Basis of the consolidation
The consolidated financial statements comprise the financial data of Alliander and its subsidiaries. Subsidiaries are companies over which Alliander, either directly or indirectly, has the power to govern the financial and operating policies so as to obtain benefits from their activities. In determining whether Alliander has control, actual and potential voting rights that are currently exercisable or convertible are taken into account, along with the existence of other agreements enabling Alliander to control financial and operating policies.
The assets, liabilities and results of subsidiaries are fully consolidated. The results of consolidated subsidiaries that have been acquired during the year are consolidated from the date Alliander obtains control over those subsidiaries. Consolidation of subsidiaries ceases from the date Alliander no longer controls the subsidiary.
The acquisition method is used to account for acquisitions of subsidiaries by Alliander. The purchase price of an acquisition is determined by measuring the fair value of the acquired assets, the issued equity instruments and the assumed or acquired liabilities. The consideration paid includes the fair value of all assets or liabilities arising out of contingent consideration arrangements. The identifiable assets and liabilities and contingent liabilities that are acquired are initially measured at fair value at the date of acquisition, irrespective of the amount that is attributable to non-controlling interests (see also the accounting policies for goodwill). For each business combination, it is determined whether any non-controlling interest in the acquiree is measured at fair value or at the proportionate share of the non-controlling interest in the acquiree’s identifiable net assets. The interests of third parties in group equity and the group’s profit after tax are presented separately as non-controlling interests and profit after tax attributable to non-controlling interests.
Intercompany transactions, intercompany receivables and payables and unrealised gains on transactions between subsidiaries are eliminated. Unrealised losses are also eliminated, unless the transaction gives rise to the recognition of impairment losses. If appropriate, the accounting policies of subsidiaries are adjusted to ensure the consistent application of accounting policies throughout the Alliander group.
Associates and joint arrangements
Associates are entities where Alliander, directly or indirectly, exercises significant influence, but not control, over the financial and operational policies. Significant influence is assumed when Alliander can exercise between 20% and 50% of the voting rights.
Joint ventures are joint arrangements where the parties having joint control over the arrangement have rights to the net assets of the arrangement. These parties are referred to as investors in joint ventures.
A joint operation is a joint arrangement where the parties having joint control over the arrangement (including Alliander) have rights to the assets and obligations for the liabilities relating to the arrangement. These parties are referred to as participants in joint operations. In a joint operation, Alliander recognises its assets and liabilities and its revenue and expenses arising from the joint operation.
The ‘Other information’ section of this annual report contains a list of the associates and joint arrangements.
Investments in associates and interests in joint ventures are measured using the equity method. Initial measurement is at historical cost. The carrying amount of the associate or the joint venture includes the goodwill paid at the date of acquisition of the associate or entering into the joint venture and Alliander’s share in the changes in the equity of the associate or joint venture after the date of the transaction. The share in the realised results of the entities concerned since the date on which they were acquired is recognised in the income statement and the share in the change in unrealised results of the entities concerned since acquisition date is included in the comprehensive income. If the accumulated losses exceed the carrying amount, they are not recognised unless Alliander has an obligation or has made payments to defray them, in which case, a provision is recognised and charged to income.
Unrealised profits on transactions between the Alliander group and its associates or joint ventures are eliminated pro rata according to the group’s interest in the entity concerned. Unrealised losses are also eliminated, unless the transaction gives rise to the recognition of impairment losses. If appropriate, the accounting policies of associates and joint ventures are adjusted to ensure the consistent application of accounting policies throughout the Alliander group.
Scope of the consolidation
On 8 January 2020, Alliander Corporate Ventures B.V. (ACV) acquired 100% of the shares in both Twinning Research Network Twente B.V. and TReNT Infrastructuur B.V. (jointly called TReNT) from TReNT Holding B.V. With this acquisition, Alliander becomes the owner of telecommunications infrastructure in the eastern part of the Netherlands. It is Alliander’s policy to own telecommunications infrastructure, because it is crucial for Alliander’s ability to safely operate its electricity and gas network.
There were no new consolidations in 2019. As of 31 December 2019, Alliander Participaties B.V. and non-controlling interest Innax Group B.V. have been transferred to Stichting Administratiekantoor Bellevue (STAK Bellevue) and are no longer part of Alliander.
The reporting of segment information reflects the basis on which management information is reported to the Chief Operating Decision-Maker (CODM). The Management Board is identified as the most senior officer (CODM) responsible for the allocation of resources and for evaluating segment performance. Internal reporting is based on the same accounting policies as are used for the consolidated financial statements. The internally reported results are on a comparable basis, i.e. excluding incidental items and fair value movements. The reconciliation with the reported figures is given in note .
Alliander distinguishes the following segments:
Network operator Liander
Foreign currency translation
Functional and presentation currency
The items in the financial statements of the entities forming part of the Alliander group are recorded in the currency of the primary economic environment in which the entity operates (the ‘functional currency’). The consolidated financial statements are prepared in euros, Alliander’ s functional and presentation currency.
Translation of transactions and balance sheet items in foreign currencies
Amounts of transactions in foreign currencies are converted into the functional currency at the applicable exchange rate at the time. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency are translated at the exchange rates at the balance sheet date. Currency translation differences resulting from the settlement of transactions denominated in foreign currency or the translation at the balance sheet date are recognised in the income statement, unless these exchange gains or losses are recognised directly in comprehensive income as cash flow hedges or net investment hedges in a foreign entity.
Currency translation differences on monetary investments in bonds are recognised in income when they relate to the translation of the amortised cost in foreign currency.
To measure impairments, assets are allocated to the lowest possible level at which they generate separately identifiable cash flows (cash-generating units). Goodwill is allocated to a level that is consistent with the manner in which goodwill is internally reviewed by management. Impairment of cash-generating units is initially allocated to the goodwill of the cash-generating unit (or group of cash-generating units) and is subsequently allocated proportionately to the carrying amount of the other assets of the cash-generating unit.
Under IFRS, goodwill is tested annually for impairment by comparing the recoverable amount and the carrying amount of the cash-generating unit (or group of cash-generating units) to which the goodwill has been allocated. Impairment losses – the difference between carrying amount and recoverable amount – are recognised in the income statement.
A similar calculation is only performed in the case of all other non-current assets if warranted by events or changes in circumstances (triggering event analysis). The results of this calculation determine whether the value of property, plant and equipment, intangible assets or financial assets has been impaired. Each year and when interim results are published, a test is carried out to establish whether such events or changes have occurred.
In 2020, CGU TReNT, consisting of the companies TReNT B.V. and TReNT Infra B.V. both purchased on 8 January 2020, was added to the existing CGUs.
For Alliander’s German operations, separate cash-generating units were defined for operations in the areas of traffic management systems and public lighting in 2019.
The recoverable amount is the higher of the fair value less costs to sell and the value in use. In measuring the value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted at a pre-tax discount rate. The discount rate reflects the time value of money and the specific risks that are associated with the assets involved. If certain assets do not generate cash flows independently, the value in use is measured for the cash-generating unit to which the asset involved belongs.
If a previously recognised impairment loss ceases to apply, it is reversed to the original carrying amount less regular depreciation and amortisation up to the date of reversal. Impairments of goodwill are not reversed.
Assets held for sale and discontinued operations
Fixed assets held for sale and assets held for sale relating to key operations, as well as the liabilities that can be attributed to these assets, are recognised separately on the balance sheet. Assets are designated as being held for sale if Alliander has committed itself to the sale of the asset involved, if the sales process has started and if the sale is expected to occur within one year of the asset being classified as held for sale. These assets are no longer depreciated, but are recognised at fair value less costs to sell if this amount is lower than the carrying amount. If the sale has not taken place within one year, the asset and associated liabilities are no longer presented separately in the balance sheet unless the failure to meet the one-year time limit is due to events or circumstances beyond Alliander’s control and Alliander still intends to sell the asset in question.
Assets held for sale and the associated liabilities are presented as such in the balance sheet from the time that they are designated as held for sale. The comparative figures in the balance sheet are not restated. A discontinued operation is an activity of material significance which has been either discontinued or classified as held for sale. The results from discontinued operations comprise the results for the entire financial year up to the up to the close of the year. The comparative figures are restated in this case.
Tangible fixed assets
The tangible fixed assets item is subdivided into the following categories:
land and buildings;
other plant and equipment;
assets under construction/prepaid assets.
The tangible fixed assets are measured at historical cost, less accumulated depreciation and impairment. At the time of transition to IFRS on 1 January 2004, Alliander decided to use the option in IFRS 1 ‘First-Time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards’ to recognise networks at their deemed cost on that date.
Historical cost includes all expenditure directly attributable to the purchase of an item of property, plant and equipment or the production of an item of property, plant and equipment for own use. The cost of production for the company’s own use includes the direct costs of materials used, labour and other direct production costs attributable to the production of the item of property, plant and equipment and the costs required to bring it into its operational condition.
With effect from 1 January 2009, the costs of loans associated with the purchase of an item of property, plant and equipment or assets under construction are capitalised insofar as they can be directly attributed to the acquisition, production or construction of a qualifying asset. For Alliander, this entails the obligatory capitalisation of interest costs from all qualifying assets whose initial capitalisation date falls on or after 1 January 2009.
Costs incurred after the date on which an item of property, plant and equipment has been taken into use are only capitalised if it can be assumed that these costs will generate future economic benefits and if they can be measured reliably. Depending on the circumstances, these costs form part of the carrying amount of the asset involved or are capitalised separately. The carrying amount of the original asset is derecognised on replacement. Maintenance expenditure is charged directly to the income statement in the year these costs are incurred.
Historical cost also includes the net present value of the estimated dismantling and removal costs and, if applicable, the costs of restoring the site to its original condition insofar as there is a legal or constructive obligation to do so. These costs are capitalised at the time of acquisition or at a later date when the obligation arises. In both cases, the capitalised costs are depreciated over the expected remaining useful life of the asset concerned.
Property, plant and equipment is depreciated using the straight-line method over the expected useful lives of the various components of the asset concerned, taking account of the expected residual value.
The useful lives of the asset categories are as follows:
land: not depreciated;
buildings: 20-50 years;
networks: 5-55 years;
other plant and equipment; 3-60 years;
assets under construction: not depreciated.
Assets with a short useful life (5 years) forming part of the networks mainly concern electronic equipment. The networks themselves (pipes and cables) generally have a useful life of 40 to 55 years. The expected useful lives, residual values, and depreciation methods are reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary. Gains or losses on disposal are determined from the sales proceeds and the carrying amount on the date of disposal. Gains are recognised in other income.
Changes in expected useful lives
As of 1 January 2020, the depreciation periods for transformers, switchgear and electrical substations in the free domain have been shortened following changes to the replacement policy in combination with legal requirements and technological developments, which pushed depreciation costs up by €4 million in 2020.
Due to the discontinuation of GPRS services as of 1 January 2029, smart meters using GPRS technology must be replaced more quickly. This has led to shorter depreciation periods for these meters starting from 1 September 2020, increasing depreciation costs by €3 million in 2020. This adjustment will push the depreciation costs up by €8 million in 2021.
There were no changes in estimates of expected useful lives in 2019.
Goodwill is the amount by which the consideration paid on transfer of ownership exceeds the fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities of the subsidiaries or associates acquired. Goodwill recognised on the acquisition of subsidiaries or associates is classified under intangible assets. Goodwill recognised on the acquisition of associates is included in the cost of the investment concerned. If the amount paid on transfer is lower than the fair value of the identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities (negative goodwill), this difference is recognised directly through the income statement.
The carrying amount of goodwill consists of historical cost less accumulated impairment. Impairment tests are performed annually in order to determine whether the carrying amount of the goodwill has been impaired. On the disposal of entities or cash-generating units, the goodwill attributable to the entity or unit is taken into account in determining the result on disposal.
Purchased lease contracts are recognised in the balance sheet as other intangible assets, measured at the net present value of the future cash flows. Amortisation is calculated over the average period of the purchased contracts.
Classification and recognition
Financial assets – mostly investments in loans and shares – are classified into the categories described hereafter. Financial assets are classified as current if the remaining term to maturity is less than 12 months at the balance sheet date. They are classified as non-current if the remaining term to maturity is longer than 12 months. The category in which a financial asset is placed and measured depends on:
the entity's business model for managing the financial assets
and the contractual cash flow characteristics of the financial asset.
A financial asset is measured at amortised cost if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
the financial asset is held as part of the business model whose objective is to hold financial assets in order to collect contractual cash flows, and
the contractual terms of the financial asset give rise on specified dates to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding.
A financial asset is recognised at fair value through other comprehensive income if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
the financial asset is held within a business model whose objective is achieved by both collecting contractual cash flows and selling financial assets, and
the contractual terms of the financial asset give rise on specified dates to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding.
A financial asset must be recognised at fair value through profit or loss unless, in accordance with the above paragraphs, it is recognised at amortised cost or at fair value through other comprehensive income.
On initial recognition, a financial asset is measured at fair value plus, in the case of a financial asset that is not recognised at fair value through profit or loss, the transaction costs directly attributable to the acquisition or issue of the financial asset.
Alliander does not employ any business models where the aim is achieved both by receiving contractual cash flows and by selling financial assets. Alliander’s financial assets are therefore measured after initial recognition either at amortised cost or at fair value through profit or loss.
If the fair value of financial assets measured at amortised cost has been hedged, the amortised cost is adjusted for the gain or loss attributable to the hedged risk. These adjustments are recognised in the income statement.
A provision for losses is recognised for expected credit losses on financial assets that are measured at amortised cost or recognised at fair value through other comprehensive income.
Calculation of the impairment is based on the expected loss. This is assessed periodically. The general approach is that of the expected credit loss (ECL) model, which involves determining the 12-month expected credit loss. In the event of a significant increase in the credit risk on a financial asset, the lifetime expected credit loss is recognised.
The amount of the expected credit loss (or reversals) that is required to adjust the compensation for losses as at the reporting date is recognised as an impairment gain or loss in the income statement.
Derivatives and hedge accounting
Derivatives are measured at fair value. The fair values are either derived from quoted prices in active markets or obtained from recent market transactions of a similar nature or calculated using valuation methods such as discounted cash flow models and option valuation models when there is no active market for the instruments.
Derivatives are classified as current or non-current assets if the fair value is positive and as current or non-current liabilities if the fair value is negative. Derivative receivables and payables with the same counterparty are netted if there is a right to do so and Alliander has the intention to settle the transaction on a net basis.
Accounting for movements in fair value of derivatives
The accounting treatment for the movements in the fair value of derivatives depends on whether the derivative is designated as held for trading or as a hedge (and recognised as such for accounting purposes in an effective hedge), and if the latter is the case, the risk that is being hedged.
Commodity contracts intended for own-use by the company
Alliander may use energy commodity contracts for physical purchases of electricity, gas and green certificates (renewable energy certificates – RECs) for network losses occurring in the distribution of electricity and gas. For these contracts, transactions are recognised on the delivery date at the then applicable prices. Contracts are designated as own-use contracts, as contracts for trading or as hedges on the date on which they are entered into.
Alliander uses derivatives to hedge foreign exchange risks on assets and liabilities, interest rate risks on long-term loans and price risks arising from energy commodity contracts. These hedge transactions can be divided into two categories:
Cash flow hedging: these are instruments hedging the risk of movements in future cash flows that may affect profit or loss. The hedges are attributable to a specific risk that is related to a balance sheet item or a future transaction that is highly probable. The effective part of the changes in the fair value of the hedge reserve is recognised in shareholders’ equity under the hedge reserves. The non-effective part is taken to the income statement. The accumulated amounts recognised in equity are transferred to the income statement in the period in which the hedged transaction is recognised in the income statement. However, if a forecast transaction that is hedged leads to the recognition of a non-financial asset or liability, the accumulated gains and losses on the hedges are included in the initial measurement of the asset or liability involved. If a hedge ceases to exist or is sold, or when the criteria for hedge accounting are no longer being met, the accumulated fair value movements are held in equity until the forecast transaction is recognised in the income statement. If a forecast transaction is no longer expected to occur, the accumulated fair value movements that were recognised in equity are recognised through the income statement;
fair value hedges: these are instruments hedging the risk of movements in the fair value of assets and/or liabilities, or a part thereof, carried on the face of the balance sheet, or firm commitments, or a part thereof, that may affect profit or loss. A firm commitment is a binding agreement for the exchange of a specified quantity of resources at a specified price on a specified future date or dates. Fair value movements of derivatives that are designated as fair value hedges are recognised in the income statement, together with the movements in the fair value of the assets or liabilities or groups thereof, that are attributable to the hedged risk.
At the start of a hedging relationship, and subsequently on an ongoing basis, an assessment is made to establish whether the hedging relationship satisfies the hedge effectiveness requirements. If a hedging relationship ceases to satisfy the hedge effectiveness requirements but the risk management objective of the hedging relationship is unchanged, rebalancing takes place by changing the terms of the hedging relationship in such a way that it again satisfies the criteria. This rebalancing is processed administratively as a continuation of the hedging relationship. Upon rebalancing, the hedge ineffectiveness of the hedging relationship is calculated and recognised.
Fair value gains and losses on other derivatives are recognised in the income statement.
Leases where Alliander acts as lessor
Alliander has entered into operating leases for district heating networks and energy-related installations. Operating leases are leases that are not designated as finance leases. Risks and rewards incidental to ownership of the assets concerned are not, or not substantially, transferred to the lessee.
The assets that are leased to third parties under operating leases are classified as property, plant and equipment. The proceeds from operating leases are recognised through the income statement as operating income over the lease period.
To calculate the credit losses to be recognised in respect of outstanding receivables for operating leases, the simplified approach for trade receivables and contract assets is used. See also the policies for trade and other receivables.
Alliander has entered into a finance lease for a heat transport pipeline. Risks and rewards incidental to ownership of the assets concerned are entirely or almost entirely, transferred to the lessee.
Finance lease receivables are recognised in other financial assets. The finance benefits over the lease period from finance leases are recognised through the income statement as finance income.
For the determination of the credit losses to be recognised in respect of outstanding receivables for finance leases, the accounting policy for impairments on financial assets applies.
Inventories are measured at the lower of cost and net realisable value. These inventories consist of raw materials and consumables, inventories in process of production and finished goods. The cost of inventories is determined using the FIFO (first-in, first-out) method. Net realisable value is measured using the estimated sales price in normal operating circumstances, less the estimated costs to sell.
Trade and other receivables
Trade and other receivables are initially measured at fair value and subsequently at amortised cost less impairment for the default risk. To calculate the amount, the simplified approach for trade receivables and contract assets is used, with the expected credit losses estimated on the basis of experience.
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents comprise all liquid financial instruments with a maturity date at inception of less than three months. Cash and cash equivalents include cash in hand, bank balances, money market loans and short-term deposits. Overdrafts are only classified as cash and cash equivalents if Alliander has the right to net debit and credit balances, the debit and credit balances are held with the same bank and Alliander has the intention to exercise this right and also actually does so.
Cash and cash equivalents are measured at fair value on initial recognition and subsequently at amortised cost, which in general equals the face value. Cash and cash equivalents also include cash and cash equivalents to which Alliander does not have free access. Amounts owed to credit institutions are recognised as interest-bearing debt.
Interest-bearing debt consists primarily of loans and is initially measured in the balance sheet at the fair value of the consideration receivable, less transaction costs. With the exception of derivatives, it is subsequently measured at amortised cost. Where the interest-bearing debt is hedged by means of a fair value hedging instrument, the amortised cost of the interest-bearing debt is adjusted for the movement in fair value attributable to the hedged risk. These adjustments are recognised in the income statement.
Leases where Alliander acts as lessee
When entering into a contract, an assessment is made as to whether it is or contains a lease. A contract is or contains a lease if it grants a right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration. In case of a contract that is or contains a lease, each lease component of the contract is recognised as a lease in the records separately from the contract's non-lease components.
On the effective date, the right-of-use asset is measured at cost. Cost is made up of the amount of the first measurement of the lease liability, the initial direct costs incurred, lease payments made on or before the effective date, less all lease incentives received.
On the effective date, the lease liability is measured at the present value of the lease payments not made on that date. The lease payments are discounted based on the lease’s imputed rate of interest, provided it can be estimated reliably. If not, the incremental borrowing rate of interest is used. The incremental borrowing rate is determined on the basis of the risk-free market interest rate plus a risk markup specific to Alliander over a similar period and with the same type of security as the terms on which Alliander would be able to obtain finance to acquire a comparable asset.
Rights of use are measured at historical cost, less accumulated depreciation and impairment.
After initial recognition, the lease liabilities are measured by increasing the carrying amount to show the interest on the lease liability and lowering it to show the lease payments made.
Alliander uses the exemptions for short-term and low-value leases offered by IFRS.
Construction contributions, government and investment grants
Construction contributions from customers in connection with investments in the electricity and gas infrastructure for the provision of connection and distribution services are recognised in the balance sheet as contract liabilities (deferred income). Deferred income is amortised over the expected useful lives of the assets involved. The amortisation is recognised through the income statement as revenue.
Government subsidies and investment grants
Government subsidies and investment grants are recognised if there is reasonable certainty that the criteria for receiving the grant are or will be met, and that the grant will be received. Grants received for investments in property, plant and equipment are recognised as deferred income in the balance sheet and are amortised over the expected useful lives of the assets involved. The amortisation is recognised through the income statement as other income.
Government grants and operating subsidies that do not relate to investments in property, plant and equipment or other non-current assets are taken to income when the associated costs are incurred.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities that arise from taxable temporary differences between the carrying amount in the financial statements and the carrying amount for tax purposes are determined using the corporate income tax rates that are currently applicable or will be applicable, under current legislation, at the time of settlement of the deferred tax asset or liability.
Deferred tax assets, arising, for example, from operating losses, are only recognised if it is probable that sufficient future taxable profits will be available – accounting for them at tax group level. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are only set off if Alliander has a legal right to offset and the receivables and liabilities relate to taxes that are levied by the same authority. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured at face value.
The corporate income tax charge is determined using the applicable rates for corporate income tax and are recognised at face value. Permanent differences between the results for tax purposes and financial reporting purposes and the ability to utilise tax losses carried forward are taken into account if deferred tax assets have not been recognised for these tax losses.
Provisions for employee benefits
Alliander has a number of defined benefit plans and defined contribution plans for which contributions are generally paid to pension funds or insurance companies. The main pension schemes, which are administered by ABP, take the form of multi-employer plans. Although the pension plans offered by these arrangements are, in fact, defined benefit plans, these plans are treated as defined contribution plans as Alliander does not have access to the required information and because its participation in the multi-employer plans exposes it to actuarial risks that relate to the present and former employees of other entities. The pension contributions due for the financial year are accounted for as pension costs in the financial statements. Where there is an agreement for a multi-employer plan that specifies how a surplus is distributed to the participants or a deficit is to be financed and where the plan is accounted for as a defined contribution plan, a receivable or payable arising from the agreement is recognised in the balance sheet. The resulting gains or losses are recognised in the income statement. The pensions of by far the majority of Alliander’s workforce are managed by the ABP pension fund and do not have such contractual agreements.
As a result, no receivable or liability has been recognised in the balance sheet. The contributions paid during the year are recognised in the income statement. The same applies to the pensions administered by BPF Bouw and Pensioenfonds voor Metaal en Techniek.
In addition to the above multi-employer pension plans in the Netherlands, Alliander has two defined benefit plans relating to subsidiaries in Germany, although these are not of material importance. These plans are accounted for in accordance with the amended IAS 19.
Pensions and other post-employment benefits
Pensions and other post-employment benefits include, among other things, the medical benefit scheme for retired employees. This scheme has not been transferred to an external insurance company or pension fund. The amount of the liability carried on the face of the balance sheet in respect of the medical and other post-employment benefits is made up of the net present value of the gross liability in respect of the defined medical benefit obligation plus or less actuarial gains and losses and less past-service costs not yet recognised as at balance sheet date. These components are computed actuarially.
The present value of the medical benefit obligation is determined using the projected unit credit method, which takes into account the accrued entitlements at the balance sheet date and changes in the entitlements. The costs for the medical benefit scheme attributable to the year of service and the accretion of interest to the provision are recognised in employee benefits in the income statement.
Other long-term employee benefits
Other long-term employee benefits include plans, other than pension plans, in which payment does not occur within 12 months after the end of the period in which the employees render the related service. These plans consist of long-term sickness benefits, long-service benefits, payments on reaching retirement age and incapacity benefits for former employees, and additional annual leave for older employees. These obligations have not been transferred to pension funds or insurance companies. The obligation for other long-term employee benefits in the balance sheet consists of the net present value of the vested benefits. If appropriate, estimates are made of future salary rises, employee turnover and similar factors. These factors form part of the calculation of the provision. Changes in the provision resulting from changes in actuarial assumptions and benefits are taken directly to the income statement. The service costs attributable to the year of service and the accretion of interest to the provision are recognised in employee benefits in the income statement.
Termination benefits are benefits resulting from a decision by Alliander to terminate the employment contract before the normal retirement date or the voluntary decision of an employee to agree to the termination of the employment contract. The nature and the amount of the termination benefits are laid down in the Social Plan. The Social Plan is renegotiated periodically. A provision is only recognised if Alliander has drawn up a detailed restructuring plan which has been approved and communicated and it is not probable that the plan will be withdrawn at a later date.
The amount of the provision is measured at the best estimate of the amount needed to settle the obligation. If the payment is expected to occur more than 12 months after the balance sheet date, the provision is stated at net present value.
Provisions are recognised when:
there is a legal and/or constructive obligation at the balance sheet date arising from events that occurred before the balance sheet date;
it can be reasonably assumed that an outflow of economic resources will be required to settle the obligation and a reliable estimate of the obligation can be made.
Provisions are measured at the face value of the amounts deemed necessary to settle the obligation, unless the time value of money is significant. In that case, the provision is stated at net present value. The interest accrual is recognised as finance expense in the income statement.
Trade and other payables
Trade and other payables are initially recognised at fair value and subsequently at amortised cost. Due to the usually short term of these liabilities, the fair value and amortised cost are generally equal to the face value.
A distinction is made between revenue and other income. All income from contracts with customers is recognised as revenue and all remaining income as other income.
Income is measured on the basis of the performance obligations in the contract with the customer. This excludes amounts received on behalf of third parties. The income is recognised at the moment control of the product or service is transferred.
In assessing the customer contracts, separate portfolio-based approaches are used for matters such as the connection, transport and metering services of the distribution system operating activities. Customer contracts for these services are entered into indefinitely, with the customer paying an investment contribution at the inception of the contract, followed by periodical payments for the service provided. The provision of these services concerns performance obligations satisfied over time. The related revenue is recognised over the period in which the customer receives the service. The upfront investment contribution concerns a payment for a performance obligation to be satisfied over the duration of the contract by providing the connection and distribution service. The contribution received is recognised in the balance sheet as a performance obligation to be satisfied – deferred income – which is amortised over the useful life of the assets concerned.
Net revenue is made up of:
regulated revenue. This is revenue from the distribution of electricity and gas to customers and from connecting customers, including, on the one hand, fixed components, referred to as the capacity tariff and, on the other hand, the amortisation of the deferred income from customers. Also included is the revenue from providing electricity and gas metering services for small-scale users. For the provision of these various services in the retail market in the period from the final statement for the year up to the balance sheet date, estimates are made of revenue to be billed;
free domain revenue such as from large-user metering services, the service component of leased installations and maintenance of complex energy infrastructures.
Other operating income consists of the following and items, among others:
rental income (the lease component of rented assets);
amortisation of government and investment grants recognised as liabilities; for details, reference is made to the relevant accounting policies;
results on the disposal of property, plant and equipment, i.e. the balance of the net proceeds from the sale and the carrying amounts of the assets disposed of. Gains and losses on the disposal of assets are presented net.
Purchase costs and costs of subcontracted work
This includes the costs of network losses, including the expected effects of reconciliation, the costs of distribution capacity and distribution restrictions and the costs of compensation payments. It also includes the costs of raw materials, consumables and supplies used for the supply of goods and services and the cost of subcontracted work such as billing and payment collection and engagement of subcontractors.
Own work capitalised
This item includes the costs of Alliander staff incurred on investment projects.
This item consists of the interest income on financial interest-bearing assets, i.e. loans, receivables, money market loans and deposits, measured using the effective interest method, and income from foreign currency results and movements in the fair value of interest rate derivatives.
This item consists of the following:
interest expenses; this includes the interest expenses on interest-bearing liabilities, measured using the effective interest method. Interest-bearing liabilities consist of loans, liabilities under the Euro Medium Term Notes programme, subordinated and green loans and commercial paper, with the exception of the subordinated perpetual bond loan. Also included with interest expenses are other finance-related costs, such as commitment fees and premium paid in connection with the early redemption of corporate bonds issued by the company etc.;
foreign exchange differences arising from the translation of transactions denominated in foreign currencies, financial assets and liabilities and derivatives in foreign currencies, except for the results of cash flow hedges, which are initially recognised in equity;
fair value movements on interest rate derivatives that are used to hedge future cash flows and the corresponding adjustment of the amortised cost of hedged financial assets and liabilities for the movement in the value of the hedged risk; and
results on terminating cross-border leases or other financing contracts.
Policies for the consolidated cash flow statement
The cash flow statement is prepared using the indirect method. The movement in cash and cash equivalents is derived from profit after tax according to the income statement. Exchange differences and all other movements not resulting in cash flows are eliminated. The same applies to the finance income and expense and the corporate income tax recognised in the income statement. These items are replaced in the cash flow from operating activities by the interest paid/received and the tax paid/received, respectively. The financial consequences of the acquisition or sale of associates and subsidiaries are shown separately in the cash flow from investing activities. As a result, the cash flows presented are not reconcilable with the changes in the consolidated balance sheets.
The definition of cash and cash equivalents in the cash flow statement is the same as that used in the balance sheet.