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Note 1 Summary of significant accounting policies


General information

Akzo Nobel N.V. is a company headquartered in the Netherlands. The address of our registered office is Strawinskylaan 2555, Amsterdam. We have filed a list of subsidiaries and associated companies, drawn up in conformity with sections 379 and 414 of Book 2 of the Netherlands Civil Code, with the Trade Registry of Amsterdam.

We have prepared the consolidated financial statements of Akzo Nobel N.V. in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the European Union. They also comply with the financial reporting requirements included in Section 9 of Book 2 of the Netherlands Civil Code, as far as applicable.

On February 16, 2010, the Board of Management authorized the financial statements for issue. The financial statements as presented in this report are subject to the adoption by the Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

Consolidation

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Akzo Nobel N.V. and its subsidiaries. Subsidiaries are companies over which Akzo Nobel N.V. has directly and/or indirectly the power to control the financial and operating policies so as to obtain benefits. In assessing control, potential voting rights that are presently exercisable or convertible are taken into account. The financial statements of subsidiaries are included in the consolidated financial statements from the date that control commences until the date that control ceases. Minority interests in equity and in the results are presented separately. Transactions between consolidated companies and intercompany balances are eliminated. Accounting policies, as set out below, have been applied consistently for all periods presented in these consolidated financial statements and by all subsidiaries.

Change in accounting policies and reclassifications

  • As from 2009, we adopted IFRS 8, “Operating Segments” and the revised IAS 1, “Presentation of Financial Statements”.
  • We have changed the presentation of interest related to pensions (interest cost on defined benefit obligations for pensions and other post-retirement benefits and the expected return on plan assets) and have restated our 2008 figures accordingly. As from 2009, we report interest on pensions on a separate interest line in the statement of income, as this more clearly reflects the composition of interest. As a consequence, both operating income and the pension-related interest expense in 2008 increased by €49 million. In the statement of cash flows, we adjusted financing income and expenses as well as changes in provisions for 2008 by the same amount. No restatement in the balance sheet and statement of changes in equity was necessary. Within the segment information, aforementioned presentation adjustment for 2008 only affected EBITDA and operating income of the business area Corporate and other.
  • We made reclassifications in the 2008 figures to align to our 2009 structure and presentation. This resulted in reclassifications between the business areas Decorative Paints to Performance Coatings in the segment information and between the cost lines in the statement of income, which did not impact the net result.
  • We reclassified the divestment of Henkel into discontinued operations, consistent with the presentation in the statement of income.

Discontinued operations (note 7)

A discontinued operation is a component of our business that represents a separate major line of business or geographical area of operations that has been disposed of or is held for sale, or is a subsidiary acquired exclusively with a view to resale. Classification as a discontinued operation occurs upon disposal or when the operation meets the criteria to be classified as held for sale, if earlier. When an operation is classified as a discontinued operation, the comparative statement of income and the statement of cash flows are reclassified as if the operation had been discontinued from the start of the comparative period.

Assets and liabilities are classified as held for sale if it is highly probable that the carrying value will be recovered through a sale transaction rather than through continuing use. When reclassifying assets and liabilities as held for sale, we recognize the assets and liabilities at the lower of their carrying value or fair value less selling costs. Assets held for sale are not depreciated but tested for impairment. Impairment losses on assets and liabilities held for sale are recognized in the statement of income.

Use of estimates

The preparation of the financial statements in compliance with IFRS requires management to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect amounts reported in the financial statements. The estimates and assumptions are based on experience and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances and are used to judge the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. The estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognized in the period in which the estimate is revised, or in the revision period and future periods if the changed estimates affect both current and future periods.

The most critical accounting policies involving a higher degree of judgment and complexity in applying principles of valuation are described below. Changes in the assumptions and estimates as described could result in significantly different results than those recorded in the financial statements.

Business combinations (note 2)

In business combinations, identifiable assets and liabilities, and contingent liabilities are recognized at their fair values at the acquisition date. Determining the fair value requires significant judgments on future cash flows to be generated. The fair value of brands, patents and customer lists acquired in a business combination is estimated on generally accepted valuation methods. These include the relief-from-royalty method, the incremental cash flow method and the multi-period excess earnings method. The fair value of property, plant and equipment acquired in a business combination is based on estimated market values. The fair value of inventories acquired in a business combination is determined based on its estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business less the estimated costs of completion and sale and a reasonable profit margin, based on the effort required to complete and sell the inventories.

Impairment of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment (notes 9, 10)
We assess whether the carrying values of intangible assets and of property, plant and equipment are recoverable. In this assessment, we make significant judgments and estimates to determine if the future cash flows expected to be generated by those assets are less than their carrying value. The data necessary for the impairment tests are based on our strategic plans and our estimates of future cash flows, which require estimating revenue growth rates and profit margins. The estimated cash flows are discounted using a net present value technique with business-specific discount rates.

Accounting for income tax (note 6)

As part of the process of preparing consolidated financial statements, we estimate income tax in each of the jurisdictions in which we operate. This process involves estimating actual current tax expense and temporary differences between carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for tax and financial reporting purposes. Temporary differences result in deferred tax assets and liabilities, which are included in the consolidated balance sheet. We assess the likelihood that deferred tax assets will be recovered from future taxable income.

Provisions (note 17)

By their nature, provisions and contingent liabilities are dependent upon estimates and assessments as to whether the criteria for recognition have been met, including estimates of the probability of cash outflows. Estimates related to provisions for environmental matters are based on the nature and seriousness of the contamination, as well as on the technology required for clean-up. The provisions for antitrust cases are based on an estimate of the costs, fines, and civil damages, taking into account legal advice and the current facts and circumstances. Provisions for other litigation are also based on an estimate of the costs, taking into account legal advice and information currently available. Provisions for termination benefits and exit costs also involve management’s judgment in estimating the expected cash outflows for severance payments and site closure or other exit costs.

Accounting for pensions and other post-retirement benefits (note 17)

Post-retirement benefits represent obligations that will be settled in the future and require assumptions to project obligations and fair values of plan assets. The accounting requires us to make assumptions regarding variables such as discount rate, rate of compensation increase, return on assets, mortality rates and future healthcare costs. Periodically, we consult with external actuaries regarding these assumptions. Changes in key assumptions can have a significant impact on the projected benefit obligations, funding requirements and periodic costs incurred.

Statement of cash flows

We have used the indirect method to prepare the statement of cash flows. Cash flows in foreign currencies have been translated at average exchange rates. Exchange rate differences affecting cash items are presented separately in the statement of cash flows. Receipts and payments with respect to income tax are included in cash from operating activities. Interest payments are included in cash from operating activities while interest receipts are included in cash from investing activities. The costs of acquisition of subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, and other investments, insofar as paid in cash, are included in cash from investing activities. Acquisitions or divestments of subsidiaries are presented net of cash and cash equivalents acquired or disposed of, respectively. Cash flows from derivatives are recognized in the statement of cash flows in the same category as those of the hedged item.

Earnings per share

We present basic and diluted earnings per share (EPS) for our common shares. Basic EPS is calculated by dividing the profit or loss attributable to holders of our common shares by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted EPS is calculated by dividing the profit or loss attributable to shareholders of common shares by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding, including the effects for potentially dilutive common shares, which comprise stock options and performance shares granted to employees.

Operating segments

As of January 1, 2009, we determine and present operating segments (“business areas”) on the information that internally is provided to the Board of Management, the body that is our chief operating decision maker. This change in accounting policy is due to the adoption of IFRS 8, “Operating segments”. Previously, business areas were determined and presented in accordance with IAS 14. The new accounting policy in respect of business area operating disclosures has not impacted the determination and presentation of results.

A business area is a component that engages in business activities from which it may earn revenue and incur expenses, including revenue and expenses that relate to transactions with other business areas within the company. Operating results of a business area are reviewed regularly by the Board of Management to make decisions about resources to be allocated to the business area and assess its performance, and for which discrete financial information is available. Business area results reported to the Board of Management include items directly attributable to a business area as well as those that can be allocated on a reasonable basis. Unallocated items comprise mainly corporate assets and corporate costs and are reported in business area “Corporate and other”.

Translation of foreign currencies

Transactions in foreign currencies are translated into the functional currency using the foreign exchange rate at transaction date. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated into the functional currency using the exchange rates at the balance sheet date. Resulting foreign currency differences are included in the statement of income. Non-monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated into the functional currency at the exchange rate at acquisition date.

The assets and liabilities of entities with other functional currencies are translated into the functional currency of the parent entity, using the exchange rates at the balance sheet date. The income and expenses of entities with other functional currencies are translated into the functional currency, using the exchange rates at transaction date. Foreign exchange differences resulting from translation into the functional currency of investments in subsidiaries and of intercompany loans of a permanent nature with other functional currencies are recorded as a separate component (cumulative translation reserves) within other comprehensive income. These cumulative translation adjustments are reclassified to the statement of income upon disposal or liquidation of a foreign subsidiary or redemption of an intercompany loan with a permanent nature, for the full amount or proportionally if applicable. Before being consolidated, the financial statements of subsidiaries established in hyperinflationary countries are adjusted for the effects of changing prices of the local currency.

Foreign currency differences arising on the re-translation of a financial liability designated as a hedge of a net investment in a foreign operation are recognized in the cumulative translation reserves (in other comprehensive income), to the extent that the hedge is effective. To the extent that the hedge is ineffective, such differences are recognized in the statement of income. When the hedged part of a net investment is disposed of, the associated cumulative amount in other comprehensive income is reclassified to the statement of income as an adjustment to the transaction result.

Exchange rates of key currencies

The principal exchange rates against the euro used in preparing the balance sheet and the statement of income are:

 

Balance sheet

Statement of income

 

2008

2009

2008

2009

 

 

 

 

 

US dollar

1.409

1.440

1.471

1.394

Pound sterling

0.974

0.893

0.805

0.890

Swedish krona

10.911

10.268

9.680

10.608

Revenue recognition

Revenue is defined as the revenue from the sale and delivery of goods and services and royalty income, net of rebates, discounts and similar allowances, and net of sales tax. Revenue is recognized when the significant risks and rewards have been transferred to a third party, recovery of the consideration is probable, the associated costs and possible return of goods can be estimated reliably and there is no continuing management involvement with the goods. For revenue from sales of goods these conditions are generally met at the time the product is shipped and delivered to the customer, depending on the delivery conditions. Service revenue is generally recognized as services are rendered.

Pensions and other post-retirement benefits (note 17)

Contributions to defined contribution plans are recognized in the statement of income as incurred. Most of our defined benefit pension plans are funded with plan assets that have been segregated in a trust or foundation. Valuations of both funded and unfunded plans are carried out by independent actuaries based on the projected unit credit method. Pension costs primarily represent the increase in the actuarial present value of the obligation for projected pension benefits based on employee service during the year and the interest on this obligation in respect of employee service in previous years, net of the expected return on plan assets. The discount rate used in determining the present value of the obligations is the yield at reporting date of AA corporate bonds that have maturity dates approximating the terms of our obligations.

In certain countries we also provide post-retirement benefits other than pensions to our employees. These plans are generally not funded. Valuations of the obligations under these plans are carried out by independent actuaries based on the projected unit credit method. The costs relating to such plans primarily consist of the present value of the benefits attributed on an equal basis to each year of service and the interest on this obligation in respect of employee service in previous years.

Actuarial gains and losses that arise in calculating our obligation in respect of a plan, are recognized to the extent that any cumulative unrecognized actuarial gains or losses exceed 10 percent of the greater of the present value of the defined benefit obligation and the fair value of plan assets. That portion of the actuarial gains and losses is recognized in the statement of income over the expected average remaining working lives of the employees participating in the plan. When the benefits of a plan are improved, the portion of the increased benefit relating to past service by employees is recognized as an expense in the statement of income on a straight-line basis over the average period until the benefits become vested. To the extent that the benefits vest immediately, the expense is recognized immediately in the statement of income.

Other long-term employee benefits (note 17)

Other long-term employee benefits include long-service or sabbatical leave, jubilee or other long-service benefits, and other employee benefits payable more than 12 months after the related service rendered. These provisions are measured at present value, using actuarial assumptions. The discount rate is the yield at reporting date of AA corporate bonds that have maturity dates approximating the terms of our obligations. The calculation is performed using the projected unit credit method. Any actuarial gains and losses are recognized in the statement of income in the period in which they arise.

An accrual is recognized for the amounts expected to be paid under short-term bonus or profit sharing plans if a present legal or constructive obligation as a result of past services provided exists and the obligation can be estimated reliably.

Share-based compensation (note 8)

We have a stock option plan that conditionally allows certain employees to acquire Akzo Nobel N.V. common shares. These options generally vest in three years. As from 2008, no new options are granted under this plan. In addition, we have a performance share plan, under which shares are conditionally granted to certain employees. These performance-related shares vest in three years. The number of shares which the employees will receive depends on our Total Shareholder Return (TSR) performance over a three-year period. As from 2009, the conditional grant of shares is linked for 50 percent to the ranking of the company in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes and the remaining 50 percent to the relative TSR performance of the company compared with the peer group.

The fair value of the options or performance shares granted is recognized as an expense with a corresponding increase in shareholders’ equity. The fair value is measured at grant date and amortized over the period during which the employees become unconditionally entitled to the options or performance shares. The fair value of the options granted is measured using a binomial model, taking into account the terms and conditions upon which the options were granted. For the performance shares, the fair value is measured using the Monte Carlo simulation model. This model takes into account expected dividends, as well as the market conditions expected to impact our TSR performance in relation to selected peers. The amount recognized as an expense is adjusted to reflect the actual number of options or performance shares that vest, except where forfeiture or extra vesting of performance shares is due to a TSR performance that differs from the performance anticipated at the grant of the performance shares.

Income tax (note 6)

Income tax expense comprises both current and deferred tax, including effects of changes in tax rates. Income tax is recognized in the statement of income, unless it relates to items recognized in other comprehensive income.

In the balance sheet, current tax includes the expected tax payable and receivable on the taxable income for the year, using tax rates enacted or substantially enacted at reporting date, as well as any adjustments to tax payable and receivable in respect of previous years.

Current tax assets and liabilities have been offset in cases where there is a legally enforceable right to set off current tax assets against current tax liabilities and when the intention exists to settle on a net basis or to realize the assets and liabilities simultaneously.

Deferred tax is recognized using the balance sheet method, providing for temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities for financial reporting and the amount used for taxation purposes. We recognize deferred tax assets, including assets arising from losses carried forward, to the extent that future probable taxable profit will be available against which the deferred tax asset can be utilized. We do not recognize deferred tax for the following temporary differences: the initial recognition of goodwill; the initial recognition of assets or liabilities that affect neither accounting nor taxable profit; and differences relating to investments in subsidiaries to the extent that they will probably not reverse in the foreseeable future. The income tax consequences of dividends are recognized when a liability to pay the dividend is recognized. Deferred tax assets are offset only when there is a legally enforceable right to set off tax assets against tax liabilities and when the deferred tax assets and liabilities relate to the same tax authority.

Measurement of deferred tax assets and liabilities is based upon the enacted or substantially enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be reversed. Non-refundable dividend tax is taken into account in the determination of deferred tax liabilities to the extent of earnings expected to be distributed by subsidiaries in the foreseeable future. If separate tax rates exist for distributed and undistributed profit, the current and deferred taxes are measured at the tax rate applicable to undistributed profit. Deferred tax is not discounted.

Research cost and preparation and start-up expenses

Research cost and preparation and start-up expenses are charged to the statement of income as incurred.

Government grants

Government grants related to costs are deducted from the relevant cost to be compensated in the same period. Emission rights granted by the government are recorded at cost. A provision is recorded if the actual emission is higher than the emission rights granted. Government grants to compensate for the cost of an asset are deducted from the cost of the related asset.

Intangible assets (note 9)

Intangible assets are valued at cost less accumulated amortization and impairment charges. All intangibles assets are tested for impairment whenever there is an indication that the intangible asset may be impaired. In addition, intangible assets with an indefinite useful life, such as goodwill and certain brands, are not amortized, but tested for impairment annually. In cases where the carrying value of the intangibles exceeds the recoverable amount, an impairment charge is recognized in the statement of income.

Goodwill in a business combination represents the excess of the consideration paid over the net fair value of the acquired identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities. The cost of an acquisition is measured as the fair value of the assets given, equity instruments issued and liabilities incurred or assumed at the date of exchange, plus costs directly attributable to the acquisition. If the cost of an acquisition is less than the fair value of the net assets of the subsidiary acquired, the difference is recognized directly in the statement of income. Goodwill related to an investment in associates and joint ventures is included in the carrying value of that investment.

Intangible assets with a finite useful life, such as certain licenses, know-how and brands, customer relationships and intellectual property rights, are capitalized at historical cost and amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life, which generally ranges from 10 to 40 years. Development costs are capitalized if the costs can be measured reliably, the product or process is technically and commercially feasible and sufficient future economic benefits will be generated, and we have sufficient resources to complete the development. The expenditures capitalized include the cost of materials, direct labor and overhead costs that are directly attributable to preparing the asset for its intended use. Capitalized development costs are amortized on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life, which generally is up to five years. Amortization methods, useful lives and residual values are reassessed annually.

Property, plant and equipment (note 10)

Property, plant and equipment are valued at cost less accumulated depreciation and impairment charges. Costs include expenditures that are directly attributable to the acquisition of the asset, including financing expenses of capital investment projects under construction. Government grants to compensate for the cost of an asset are deducted from the cost of the related asset.

Depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method, based on the estimated useful life. In the majority of cases the useful life of plant equipment and machinery is ten years, and for buildings ranges from 20 to 30 years. Land is not depreciated. In the majority of cases residual value is assumed to be insignificant. Depreciation methods, useful lives and residual values are reassessed annually.

Parts of property, plant and equipment that have different useful lives are accounted for as separate items of property, plant and equipment. Cost of major maintenance activities is capitalized as a separate component of property, plant and equipment, and depreciated over the estimated useful life. Maintenance costs which cannot be separately defined as a component of property, plant and equipment are expensed in the period in which they occur. Gains and losses on the sale of property, plant and equipment are included in the statement of income.

We have identified conditional asset retirement obligations at a number of our facilities that are mainly related to plant decommissioning. We recognize these conditional asset retirement obligations in the periods in which sufficient information becomes available to reasonably estimate the cash outflow.

Impairments of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment (notes 9, 10)

We assess the carrying value of intangible assets and property, plant and equipment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. In addition, for goodwill and other intangible assets with an indefinite useful life, we review the carrying value annually in the fourth quarter.

The recoverable amount of an asset or its cash-generating unit is the greater of its value in use and its fair value less costs to sell, whereby estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value. The discount rate used reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and, if appropriate, the risks specific to the assets. If the carrying value of an asset or its cash-generating unit exceeds its estimated recoverable amount, an impairment loss is recognized in the statement of income. The assessment for impairment is performed at the lowest level of assets generating largely independent cash inflows, which we have determined to be at business unit level (one level below segment). We allocate impairment losses in respect of cash-generating units first to goodwill and then to the carrying amount of the other assets on a pro rata basis.

Except for goodwill, we reverse impairment losses if and to the extent we have identified a change in estimates used to determine the recoverable amount. We only reverse to the extent that the carrying value of the asset does not exceed the carrying value that would have been determined, net of amortization or depreciation, if no impairment loss had been recognized. Reversals of impairment are recognized in the statement of income.

Leases (notes 10, 21)

Lease contracts in which we have substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership are classified as finance leases. Upon initial recognition, the leased asset is measured at the lower of its fair value and the present value of minimum lease payments. Subsequent to initial recognition, the asset is accounted for in accordance with the accounting policy applicable to the asset. Minimum lease payments made under finance leases are apportioned between the financing expenses and the reduction of the outstanding liability. The financing expenses are recognized as interest over the lease term.

Payments made under operating leases are recognized in the statement of income on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease. Lease incentives received are recognized over the term of the lease.

Inventories (note 13)

Inventories are measured at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Costs of inventories comprise all cost of purchase, costs of conversion and other costs incurred in bringing the inventories to the present location and condition. The costs of conversion of inventories includes direct labor and fixed and variable production overheads, and takes into account the stage of completion. The cost of inventories is determined using the weighted average cost formula. Net realizable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less the estimated cost of completion and selling expenses.

Equity (note 16)

When share capital recognized as equity is repurchased, the amount of the consideration paid, which includes directly attributable cost, is net of any tax effects, and is recognized as a deduction from equity. Dividends are recognized as a liability in the period in which they are declared.

Provisions (note 17)

We recognize provisions when a present legal or constructive obligation as a result of a past event exists, and it is probable that an outflow of economic benefits is required to settle the obligation. Provisions are measured at net present value and take into account legal fees. The expected future cash outflows are discounted at appropriate pre-tax interest rates, reflecting current market assessments of the time value of money and, if applicable, the risks specific to the liability. The increase of provisions as a result of the passage of time is recognized in the statement of income under financing expenses.

Provisions for restructuring are recognized when a detailed and formal restructuring plan has been approved, and the restructuring has either commenced or has been announced publicly. We do not provide for future operating costs. Termination benefits for voluntary redundancy are recognized if we have made an offer encouraging voluntary redundancy, it is probable that the offer will be accepted and the number of acceptances can be estimated reliably.

A provision for warranties is recognized when the underlying products or services are sold. The provision is based on historical warranty data and a weighting of all possible outcomes against their associated probabilities.

In accordance with our environmental policy and applicable legal requirements, we recognize a provision for environmental clean-up cost when it is probable that a liability has materialized and the amount of cash outflow can be reasonably estimated.

Financial instruments

Regular purchases and sales of financial assets and liabilities are recognized on trade date, which is the date we commit to purchase or sell the asset. The initial measurement of all financial instruments is fair value adjusted for directly attributable transaction costs. Below, the accounting policies for financial instruments are explained, relating to the following categories:

  • Derivative financial instruments
  • Associates and joint ventures
  • Other financial non-current assets
  • Trade and other receivables
  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Long-term and short-term borrowings
  • Trade and other payables.

Derivative financial instruments (note 24)

Derivative financial instruments include forward exchange contracts, interest rate derivatives and commodity contracts, as well as embedded derivatives included in normal business contracts. All derivative financial instruments are recognized at fair value on the balance sheet.

Fair values are derived from market prices and quotes from dealers and brokers, or are estimated using observable market inputs. Forward exchange and commodity contracts are reported under trade and other receivables, or under trade and other payables.

Changes in the fair value of forward exchange and commodity contracts are recognized in operating income, unless cash flow hedge accounting is applied. In that case, the effective part of the fair value changes is deferred in other comprehensive income (in equity) and released to the related specific lines in the statement of income or balance sheet at the same time as the hedged item.

Interest rate derivatives are reported under other financial non-current assets or long-term borrowings. The changes in fair value of interest derivatives are recognized in financing income and expenses, where the effective part is offset by the fair value changes of the underlying fixed rate bond, in the event fair value hedge accounting is applied.

Both at the hedge inception and at each reporting date, we assess whether the derivatives used are highly effective in offsetting changes in fair values or cash flows of hedged items. When a derivative is not highly effective, we discontinue hedge accounting prospectively. In the event a fair value hedge relationship is terminated, amortization of fair value hedge adjustments is included in financing income and expense. When a cash flow hedge relationship is terminated, the fair value changes deferred in other comprehensive income (in equity) are released to the statement of income only when the hedged transaction is no longer expected to occur. Otherwise these will be released to the statement of income at the same time as the hedged item.

Associates and joint ventures (note 11)

Associates are those entities in which we have significant influence, but no control, over the financial and operational policies. Joint ventures are those entities over whose activities we have joint control, established by contractual agreement and requiring unanimous consent for strategic, financial and operating decisions.

Associates and joint ventures are accounted for using the equity method and are initially recognized at cost. The consolidated financial statements include our share of the income and expenses of the associates and joint ventures for the period that we have significant influence or joint control, whereby the result is determined using our accounting principles. When the share of losses exceeds the interest in the investee, the carrying amount is reduced to nil and recognition of further losses is discontinued, unless we have incurred legal or constructive obligations on behalf of the investee. Loans to associates and joint ventures are carried at amortized cost less impairment losses.

The results from associates and joint ventures consist of our share in the results of these companies, interest on loans granted to them and the transaction results on divestments of associates and joint ventures. Unrealized gains and losses arising from transactions with associates and joint ventures are eliminated to the extent of our interest in the investee.

Other financial non-current assets (note 12)

Loans and receivables are measured at amortized cost using the effective interest method, less any impairment losses. Long-term receivables are discounted to their net present value. Interest receivable is included in financing income.

Trade and other receivables (note 14)

Trade and other receivables are measured at amortized cost, using the effective interest method, less any impairment loss. An allowance for impairment of trade and other receivables is established if the collection of a receivable becomes doubtful. Such receivable becomes doubtful when there is objective evidence that we will not be able to collect all amounts due according to the original terms of the receivables. Significant financial difficulties of the debtor, probability that the debtor will enter into bankruptcy or financial reorganization, and default or delinquency in payments are considered indicators that the receivable is impaired. The amount of the allowance is the difference between the asset’s carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows, discounted at the original effective interest rate. An impairment loss is recognized in the statement of income, as are subsequent recoveries of previous impairments.

Cash and cash equivalents (note 15)

Cash and cash equivalents include all cash balances and short-term highly liquid investments that are directly convertible into cash. Cash and cash equivalents are measured at fair value.

Long-term and short-term borrowings (notes 18, 19, 24)

Long-term borrowings are measured at amortized cost, applying the effective interest rate method unless fair value interest rate hedging is applied. In that case the carrying amount is adjusted for the fair value changes caused by the hedged risk. Short-term borrowings are measured at amortized cost, using the effective interest method. The interest payable on borrowing is included in financing income and expenses.

The fair value of borrowings, used for disclosure purposes, is determined on the basis of listed market price, if available. If a listed market price is not available, the fair value is calculated based on the present value of principal and interest cash flows, discounted at the market rate of interest at the reporting date.

Trade and other payables (note 20)

Trade and other payables are measured at amortized cost, using the effective interest method.

New IFRS accounting standards

Several new accounting pronouncements were issued. We assessed whether our consolidated financial statements for 2009 and beyond may be affected.

  • An amendment to IFRS 2, “Share-based Payment” clarifies the definitions of vesting conditions and cancellations and became effective in 2009. The amendment did not affect the accounting for our stock option and performance shares plans. A second amendment was issued in June 2009 and clarified how an individual subsidiary in a group should account for share-based payment arrangements in its own financial statements. This amendment is not applicable to our consolidated financial statements.
  • IFRS 3, “Business Combinations” and IAS 27, “Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements” were revised and will be effective as from 2010. These standards will bring significant changes to the accounting policies related to business combinations and changed ownership interests. We do not expect a material impact on presented figures, as the carrying amounts of any assets and liabilities that arose under business combinations prior to the application of the revised standard are not adjusted.
  • An amendment to IFRS 7, “Financial Instrument: Disclosures” introduces a fair value hierarchy and additional disclosures for measurement of financial instruments. The amendment became effective in 2009 and resulted in limited additional disclosures in our financial statements.
  • IFRS 8, “Operating Segments” requires an entity to adopt the “management approach” to reporting on the financial performance of its operating segments. Generally, the information to be reported is what management uses internally for evaluating segment performance and deciding how to allocate resources to operating segments. We adopted this standard in 2009, which resulted in limited presentation changes.
  • IFRS 9, “Financial Instruments (replacement of IAS 39)” will become effective as from 2013, with earlier adoption permitted, including for 2009. IFRS 9 introduced new requirements for classifying and measuring financial assets. This standard encompasses an overall change of accounting principles in that standard and will eventually replace IAS 39 – the current standard on financial instruments. As its scope will be expanded during 2010, we will review the effects of a comprehensive standard on financial instruments and consider adoption when appropriate.
  • IASB’s annual improvements projects results in many smaller amendments to several IFRSs. Most amendments will be effective as from 2010 and they are not expected to materially impact our consolidated financial statements.
  • The revised IAS 1, “Presentation of Financial Statements” mainly introduces a statement of comprehensive income. We adopted this standard in 2009 and changed the presentation of our financial statements accordingly.
  • An amendment to IAS 23, “Borrowing Costs” removes the option of immediately recognizing as an expense borrowing costs that relate to assets that take a substantial period of time to get ready for use or sale. This amendment became effective in 2009 and has not impacted our consolidated financial statements, as we already capitalized borrowing cost.
  • An amendment to IAS 24, “Related Party Disclosures” clarifies the definition of a related party and provided a partial exemption from the disclosure requirements for government-related entities. The revised standard also clarifies that disclosure is required of any commitments of a related party to do something if a particular event occurs or does not occur in the future. The revised standard is effective as from 2011, with earlier application permitted.
  • Amendments to IFRS 1 and IAS 27, “Determining the cost of an investment in the separate financial statements” became effective in 2009. The amendments apply to company financial statements prepared under IFRS. These amendments will not be applicable to our company financial statements, as these are prepared under Dutch law.
  • An amendment to IAS 32, “Financial Instruments: Presentation” changes the classification of some puttable financial instruments that meet the definition of a financial liability into equity because they represent a residual interest in the net assets. A second amendment was issued which addresses the accounting for rights issues such as options and warrants, denominated in a currency other than the functional currency of the issuer. Our financial statements are not affected by either amendment as we have not issued such financial instruments.
  • An amendment to IAS 39, “Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement” addresses two separate hedge accounting issues. It clarifies the requirements when options are used for hedging and it regulates inflation-linked hedge relationships. The amendment to IAS 39 will be effective as from 2010. As we commonly use forward contracts for hedges, we do not expect a material impact from adopting this amendment.
  • An amendment to IFRIC 9 and IAS 39, “Embedded Derivatives” clarifies the accounting treatment of embedded derivatives for entities that use the reclassification amendment to IAS 39. As the reclassification amendment is an option which we do not use, these amendments to IFRIC 9 and IAS 39 will not affect our financial statements.
  • IFRIC 13 “Customer Loyalty Programmes” addresses accounting by entities that grant loyalty award credits (such as points or travel miles) to customers who buy goods or services. We adopted this interpretation in 2009. The interpretation has not materially affected our consolidated financial statements.
  • An amendment to IFRIC 14 on minimum funding requirements corrects an unintended consequence of the originally issued interpretation. The amendment is effective as from 2011, with earlier application permitted. As we currently have no pension asset on our balance sheet that falls in the scope of this amendment, we do not expect that our financial statements will be materially affected.
  • IFRIC 15 “Agreements for the Construction of Real Estate” applies to companies that develop real estate and became effective in 2009. As we do not have activities in this area, our financial statements were not affected by this interpretation.
  • IFRIC 16 “Hedges of a Net Investment in a Foreign Operation” clarifies hedge accounting for an entity which hedges the investment in its subsidiaries. We adopted this interpretation in 2009. As we already accounted for net investment hedges in line with IFRIC 16, our financial statements were not affected by this interpretation.
  • IFRIC 17 “Distribution of Non-cash Assets to Owners” will apply prospectively as from 2010. We do not expect impact on our financial statements as no proposal to distribute non-cash assets to shareholders has been made.
  • IFRIC 18, “Transfers of Assets from Customers” clarifies the accounting for agreements in which an entity receives from a customer an item of property, plant, and equipment that the entity must then use either to connect the customer to a network or to provide the customer with ongoing access to a supply of goods or services. The interpretation must be applied prospectively to transfers of assets from customers received on or after July 1, 2009. This interpretation has not materially affected our consolidated financial statements.
  • IFRIC 19, “Extinguishing Financial Liabilities with Equity Instruments” applies when a debtor extinguishes a liability fully or partly by issuing equity instruments to the creditor. The interpretation will be effective as from 2011. We are currently reviewing whether such agreements exist within our businesses.
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