Financial assets


Financial assets are classified within the Lufthansa Group as “at fair value through profit or loss”, “loans and receivables” and “available-for-sale financial assets”.

The category “at fair value through profit and loss” includes financial assets held for trading purposes, e.g. derivatives which do not qualify as hedging transactions as part of a hedging relationship.

The category “loans and receivables” consists of financial assets with fixed payment schedules which are not traded in an active market. They are classified as non-current or current assets according to their remaining maturity.

“Available-for-sale financial assets” are non-derivative financial assets which are not attributable to one of the other categories. Securities, equity investments and cash and bank balances count as available for sale.

Derivatives which qualify as hedging transactions within a hedging relationship are not classified in any of these categories.

Financial assets are capitalised on the settlement date, i. e. the date at which the asset is created or transferred, at fair value plus transaction costs. Long-term low or non-interest bearing loans are recognised at net present value using the effective interest method.

Trade receivables from production or service contracts not completed at the balance sheet date are recognised at production costs, including borrowing costs in accordance with IAS 23, plus a profit margin, if the result of the production contract can be reliably estimated. For other incomplete customer contracts the production costs are capitalised if they are likely to be covered by revenue.

Assets classified as at fair value through profit or loss are always recognised at fair value. Changes in fair value are recognised in profit or loss and included in the financial result.

Subsequent measurement of loans and receivables is at amortised cost, using the effective interest method for low or non-interest bearing receivables.

If there are doubts as to the recoverability of receivables they are recognised at the lower recoverable amount. Subsequent reversals (write-backs) are recognised in profit or loss.

Receivables denominated in foreign currencies are measured at the balance sheet date rate.

Available-for-sale financial assets are recognised at fair value in subsequent periods to the extent that this can be reliably measured.

The fair value of securities is determined by the price quoted on an active market. For unlisted fixed-interest securities the fair value is determined from the difference between effective and market interest rate at the valuation date.

Fluctuations in fair value between balance sheet dates are recognised in equity without effect on profit or loss. The cumulative amount is removed from equity and recognised in profit or loss either on disposal or if fair value falls below the carrying amount on a permanent basis. If an impairment loss recognised in previous years due to fair value falling below the carrying amount no longer exists it is reversed – without effect on profit or loss for securities classified as equity instruments, through profit or loss for debt securities.

Subsequent measurement of equity investments for which no quoted price exists on an active market is at cost. If the recoverable amount falls below the carrying amount, an impairment loss is recognised. Such losses are not reversed.

Derivative financial instruments are measured at fair value on the basis of published market prices. If there is no quoted price on an active market, other appropriate valuation methods are applied.

Appropriate valuation methods take all factors into account which independent, knowledgeable market participants would consider in arriving at a price and which constitute recognised, established economic models for calculating the price of financial instruments.

In accordance with its internal guidelines the Lufthansa Group uses derivative financial instruments to hedge interest rate and exchange rate risks, and to hedge fuel price risks. This is based on the hedging policy defined by the Executive Board and monitored by a committee. In some cases the counterparties for interest and exchange rate hedges are also non-consolidated Group companies.

Interest rate swaps and interest rate/currency swaps are used to manage interest rate risks. Interest rate/currency swaps also hedge exchange rate risks arising from borrowing in foreign currencies.

The Lufthansa Group uses currency futures and currency options to hedge exchange rate exposure. This involves the use of spread options that combine the purchase and simultaneous sale of currency options in the same currency. Spread options are concluded as zero-cost options, i. e. the option premium to be paid is equal to the premium resulting from the sale of the option.

Fuel price hedging takes the form of spread options and other hedging combinations, primarily for crude oil. To a limited extent, hedging is also undertaken for other products, such as gas oil.

Hedging transactions are used to secure either fair values or future cash flows.

To the extent that the financial instruments used qualify as effective cash flow hedging instruments within the scope of a hedging relationship, in accordance with the provisions of IAS 39, the fluctuations in market value will not affect the result for the period during the term of the derivative. They are recognised without effect on profit and loss in the corresponding reserve. However, following the amendment to IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement, from the financial year 2010 onwards it has no longer been possible to recognise the change in total market value of an option used as a hedge (full fair value method) in equity as part of hedge accounting, but only the “intrinsic value” of the option. The change in the time value of the option is recognised in the financial result.

If the hedged cash flow is an investment, the result of the hedging transaction, which has previously been recognised in equity, is set off against the cost of the investment at the time the underlying transaction matures.

In all other cases the cumulative gain or loss previously stated in equity is included in net profit or loss for the period on maturity of the hedged cash flow.

In the case of effective hedging of fair values, the changes in the market value of the hedged asset, or the hedged debt and those of the financial instrument, will balance out in the income statement.

Where the financial instruments used do not qualify as effective hedging transactions but as trading under IAS 39, all changes in market value are recognised directly as a profit or loss in the income statement. Embedded derivatives – to the extent that they cannot be separated from the financial host contract – are considered with these as trading transactions for measurement purposes. Changes in market value are also recognised directly as a profit or loss in the income statement. Both types must be classified as financial assets stated at fair value through profit or loss.

The Group’s hedging policy is to use only effective derivatives for the purpose of hedging interest rate, exchange rate and fuel price risks, see “Note 47”.

Hedging transactions with non-consolidated Group companies and interest/currency swaps generally do not, however, satisfy the qualifying criteria for effectiveness as defined in IAS 39. Changes in the fair value of these transactions are therefore recognised directly in profit or loss.

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