liabilities.

Derivative financial instruments that are not included in effective hedging relationships must be classified as “held-for-trading” and therefore recognized at fair value through profit and loss. Negative amounts result in the recognition of a financial liability.

The Aurubis Group uses derivative financial instruments to hedge interest rate and foreign currency risks and to hedge commodity price risks.

Derivative financial instruments are measured at fair value. This represents the market value and can be both positive and negative. If the market value is not available, the fair value is calculated utilizing present value and option price models. As far as possible, relevant market prices and interest rates observed at the balance sheet date, which are derived from recognized sources, are used as the opening parameters for these models.

Changes in the fair values of derivative financial instruments are recognized either through profit or loss in the income statement or in equity as a component of other comprehensive income. The decisive factor hereby is whether or not the derivative financial instrument is included in an effective hedging relationship. If no cash flow hedge accounting relationship exists, the changes in fair values are to be recognized immediately in profit or loss. If, on the other hand, an effective hedging relationship exists, such changes will be recognized in equity as a component of other comprehensive income.

In order to avoid fluctuations in the income statement due to the different measurement of hedged items and hedging instruments, IAS 39 includes special regulations relating to hedge accounting. The aim of these hedge accounting regulations is to record gains and losses on hedging instruments and hedged items so that they compensate one another as far as possible.

In addition to documentation, as a prerequisite for the application of the regulations of hedge accounting, IAS 39 requires proof of an effective hedging relationship. Hedge effectiveness means that changes in fair value (for fair value hedges) or changes in cash flow (for cash flow hedges) of the hedged items are compensated by changes in the opposite direction in the fair value or by changes in the cash flows of the hedging instruments, in each case relating to the hedged risk.

The purpose of derivatives that are used as hedging instruments in conjunction with a cash flow hedge is to hedge future cash flows. A risk with regard to the amount of future cash flows exists in particular for loans at floating interest rates and planned transactions that are highly likely to occur. Derivative financial instruments used in conjunction with cash flow hedge accounting are recognized at fair value. The gain or loss on measurement is split between an effective and an ineffective portion. The effective portion is the portion of the gain or loss on measurement that represents an effective hedge of the cash flow risk. This is recognized directly in equity under a special heading (cash flow hedge reserve), after taking deferred taxes into account. The ineffective portion deriving from measurement is recognized on the other hand in profit or loss in the income statement. The general accounting rules applicable to the transactions underlying the hedged cash flows remain unchanged. Following the termination of the hedging relationship, the amounts recorded in the reserve are always transferred to the income statement when gains or losses in connection with the hedged item are recognized in profit or loss or when the underlying transaction is not actually expected to occur anymore.

The Aurubis Group furthermore enters into hedging relationships that do not satisfy the strict requirements of IAS 39 and cannot therefore be accounted for in accordance with the hedge accounting regulations. Nevertheless, from an economic point of view, these hedging relationships comply with the principles of risk management. Moreover, hedge accounting is also not applied in the case of the monetary assets and liabilities recognized in connection with foreign currency hedging, because the foreign currency translation gains and losses on the hedged items that need to be realized in profit or loss in accordance with IAS 21 are accompanied by gains and losses on the derivative hedging instruments and more or less compensate one another in the income statement.

Financial assets and financial liabilities that fall under the scope of IAS 39 could under certain circumstances be allocated irrevocably to the subcategory “fair value option” upon initial recognition. The Aurubis Group has not made use of the fair value option either for financial assets or for financial liabilities.

The fair value of financial instruments is determined pursuant to the regulations of IFRS 13 covering measurement at fair value. The fair value of financial instruments quoted in active markets is calculated based on the price quotation insofar as these are prices used in routine and current transactions. Where no prices quoted in active markets are available, the Aurubis Group uses measurement procedures to determine the fair value of financial instruments. Consequently, the input parameters applied in measurement procedures are based where possible on observable data derived from the prices of relevant financial instruments traded in active markets. The use of these measurement procedures requires estimates and assumptions on the part of the Aurubis Group, the scope of which depends on the price transparency of the financial instrument and its market, and the complexity of the instrument. Management regularly analyzes the methods and influencing factors used to determine the fair value to ensure that they are appropriate. Additional information about the main estimates and assumptions used to determine the fair value can be found in the section “Additional disclosures on financial instruments”.