Financial risk management

This note explains Accell Group’s exposure to financial risks and how these risks could affect its future financial performance. Current year profit and loss information has been included where relevant to add further context.

Financial risk management is predominantly controlled by the central treasury department (‘Group Treasury’) under policies approved by the Board of Management. Group Treasury identifies, evaluates and hedges financial risks in close co-operation with the group companies. The Board of Management provides written principles for overall risk management, as well as policies covering specific areas, such as foreign exchange risk, interest rate risk, credit risk and use of derivative financial instruments.

When all relevant criteria are met, hedge accounting is applied to remove the accounting mismatch between the hedging instrument and the hedged item. This will effectively result in the recognition of interest expense at a fixed interest rate for the hedged floating rate loans and inventory at the fixed foreign currency rate for the hedged purchases.


A. Market risk

i. Foreign exchange risk


Accell Group’s exposure to foreign currency risk from recognized financial assets and liabilities not denominated in functional currencies at the end of the reporting period is limited as the significant exposure to USD, JPY and TWD are respectively 87%, 80% and 100% hedged with foreign currency forwards.

Instruments used
Accell Group operates internationally and is exposed to foreign exchange risk, primarily the USD, JPY and TWD. Foreign exchange risk arises from future commercial transactions and recognized assets and liabilities denominated in a currency that is not the functional currency of the relevant group entity. The risk is measured through a forecast of highly probable purchase transactions denominated in foreign currencies. The risk is hedged with the objective of minimizing the volatility of Accell Group’s currency cost of highly probable forecast inventory purchases.

Accell Group’s risk management policy is to hedge between 75% and 100% of its forecasted purchases in foreign currencies up to 12 month in advance (July until June), subject to a review of the cost of implementing each hedge.

For the year ended 31 December 2019, approximately 96% (2018: 89%) of inventory purchases were hedged in respect of foreign currency risk. At 31 December 2019 100% (2018: 99%) of forecasted inventory purchases during the first six month of 2020 qualified as ‘highly probable’ forecast transactions for hedge accounting purposes.

Accell Group uses foreign currency forwards to hedge its exposure to foreign currency risk. Under the group’s policy the critical terms of the forwards must align with the hedged items.

Only the spot component of the FX forwards is designated in the hedge relationships and the fair value change is accounted for in the hedge reserve (as far as the hedging relation is effective). The spot component is determined with reference to relevant spot market exchange rates. The differential between the contracted forward rate and the spot market exchange rate is defined as the forward points. It is discounted, where material. When the critical terms of the FX forward match the hedge item, the forward component is accounted for as cost of hedging. When there is a mismatch in critical terms, the forward component is recognized as cost of hedging to the extent that the forward element is related to the hedged item (aligned forward element). The remainder is recognized in the income statement.

Hedge of net investment in foreign entity
Due to its international operations Accell Group holds net investments in foreign operations, mainly in USD, CHF, GBP and TRY and to a smaller extend in TWD and CNY, and as such is exposed to foreign exchange risk. The risk management strategy is not to hedge the foreign exchange risk in net investments in foreign operations.

Effects of hedge accounting on the financial position and performance
The effects of the foreign currency related hedging instruments on Accell Group’s financial position and performance are as follows:

  2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018 2019 2018
  € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000
Foreign currency forwards        
Hedge ratio 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1
Carrying amount 1,375 6,136 737 2,215 1,480 54 -739 138
Notional amount 96,250 135,085 6,792,338 9,110,000 846,000 561,000    
Maturity date Jan 2020 - Jun 2020 Jan 2019 - Dec 2019 Jan 2020 - Jun 2020 Jan 2019 - Jun 2019 Jan 2020 - Jun 2020 Jan 2019 - Jun 2019 Jan 2020 - Jun 2020 Jan 2019 - Dec 2019
Weighted average hedge rate for the year (including forward points) 1.19 1.17 128.39 126.59 35.31 34.90    


ii. Cash flow and fair value interest rate risk
Accell Group’s main interest rate risk arises from borrowings at variable rates, which expose the group to cash flow interest rate risk. Accell Group manages its exposure to interest rate risk through the proportion of fixed and variable rate net debt in its total net debt portfolio. Such a proportion is determined once each year by the Board of Management on the recommendation of Group Treasury as part of the annual budget process. In 2019 and 2018, Accell Group’s borrowings at variable rate were mainly denominated in euro.

Accell Group’s borrowings and receivables are carried at amortized cost. The borrowings are periodically contractually repriced (see below) and to that extent are also exposed to the risk of future changes in market interest rates. The exposure of Accell Group’s borrowing to interest rate changes and the contractual re-pricing dates of the borrowings at the end of the reporting period are as follows:

    2019   2018
  € x 1,000 % of total loans € x 1,000 % of total loans
Bank overdrafts 44,603 18% 28,885 16%
Other borrowings - repricing dates:        
6 month or less 178,398 72% 130,079 73%
6-12 months 6,995 3% 2,750 2%
1-5 years 15,000 6% 15,000 8%
Over 5 years 1,574 1% 1,765 1%
Total interest-bearing liabilities 246,571 100% 178,479 100%


An analysis by maturities is provided in note 6.9.1. The percentage of total loans shows the proportion of loans that are currently at variable rates in relation to the total amount of borrowings.

Instruments used by the group
The swap currently in place cover approximately 37% (2018: 53%) of the variable loan principal outstanding. The fixed interest rates of the swap is 0.64% (2018: 0.64%) and the variable margins of the loans are between 1.2% and 1.85% (2018: 1.0% and 1.85%) above the 3-month EURIBOR which at the end of the reporting period was -0.38% (2018: -0.31%).

The swap contracts require settlement of net interest receivable or payable every 90 days. The settlement dates coincide with the dates on which interest is payable on the underlying debt.

Effects of hedge accounting on the financial position and performance
The effects of the interest rate swap on the financial position and performance are as follows:

  2019 2018
  € x 1,000 € x 1,000
Interest rate swaps    
Hedge ratio 1:1 1:1
Carrying amount -1,865 -1,046
Notional amount 85,000 85,000
Maturity date Mar 2024 Mar 2024
Weighted average hedged rate for the year (excluding margin): 0.64% 0.64%


iii. Sensitivity
In respect of foreign exchange risk Accell Group is primarily exposed to changes in the EURUSD, EURJPY and EURTWD exchange rates. The sensitivity of the profit or loss to changes in the exchange rates arises mainly from USD and JPY denominated financial instruments and the impact on other components of equity arises from foreign forward exchange contract designated as cash flow hedges. The impact of foreign exchange risk from net investment risk is ignored.

In respect of interest rate risk, profit or loss is sensitive to higher/lower interest expenses from borrowings as a result of changes in interest rates. Equity changes as a result of an increase/decrease in the fair value of the cash flow hedges of borrowings through other comprehensive income.

  Profit before tax Equity
  Strengthening Weakening Strengthening Weakening
  € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000
  2019   2019  
USD (5% movement) 1) 1,189 -1,314 7,711 -8,522
JPY (5% movement) 1) 1,124 -1,242 4,402 -4,865
TWD (5% movement) 1) 8 -9 2,154 -2,381
Unhedged variable interest rate instruments (100 bps movement) 1) -987 2,213 -524 1,176
1) Holding all other variables constant.


B. Credit risk
Credit risk arises from cash and cash equivalents and favorable derivative financial instruments with banks and financial institutions, as well as credit exposures to wholesale and retail customers, including outstanding receivables.

i. Risk management
Credit risk is managed on a group basis. For banks and financial institutions, only independently rated parties with a rating between B+ to AA- based on Fitch or S&P ratings are accepted.

If wholesalers and retailers are independently rated, these ratings are used. Otherwise, if there is no independent rating, management assesses the credit quality of the customer, taking into account its financial position, past experience and other factors. Individual risk limits are set based on internal or external ratings in accordance with limits set by the Board of Management. Line management regularly monitors compliance with the credit limits set for wholesalers and retailers. Wholesalers and retailers with accounts receivables balances greater than € 0.1 million are required to be insured through Accell Group's global credit insurance programme. Sales to consumers are required to be settled in cash or using major credit cards, mitigating credit risk.

There are no significant concentrations of credit risk, whether through exposure to individual customers, specific industry sectors and/or regions.

The derivative contracts are entered into with banks and financial institution counterparties that are rated BBB+ to AA-, based on Fitch or S&P ratings.

ii. Impairment of financial assets
Accell Group’s trade receivables are subject to the simplified expected credit loss model (see note 6.8.2), while other financial assets, other receivables and cash and cash equivalents are subject to the general impairment requirements of IFRS 9. The identified impairment loss was deemed immaterial.

C. Liquidity risk
Prudent liquidity risk management implies maintaining sufficient cash and the availability of funding through an adequate amount of committed credit facilities to meet obligations when due. Due to the dynamic nature of the underlying businesses, Group Treasury maintains flexibility in funding by maintaining availability under committed credit lines.

Management monitors rolling forecasts of Accell Group’s liquidity reserve (comprising the undrawn borrowing facilities below) and cash on the basis of expected cash flows. This is generally carried out at local level in Accell Group's operating companies in accordance with practice and limits set by Group Treasury. These limits vary by location to take into account the liquidity of the market in which the operating entity operates. In addition, Accell Group’s liquidity management policy involves projecting cash flows in major currencies and considering the level of liquid assets necessary to meet these, monitoring balance sheet liquidity ratios against internal and external regulatory requirements and maintaining debt financing plans.

i. Financing arrangements
Accell Group has access to the following undrawn borrowing facilities at the end of the reporting period:

  2019 2019 2019 2018 2018 2018
  € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000
  Limit Usage Undrawn Limit Usage Undrawn
Committed 350,000 231,347 118,653 375,000 172,122 202,878
Uncommitted 21,000 15,224 5,776 21,000 6,357 14,643
Total 371,000 246,571 124,429 396,000 178,479 217,521


Out of the € 275 million revolving credit facility, as set out in note 6.9.1, € 75 million is allocated to bank overdraft facilities. The bank overdraft facilities may be drawn at any time and are committed at the same tenor as the long-term funding facilities. The overview of committed and uncommitted borrowing facilities excludes the optional (uncommitted) accordion facility for the sum of € 150 million.

ii. Maturities of financial liabilities
The tables below shows an analysis of Accell Group’s financial liabilities into relevant maturity groupings based on their contractual maturities for:

  • all non-derivative financial liabilities, and
  • net and gross settled derivative financial instruments for which the contractual maturities are essential for an understanding of the timing of the cash flows.

    The amounts disclosed in the table are the contractual undiscounted cash flows. Balances due within 12 months equal their carrying balances as the impact of discounting is not significant. For interest rate swaps the cash flows have been estimated using forward interest rates applicable at the end of the reporting period.

    Contractual cash flows
    Carrying amount Total < 1 year 1-5 year > 5 year
  Notes € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000
Lease liabilities 6.9.1 30,223 32,653 7,983 20,686 3,984
Revolving credit facility 6.9.1 -126,674 -126,674 -126,674 - -
Bank overdrafts 6.9.1 -44,603 -44,603 -44,603 - -
Terms loans (including Schuldschein) 6.9.1 -73,720 -81,348 -1,527 -79,821 -
Other bank loans 6.9.1 -1,574 -1,662 -214 -858 -590
Trade and other payables 6.8.3 210,918 210,918 210,918 - -
Non-derivative financial liabilities   -5,429 -10,715 45,884 -59,993 3,394
Interest rate swaps used for hedging (net) 6.12 -1,865 -2,278 -540 -1,738 -
Forward exchange contracts used for hedging (net) 6.12 2,853 2,853 2,853 - -
Derivative financial liabilities (assets)   988 575 2,313 -1,738 -


    Contractual cash flows
    Carrying amount Total < 1 year 1-5 year > 5 year
  Notes € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000 € x 1,000
Revolving credit facility 6.9.1 -49,194 -49,194 -49,194 - -
Bank overdrafts 6.9.1 -28,885 -28,885 -28,885 - -
Terms loans (including Schuldschein) 6.9.1 -98,600 -110,155 -2,185 -7,570 -100,400
Other bank loans 6.9.1 -1,800 -1,907 -244 -887 -776
Trade and other payables 6.8.3 -212,918 -212,918 -212,918 - -
Non-derivative financial liabilities   -391,397 -403,059 -293,426 -8,457 -101,176
Interest rate swaps used for hedging (net) 6.12 -1,046 -2,835 -540 -2,160 -135
Forward exchange contracts used for hedging (net) 6.12 8,543 8,543 8,543 - -
Derivative financial liabilities (assets)   7,497 5,708 8,003 -2,160 -135