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3 Summary of significant accounting policies

3.1 Consolidation

Subsidiaries

Subsidiaries are all companies over which Swisscom Ltd has the effective ability of controlling their financial and business policies. Control is generally assumed where Swisscom Ltd directly or indirectly holds the majority of the voting rights or potential voting rights of the company. Companies acquired and sold are included in consolidation from the date on which they are acquired and deconsolidated from the date they are disposed of, respectively. Intercompany balances and transactions, income and expenses, shareholdings and dividends as well as unrealised gains and losses are fully eliminated. Unrealised losses on an asset which has been transferred within the Group may be an indication of an impairment in value and trigger an impairment test. Non-controlling interests in subsidiary companies are reported within equity separately from that attributable to the shareholders of Swisscom Ltd. The non-controlling interests in net income or loss are shown in the consolidated income statement as a component of the consolidated net income or loss. Movements in shareholdings of subsidiary companies are reported as transactions within equity insofar as control existed previously and continues to exist. Written put options to owners of non-controlling interests are disclosed as financial liabilities. The balance sheet date for all consolidated subsidiaries is 31 December. There are no material restrictions on the transfer of funds from the subsidiaries to the parent company.

Investments in associates

Shareholdings in associates over which Swisscom exercises significant influence but does not have control are accounted for using the equity method. A significant influence is generally assumed to exist whenever between 20% and 50% of the voting rights are held. Under the equity method, investments in associates are initially recognised at their purchase cost at the date of acquisition. Purchase cost comprises the share of net assets acquired and any applicable goodwill arising. In subsequent accounting periods, the carrying amount of the investment is adjusted by the attributable share of current profits and losses together with the share of movements in other equity captions, less the share of dividends distributed. Unrealised gains and losses from transactions with associates are eliminated on a pro-rata basis.

3.2 Foreign currency translation

Foreign currency transactions which are not denominated in the functional currency are translated into the functional currency using the exchange rates prevailing at the dates of the transactions. Monetary items as of the balance sheet date are translated into the functional currency at the exchange rate prevailing at the balance sheet date and non-monetary items are translated using the exchange rate on the date of the transaction. Translation differences are recognised in the income statement. The consolidated financial statements are presented in Swiss francs. Assets and liabilities of subsidiaries and associates reporting in a different functional currency are translated at the exchange rates prevailing on the balance sheet date whereas the income statement and the cash flow statement are translated at average exchange rates. Translation differences arising from the translation of net assets and income statements are recorded in other comprehensive income. Upon sale of a foreign Group company, the cumulative foreign exchange differences previously included in the foreign currency translation reserve under equity are taken to income as part of the gain or loss on disposal.

For the consolidated financial statements, the most significant foreign currencies during the reporting years were translated at the following exchange rates:

  Closing rate   Average rate
Currency   31.12.2016   31.12.2015   31.12.2014   2016   2015
1 EUR   1.074   1.084   1.202   1.090   1.075
1 USD   1.019   0.995   0.990   0.990   0.966

3.3 Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand, sight balances and time deposits with financial institutions with a maximum term of three months from the acquisition date. This definition is equally applied for the cash flow statement. Cash and cash equivalents are accounted for at amortised cost.

3.4 Trade and other receivables

Trade and other receivables are measured at amortised cost less impairment losses. Any impairment losses are recorded through the use of valuation allowance accounts. All realised losses lead to the de-recognition of the related receivable.

Receivables and payables are netted whenever Swisscom has a legal right of set-off as of the balance sheet date and intends to either settle on a net basis or realise the asset and settle the liability simultaneously. The right of set-off must exist as of the balance sheet date and it shall be legally enforceable both in the ordinary course of business as well as in the case of the insolvency of the contracting party.

3.5 Other financial assets

Other financial assets are classified into the following categories: “at fair value through profit or loss”, “loans and receivables”, “held-to-maturity” or “available-for-sale”. The classification depends on the purpose for which the financial asset was acquired. Management determines the classification of financial assets at the time of acquisition and reviews the classification as of each balance sheet date. Trade date accounting is applied for routine purchases and sales of financial assets. Upon acquisition, financial assets are recognised at their fair values, including directly related transaction costs. Transaction costs relating to financial assets at fair value through profit or loss are not capitalised on acquisition but expensed immediately as incurred. Financial assets are partially or fully derecognised if Swisscom’s rights to the cash flows arising therefrom have either elapsed or were transferred and Swisscom is neither exposed to any risks arising from these assets nor has any entitlement to income from them.

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

Financial assets valued at fair value through profit or loss are either held for trading purposes or are classified as such upon initial recognition. They are measured at their fair value. Any gains or losses resulting from subsequent re-measurement are taken to income.

Loans and receivables

After their initial recognition at amortised cost, loans and receivables are measured using the effective interest method. Foreign exchange gains and losses are taken to income. The caption loans and receivables primarily reflects, in addition to trade receivables, term deposits with original maturities exceeding three months which Swisscom places directly, or through an agent, with the borrower.

Financial assets held to maturity

Held-to-maturity financial assets are fixed-term financial assets for which Swisscom has the ability and intention to hold to maturity. After their initial recognition at amortised cost, financial assets are accounted for using the effective interest method less provisions for impairment. Foreign exchange gains and losses are taken to income. Swisscom has not classified any financial assets in this category.

Available-for-sale financial assets

All other financial assets are classified as available-for-sale. Available-for-sale financial assets are accounted for at fair value and all unrealised changes in fair value are recorded in other comprehensive income. Foreign exchange gains and losses on debt instruments are recognised in the income statement. When available-for-sale financial assets are sold, value-impaired or otherwise disposed of, the cumulative gains and losses since acquisition that had been recognised in other comprehensive income are reclassified from equity and recorded as financial income or expense. If the fair value of an unlisted equity instrument cannot be reliably determined, the instrument is accounted for at cost less provisions for impairment.

3.6 Inventories

Inventories are measured at the lower of acquisition or manufacturing cost and net realisable value. The cost of inventories includes all costs of acquisition and manufacture as well as other costs incurred in order to bring the inventories to their present location and condition as intended by management. The acquisition or manufacturing cost of inventories is determined using the weighted average cost method. Valuation allowances are recognised for inventories that are difficult to sell. Unsaleable inventories are fully written off.

3.7 Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment is recorded at acquisition or manufacturing cost less accumulated depreciation/amortisation and impairment losses. In addition to the purchase cost and the costs directly attributable to bringing the asset to the location and condition necessary for it to be capable of operating in the manner intended by management, purchase or manufacturing cost also includes the estimated costs for dismantling and restoration of the site. The manufacturing costs of self-­constructed assets include directly attributable costs as well as indirect costs of material, manufacture and administration. Borrowing costs are capitalised insofar as they can be allocated directly to the acquisition or production of a qualifying asset. Costs of replacement, renewal or renovation of property, plant and equipment are capitalised as replacement investments if a future inflow of economic benefits is probable and the purchase or manufacturing costs can be measured reliably. The carrying amount of the parts replaced is de-recognised. Maintenance costs and repairs which are not capable of being capitalised are expensed. Systematic depreciation/amortisation is calculated using the straight-line method with the exception of land, which is not depreciated. The estimated useful lives for the main categories of property, plant and equipment are:

Category   Years
Buildings and leasehold improvements   10 to 40
Cables 1   30
Ducts 1   40
Transmission and switching equipment 1   4 to 15
Other technical installations 1   3 to 15
Other installations   3 to 15
1 Technical installations.

Whenever significant parts of an item of property, plant and equipment comprise individual components with differing useful lives, each component is depreciated/amortised separately. The process for determining useful estimated lives takes into account the anticipated use by the company, the expected wear and tear, technological developments as well as empirical values with comparable assets. The estimated useful lives and residual values are reviewed at least annually as of the balance sheet date and, where necessary, adjusted. Leasehold improvements and installations in leased premises are amortised on a straight-line basis over the shorter of their estimated useful lives and the remaining minimum lease term. The carrying amount of an item of property, plant and equipment is written off on disposal or whenever no future economic benefits are expected from its use. Gains and losses arising on the disposal of property, plant and equipment are calculated as the difference between the disposal proceeds and the carrying amount of the item of property, plant and equipment. They are taken to income and recorded as other income or other operating expenses.

3.8 Business combinations and goodwill

Business combinations are accounted for using the acquisition method. As of the date of the business combination, acquisition costs are recognised at fair value. The purchase consideration includes the amount of cash paid as well as the fair value of the assets ceded, liabilities incurred or assumed as well as own equity instruments ceded. Liabilities depending on future events based upon contractual agreements are recognised at fair value. At the time of acquisition, all identifiable assets and liabilities that satisfy the recognition criteria are recognised at their fair values. The difference between the cost of acquisition and the fair value of the identifiable assets and liabilities acquired or assumed is accounted for as goodwill after taking into account any non-controlling interests. Any negative difference, after further review, is expensed directly. Goodwill acquired in connection with a business combination is recognised under intangible assets. The goodwill is not amortised on a systematic basis but reviewed for impairment at least annually. When an entity is disposed of, the carrying amount of the goodwill is derecognised and recorded as a component of the gain or loss on disposal.

3.9 Other intangible assets

Research and development costs

Research costs are not capitalised but expensed as incurred. Development costs are capitalised as intangible assets only if they can be identified as an intangible asset which will generate future economic benefits and the costs of the asset can be determined reliably.

Other intangible assets

Mobile phone licenses, self-developed software as well as other intangible assets are recorded at purchase or manufacturing cost less accumulated amortisation. Intangible assets resulting from business combinations, such as brands and customer relationships, are recorded at acquisition cost corresponding to fair value as of the date of acquisition, less accumulated amortisation. Systematic amortisation of mobile phone licenses is based on the term of the contract. It begins as soon as the related network is operational, unless other information is at hand which would suggest the need to modify the useful life.

Useful lives of other intangible assets

In determining useful estimated lives, the anticipated use by the company, the expected wear and tear, technological developments as well as empirical values with comparable assets are taken into account. Systematic amortisation is computed using the straight-line method based on the following estimated useful lives:

Category   Years
Software internally generated and purchased   3 to 7
Customer relationships   7 to 11
Brands   5 to 10
Other intangible assets   3 to 16

The estimated useful lives are reviewed at least once per year as of the balance sheet date and, where necessary, adjusted.

3.10 Non-current assets held for sale

A non-current asset or a disposal group is classified as being held for sale if its carrying amount will be recovered mainly as a result of a sales transaction and not through continuing use. This condition is only considered as being met if the non-current asset or disposal group is immediately available for sale in its present condition and disposal is highly likely. In this respect, it must be assumed that the disposal process to which management has committed itself will be completed within one year from the date of such reclassification. Non-current assets or disposal groups that are held for sale are reported in the balance sheet separately under current assets and liabilities. The assets or disposal groups are valued at the lower of their carrying amount and fair value less costs of disposal. Impairment losses resulting from the initial classification are recognised in the income statement. Assets and disposal groups classified as being held for sale are no longer depreciated or amortised.

3.11 Impairment losses

Impairment of financial assets

As of each balance sheet date, the carrying amounts of those financial assets for which changes in fair value are not recognised in the income statement are reviewed for any objective indications of impairment in value. An impairment loss is recognised where there is objective evidence of impairment, such as where the borrower is in bankruptcy, in default or other significant financial difficulties. The impairment of a financial asset which is recorded at amortised cost is calculated as the difference between its carrying amount and the present value of estimated future cash flows, taking into consideration the asset’s original effective interest rate. Available-for-sale financial assets whose fair value is less than their acquisition cost for a prolonged period or to a significant degree are considered to be value-impaired. In the event of impairment, the losses are reclassified out of equity and recognised as financial expense. As of each balance sheet date, significant financial assets are individually reviewed for impairment in value. The recording of impairment losses on trade and other receivables varies as a function of the nature of the underlying transaction either in the form of specific valuation allowances or as portfolio-based lump-sum valuation allowances which cover the anticipated default risk. With regards to portfolio-based lump-sum valuation allowances, financial assets are regrouped on the basis of similar credit risk characteristics and reviewed on a collective basis for impairment in value; where applicable, an allowance is raised. In determining the anticipated future cash flows of the portfolio, historic default rates are taken into account in addition to the contractually agreed payment conditions. Impairment losses on trade and other receivables are recognised as other operating expenses. Impairment losses on other financial assets are recorded as financial expense.

Impairment of goodwill

For the purposes of the impairment test, goodwill is allocated to cash-generating units. The impairment test is performed in the fourth quarter after completion of business planning. If there is any indication during the year that goodwill may be impaired, the cash-generating unit is tested for impairment at that time. An impairment loss is recognised if the recoverable amount of a cash-­generating unit is lower than its carrying amount. The recoverable amount is the greater of the fair value less costs of disposal and the value in use. The method used to test impairment is described in Note 24. Any impairment loss on goodwill recognised in prior periods may not be reversed in subsequent periods.

Impairment of property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets

If indications exist that the value of an asset may be impaired, the recoverable amount of the asset is determined. If the recoverable amount of the asset, which is the greater of the fair value less costs to sell and the value in use, is less than its carrying amount, the carrying amount is written down to the recoverable amount.

3.12 Leases

Finance leases

A lease is recorded as a finance lease when substantially all of the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an asset are transferred. The asset is initially recorded at the lower of its fair value and the present value of the minimum lease payments and is amortised over the lesser of the asset’s useful life and the lease term. The interest component of the lease payments is recognised as interest expense over the lease term using the effective interest method. Leases for land and buildings are recorded separately if the lease payments can be reliably allocated. Gains on sale-and-leaseback transactions are deferred and released on a straight-line basis over the lease term as other income. Losses on sale-and-leaseback transactions are recognised immediately.

Operating leases

Lease arrangements which do not transfer all the significant risks and rewards of ownership are classified as operating leases. Payments are recorded as other operating expense using the straight-line method over the lease period. Gains and losses on sale-and-leaseback transactions are recorded directly in the income statement.

3.13 Financial liabilities

Financial liabilities are initially measured at fair value less direct transaction costs. In subsequent accounting periods, they are re-measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method.

3.14 Trade and other payables

Trade and other payables are recorded at amortised cost.

3.15 Provisions

Provisions are raised whenever a legal or de facto liability exists as a result of an occurrence in the past, the outflow of resources to settle the liability is probable and the amount of the liability can be estimated reliably. Provisions are discounted if the effect is material.

Provisions for termination benefits

Costs relating to the implementation of personnel downsizing programmes are expensed in the period when management commits itself to a downsizing plan, it is probable that a liability has been incurred, the amount thereof can be reliably estimated and the implementation of the programme has started or the individuals involved have been advised in sufficient detail as to the main terms of the downsizing programme. A public announcement and/or communication to personnel associations are deemed to be equivalent to commencing the implementation of the programme.

Provisions for dismantling and restoration costs

Swisscom is legally obligated to dismantle transmitter stations and telecommunication installations located on land belonging to third parties following decommissioning and to restore the property owned by third parties in the locations where these installations are located to its original state. The costs of dismantling are capitalised as part of the acquisition costs of the installations and are amortised over the useful lives of the installations. The provisions are recorded at the present value of the aggregate future costs and are reported under long-term provisions. Whenever the provision is re-measured, the present value of the changes in the liability are either added to or deducted from the cost of the related capitalised asset. The amount deducted from the cost of the related capitalised asset shall not exceed its net carrying amount. Any excess is taken directly to the income statement.

3.16 Segmentation and revenue recognition

General

Net revenue is measured at the fair value of the consideration received less value-added taxes, price reductions, volume rebates and other reductions in sales proceeds. Revenues are recognised when it is probable that a future benefit from the transaction will accrue to Swisscom and the amount can be reliably estimated. When Swisscom acts as principal, revenues are recorded gross. However, when, from an economic point of view, Swisscom acts only as a broker or agent, revenues are reported net of related costs. In multi-component contracts, revenue is determined and reported separately for each identifiable component part. Total consideration for a multi-component contract is distributed over the various component parts at fair value on a pro-rata basis.

Services by segments
Residential Customers

The segment Residential Customers comprises mainly connection fees for broadband and TV services, fixed-network and mobile phone subscriptions as well as national and international telephone and data traffic for residential customers. The segment also includes value-added services and the sale of terminal equipment.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

The segment Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises primarily comprises connection fees for broadband services, fixed-network and mobile phone subscriptions as well as national and international telephone and data traffic for small and medium-sized enterprises. Furthermore, the segment includes the business with on-line directories and telephone directories.

Enterprise Customers

The segment Enterprise Customers focuses on complete communication solutions for large business customers. The product offerings in the field of business ICT infrastructure cover everything from individual products to complete solutions.

Wholesale

Wholesale comprises mainly the use of Swisscom fixed and mobile networks by other telecommunication service providers and the use of third-party networks by Swisscom. It also includes roaming with foreign operators whose customers use Swisscom’s mobile networks, as well as broadband services and regulated products as a result of the unbundling of the “last mile” for other telecommunication service providers.

IT, Network & Innovation

IT, Network & Innovation is responsible primarily for the planning, operation and maintenance of Swisscom’s network infrastructure and all IT systems. It is responsible for the development and production of standardised IT and network services for the entire Group. In addition, IT, Network & Innovation also includes the support functions Finances, Human Resources and Strategy for Swisscom Switzerland as well as the management of real estate in Switzerland.

Fastweb

Fastweb is one of the largest providers of broadband services in Italy. Its product portfolio comprises voice, data, broadband and TV services as well as video-on-demand for residential and corporate customers. In addition, Fastweb offers mobile phone services on the basis of an MVNO contract (as a virtual network operator). It also provides comprehensive network services and customised solutions.

Other Operating Segments

Other Operating Segments mainly comprise the business area Participations. In addition, the segment includes the areas of Health and Connected Living. Participations consist principally of the subsidiaries Billag Ltd, cablex Ltd, and Swisscom Broadcast Ltd. Billag Ltd collects radio and TV license fees on behalf of the Swiss Confederation. cablex Ltd operates in the field of construction and maintenance of wired and wireless networks in Switzerland, primarily in the field of telecommunication. Swisscom Broadcast Ltd is the leading provider in Switzerland of radio services, of cross-platform services for customers in the media field and of securitised radio transmissions.

Revenue generated from services
Combined offerings

Swisscom provides bundled service offerings which include internet and TV as well as an optional fixed-line connection with telephony services. They are all offered on the basis of fixed monthly subscription charges (flat rate). Revenue is recognised on a straight-line basis over the contractual term.

Mobile

Mobile phone services encompass basic subscription charges and in addition, domestic and international mobile phone traffic generated by Swisscom customers in Switzerland or abroad as well as roaming by foreign operators whose customers use Swisscom’s networks. Mobile services also include value-added services, data traffic as well as the sale of mobile handsets. Revenue from mobile telephony is recorded on the basis of the actual minutes used. Swisscom offers subscriptions with a fixed monthly flat-rate fee, the revenue from which is recognised on a straight-line basis over the term of the contract. Connection fees are deferred and released to income over the minimum term of the contract on a straight-line basis. If no minimum contract term has been agreed, revenue is recognised on the date of connection. Roaming services are recorded as revenue on the basis of the minutes used or the agreed contractual rates at the time the service is provided. Revenue from roaming services with other telecommunication service providers is recorded gross. Value-added services as well as text or multimedia news and the sale of mobile handsets are recognised as revenue at the time the service is provided.

If a mobile handset is sold as a part of a bundled offering with a subscription, it is treated as a multi-component transaction. The price of the entire multi-component transaction is spread on a pro-rata basis over the various component parts on the basis of the respective individual sales prices thereof. In this respect, the revenue to be recognised for each individual component is limited by that part of the total consideration for the multi-component transaction whose payment is not dependent on the provision of additional services.

Fixed networks

Fixed-network services encompass primarily connection fees as well as national and international telephony traffic for residential and business customers, leased lines, the use of Swisscom’s fixed network by other telecommunication service providers, payphone services, operator services as well as the business with prepaid calling cards and the sale of terminal equipment. Installation and connection fees are deferred and released to income over the minimum term of the contract on a straight-line basis. If no minimum contract term has been agreed, the revenue is recorded on the date of installation or connection. Revenue from telephony services is recorded at the time the calls are made. Revenue from the sale of prepaid call cards is deferred and released to income as and when actual minutes are used or when the cards expire. Revenue from leased lines is recorded on a straight-line basis over the duration of the contract. Revenue arising from the sale of terminal equipment is recorded at the time of delivery.

Broadband

Broadband services include the range of broadband access lines offered to residential and corporate customers as well as broadband access lines for wholesale customers. Revenues in connection with the provision of these services are deferred and released to income over the minimum contract term on a straight-line basis. If no minimum contract term has been agreed, the revenue is recognised on the date of installation or connection.

TV

In the TV sector, revenue is generated from the range of digital TV services and video-on-demand. Revenue from TV services contains non-recurring installation and connection charges and recurring subscription fees. Installation and connection fees related to installations are deferred and released to income over the minimum contract term on a straight-line basis. If no minimum contract term has been agreed upon, the revenue is recorded on the date of installation or connection.

Communication and IT solutions

Services in the field of communication and IT solutions primarily include consultancy services as well as the implementation, maintenance and operation of communication infrastructures. Furthermore, they include applications and services as well as the integration, operation and maintenance of data networks and outsourcing services. Revenues from customer-specific construction contracts are accounted for using the percentage-of-completion method which is based on the ratio of costs incurred to-date to the estimated total costs. Revenue for long-term outsourcing contracts is recorded based on the volume of services provided to the customer. Start-up costs relating to and the integration of new outsourcing transactions are capitalised as other assets and amortised on a straight-line basis over the duration of the contract. Revenue from maintenance is recorded evenly over the term of the maintenance contracts.

3.17 Subscriber acquisition and loyalty-programme costs

­Swisscom pays commissions to dealers for the acquisition and retention of Swisscom customers. The commission payable is dependent on the type of subscription. Subscriber acquisition and loyalty-programme costs are expensed immediately, since these costs do not meet the criteria for the recognition of an intangible asset.

3.18 Post-employment benefits

Actuarial computations of expense and of defined-benefit obligations are undertaken by qualified experts using the projected unit credit method. The latest actuarial valuation was undertaken as at 31 December 2016. Current service costs, past service costs arising from pension-plan amendments and plan settlements as well as administrative costs are reported under personnel expense and interest accruing on net obligations as finance expense. Actuarial gains and losses and the return on plan assets (with the exception of amounts reflected in net interest income) are reported under other comprehensive income.

The assumptions regarding net future benefits are set out in the formal set of regulations governing the pension plan in compliance with legal provisions. As regards the Swiss pension plans, the relevant formal regulations comprise the rules of the pension fund as well as the relevant laws, ordinances and directives concerning occupational benefit plans, in particular the provisions contained therein concerning funding and measures to be taken to eliminate pension-fund deficits. From 2016 onwards, risk-sharing features were taken into account in defining financial assumptions in the formal regulations. These limit the employer share of future benefit costs as well as imposing obligations on employees, where applicable, to make additional contributions for the purpose of eliminating funding deficits.

Should the level of committed long-term disability benefits (disability pensions), irrespective of the number of service years, be the same for all insured employees, the costs for the benefits are recognised on the date on which the event causing the disability occurs.

3.19 Share-based payments

The cost of shares issued to employees, members of the Group Executive Board and of the Board of Directors is equal to the fair value of the shares at the date of issuance. The related costs are recorded as personnel expense in the period in which the entitlement arose.

3.20 Income taxes

Income taxes encompass all current and deferred taxes which are based on income. Taxes which are not based on income, such as taxes on real estate and on capital are recorded as other operating expenses. Deferred taxes are computed using the balance sheet liability method whereby deferred taxes are recognised in principle on all temporary differences. Temporary differences arise from differences between the carrying amount of a balance sheet position in the consolidated financial statements and its value as reported for tax purposes and which will reverse in future periods. The tax rate used to determine the amount of deferred taxes is that which is expected to apply when the temporary difference reverses based on the tax rate which is in force or announced as of the balance sheet date. Deferred tax assets are only recognised as assets to the extent that it is probable that they can be offset against future taxable income. Income tax liabilities on undistributed profits of Group companies are only recognised if the distribution of profits is to be made in the foreseeable future. Current and deferred tax assets and liabilities are netted when they relate to the same taxing authority and taxable entity.

3.21 Derivative financial instruments

Derivative financial instruments are initially recorded at fair value and subsequently re-measured at fair value. The method of recording the fluctuations in fair value varies according to the underlying transaction and the intention with regards thereto upon purchase or issuance of this underlying transaction. On the date a derivative contract is entered into, management designates the purpose of the hedging relationship: hedge of the fair value of an asset or liability (“fair value hedge”) or a hedge of future cash flows in the case of future transactions (“cash flow hedge”). Changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments that were designated as hedging instruments for “fair value hedges” are recognised in the income statement. Changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments that were designated as “cash flow hedges” are dealt with in other comprehensive income and recognised in the hedging reserve as part of equity. If the recognition of a non-financial asset or non-financial liability results from an anticipated future transaction, the cumulative revaluation gains and losses are reclassified from equity and included in the acquisition cost of the asset or liability. If a hedge of a future transaction later results in the recording of a financial asset or financial liability, the amount included in equity is transferred to the income statement in the same period in which the financial asset or financial liability impacts the results. Otherwise, the amounts recorded in equity are recognised in the income statement as income or expense in the same period the cash flows of the intended or agreed future transaction occur. Changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments that are not designated as hedging instruments are taken immediately to income.

3.22 New and amended standards and interpretations

Amended International Financial Reporting Standards and Interpretations which will have to be applied for the first time in the accounting period

As from 1 January 2016 onwards, Swisscom adopted various amendments to existing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Interpretations, which have no material impact on the results or financial position of the Group.

Standard   Name
Amendements to IFRS 11   Accounting for acquisitions of interests in a joint operation
Amendements to IAS 1   Disclosure initiative
Amendements to IAS 16 and IAS 38   Clarification of acceptable methods of depreciation and amortisation
Various   Improvements to IFRS 2012–2014
Amended International Financial Reporting Standards and Interpretations, whose application is not yet mandatory

The following Standards and Interpretations published up to the end of 2016 are mandatory for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2017:

Standard   Name   Effective from
Amendements to IAS 7   Disclosure initiative   1 January 2017
Amendements to IAS 12   Recognition of deferred tax assets for unrealised losses   1 January 2017
IFRIC 22   Foreign currency transactions and advance consideration   1 January 2018
Amendements to IFRS 2   Classification and measurement of share-based payment transactions   1 January 2018
IFRS 9   Financial instruments   1 January 2018
IFRS 15   Revenue from contracts with customers and related clarifications to IFRS 15   1 January 2018
IFRS 16   Leases   1 January 2019
Various   Amendements to IFRS 2014–2016   1 January 2017 resp. 1 January 2018

Swisscom will review its financial reporting for the impact of the new and amended standards which take effect on or after 1 January 2017 and for which Swisscom did not make voluntary early application. At present, Swisscom anticipates no material impact on consolidated financial reporting with the exception of the amendments described in the following paragraphs.

IFRS 15 “Revenue from Contracts with Customers”: in contrast to the revenue recognition standards currently in force, the new standard provides for a single, principles-based, five-step model which is to be applied to all contracts with customers. In accordance with IFRS 15, the amount which is expected to be received from customers as consideration for the transfer of goods and services to the customer is to be recognised as revenue. As regards determining the time or period, it is no longer a question of the transfer of risks and opportunities but of the transfer of control over the goods and services to the customers. With regards to multi-component contracts, IFRS 15 explicitly rules that the transaction price is to be allocated to each distinct performance obligation in relation to the relative stand-alone selling prices. Furthermore, the new standard contains new rules regarding the costs of fulfilment and winning a contract as well as guidelines as to the question when such costs are to be capitalised. In addition, the new standard requires new, more detailed note disclosure information. Swisscom anticipates that the wide-ranging amendments, in particular in the area of accounting for multi-component contracts and the prescribed capitalisation of customer acquisition costs, will impact consolidated financial reporting. IFRS 15 will have the following material impact on the consolidated financial statements of Swisscom:

  • In the case of multi-component contracts (mobile-phone contract with a subsidised mobile handset), the revenue will be allocated over the pre-delivered components (mobile handset) with the result that the revenue will be recognised earlier. The total revenue remains unchanged over the duration of the contract.
  • Commissions paid to dealers (customer acquisition costs) as well as costs of routers and set-top boxes (contract performance costs) are capitalised and recognised as expense over the term of the contract.
  • Swisscom will in all probability apply IFRS 15 through an adjustment to equity in the amount of the cumulative effect as from 1 January 2018 (cumulative method).

The impact will be evaluated as part of a Group-wide project regarding the implementation of the new standard. A reliable estimate of the quantitative impact, however, is not possible prior to the completion of the project.

IFRS 16 “Leases”: For the lessee, IFRS 16 provides for a comprehensive model for dealing with lease arrangements in financial statements. The differentiation between finance and operating lease arrangements which was required until now under IAS 17 is thus dropped in future for the lessee. The lessee shall recognise leasing obligations in its balance sheet for all future lease payments to be made as well as recognising a right to use the underlying asset. For financial-reporting purposes, the lessor shall continue to differentiate between finance and operating lease arrangements. In this respect, the accounting model foreseen under IFRS 16 do not materially differ from the previous provisions under IAS 17. Swisscom expects that the comprehensive modifications will have a material impact on the consolidated financial statements. However, a reliable estimate of the impact of applying IFRS 16 can only be made once a detailed analysis is completed. IFRS 9 “Financial Instruments”: The Standard includes new rules to classify and value financial assets and liabilities, the recognition of value impairments and the recording of hedging relationships. In certain cases, changes in classification will result from the new provisions and also in certain cases, the new provisions regarding value impairment will lead to the earlier recording of losses impacting income. Swisscom has not completed the detailed analysis but does not, however, anticipate material changes to financial-statement reporting.