Half year report, IFRS 9 adopted, impairment, hedging, classification changes

Finnair Oyj – Half year report – 30 June 2017

Industry: airlines



Finnair Group early adopted IFRS 9: Financial Instruments (2014), endorsed by the EU on 22.11.2016, with a date of initial application on 1 January 2017. The following changes to the accounting principles are described in the note 17 Changes in accounting principles. Otherwise the accounting principles applied are disclosed in the 2016 Consolidated Financial Statements.

The figures presented in this statement are not rounded; therefore, the total sum of individual figures does not necessarily match the corresponding sum stated herein. The key figures stated here are calculated using the exact figures.


IFRS 9 Financial Instruments

Finnair Group early adopted IFRS 9: Financial Instruments (2014), endorsed by the EU on 22.11.2016, with a date of initial application on 1 January 2017.

IFRS 9 replaces IAS 39 and addresses the classification, measurement and derecognition of financial assets and liabilities, introduces new rules for hedge accounting and a new impairment model for financial assets. The new hedge accounting rules have aligned the accounting for hedging instruments more closely with Finnair’s risk management practices. Under IFRS 9, more hedge relationships are eligible for hedge accounting. The change has decreased volatility in Finnair’s operating result, because unrealised fair value changes of a larger amount of derivatives are recognised in other comprehensive income instead of operating result. Changes related to the classification and impairment of financial instruments did not have any significant effects on Finnair.

The key changes that have impacted Finnair’s financial statements are described in more detail below.

1 Impairment of financial assets 

The new impairment model requires the recognition of impairment provisions based on expected credit losses (ECL), rather than only incurred credit losses as is the case under IAS 39. The only aspect affecting Finnair is related to the credit risk from trade receivables, and the change resulted in earlier recognition of credit losses on trade receivables. There was no impact on Finnair’s credit risk position when moving from IAS 39 to IFRS 9.

Credit risk from trade receivables – According to IFRS 9, Finnair can use a simplified credit loss matrix for trade receivables as trade receivables do not have a significant financing component. Accordingly, the credit loss allowance is measured at an amount equal to the lifetime expected credit losses. The expected credit loss model is forward-looking, and expected default rates are based on historical realised credit losses. The lifetime expected credit loss allowance is calculated using the gross carrying amount of outstanding trade receivables and an expected default rate. The lifetime expected credit loss allowance total was recognised as an adjustment of 1.2 million euros to the opening balance of retained earnings in the year 2017, and thereafter the changes in expected credit losses will be recognised in profit and loss. However, the yearly recognition of credit losses in profit and loss is expected to be low due to nature of the business; flight tickets and other services provided by Finnair are usually paid before the service is delivered.

The impairment model does not affect investments in bonds and money market funds included in other financial assets as those are measured at fair value through profit and loss both under IAS 39 and IFRS 9, which already takes into account expected credit losses. With respect to the assets measured at amortised cost, Finnair is actively following such instruments and will recognise impairment through profit and loss if there is evidence of deterioration in credit quality. 

2 Changes in the classification of financial assets and liabilities

The new business-model driven classification of financial assets contains three different classes: amortised cost (replaces Finnair’s previous classification “Loans and trade receivables” and “Held-to-maturity investments”), fair value through profit and loss (replaces “Held for trading”) and fair value through other comprehensive income (replaces “Available for sale financial assets”).

Based on Finnair’s analysis, the application of IFRS 9 did not have any significant impact on the recognition or measurement of the Group’s financial assets. Investments in debt securities, such as commercial paper and deposits, are measured at amortised cost, but only when the objective of the business model is to hold the asset to collect the contractual cash flows and the asset’s contractual cash flows represent only payments of principal and interest. Due to the nature of short-term receivables and other receivables, their book value is expected to be equal to the fair value. Other financial assets, such as investments in bonds and money market funds, are measured at fair value. The changes in the fair values of financial assets are recognised in the income statement.

Liabilities are classified into two different classes: amortised cost (replaces “Loans and receivables” and “Valued at amortised cost”) and fair value through profit and loss. Finnair’s liabilities are mainly classified as amortised cost, except for derivative liabilities. IFRS 9 did not bring any changes to company’s previous classification and measurement of financial liabilities. 

3 Hedge accounting

IFRS 9 introduced a new hedge accounting model to simplify hedge accounting outcomes and more closely align hedge accounting with risk management strategy and objectives.

The key changes impacting Finnair Group´s hedge accounting include: 

Risk components – IFRS 9 (2014) allows derivatives that are hedging a non-financial component of a price risk that is separately identifiable and measurable to be designated in a hedge relationship for that risk component only. The Group uses options and swaps on jet fuel, and could potentially use gasoil and Brent oil to hedge exposure to movements in the price of jet fuel. Previously, non-financial components were prohibited from being designated as hedged items under IAS39, and the use of such component hedges would have resulted in ineffectiveness stemming from the differences in the fair value changes of gasoil or Brent derivatives and the underlying jet fuel exposure. The change will allow Finnair to apply hedge accounting to such instruments under IFRS 9, which would not have been possible under IAS 39.

Cost of hedging – IFRS 9 allows the time value of options to be excluded from the designation of a hedging instrument and accounted for as a cost of hedging. The fair value changes of the time value are recognised in other comprehensive income, and depending on the nature of the hedged item will either be transferred to the Income Statement in the same period that the underlying transaction affects the Consolidated Income Statement or will be capitalised into the initial carrying value of a hedged item. Under IAS 39, Finnair did not apply hedge accounting when options were used for hedging future cash flows, and all the unrealised fair value changes of options were recognised in operating result as “Fair value changes in derivatives and changes in exchange rates of fleet overhauls”. Finnair may use options when hedging against foreign currency exchange and fuel price risk, and the ability to apply hedge accounting for those will reduce the fair value changes of derivative instruments being recognised in the Consolidated Income Statement as non-designated derivatives.

Hedge effectiveness – Under IFRS 9, IAS 39 requirements for retrospective effectiveness testing as well as for hedge effectiveness of 80 to 125 per cent are removed. The ineffectiveness of hedges previously used by Finnair was minor or non-existent. Finnair expects that the hedge ineffectiveness will also be minor for hedge relationships that become eligible for hedge accounting under IFRS 9.

IFRS 9 (2014) requires that the hedge effectiveness assessment is forward-looking and does not prescribe defined effectiveness parameters for the application of hedge accounting. Under IAS 39, an entity had to test effectiveness both retrospectively and prospectively, and hedge accounting could only be applied if the relationship was 80 to 125 per cent effective. Under IFRS 9, hedge effectiveness is defined as the extent to which changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedging instrument offset changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedged item.

IFRS 9 introduces three hedge effectiveness requirements for the application of hedge accounting, the first of which is an economic relationship between the hedged item and the hedging instrument. Therefore, there must be an expectation that the value of the hedging instrument and the value of the hedged item will move in opposite directions as a result of the common underlying or hedged risk. The second criterion relates to the fact that the change in the credit risk of the hedging instrument or the hedged item must not be of such magnitude that it dominates the value changes that result from that economic relationship. The third criterion is that the hedge ratio is defined as the relationship between the quantity of the hedging instrument and the quantity of the hedged item in terms of their relative weighting. IFRS 9 requires that the hedge ratio used for hedge accounting purposes is the same as that used for risk management purposes. This change has not had a material impact on the Consolidated Income Statement.

Finnair Group has applied the hedge accounting principles of IFRS 9 on a prospective basis. Accordingly, there was no transitional restatement of the Group results.

Transition adjustment to retained earnings: 

The opening balance of retained earnings is adjusted to take into account the jet fuel hedges (options and swaps) and operative cash flow hedges (forwards and options), which were previously excluded from hedge accounting, but are included in hedge accounting according to IFRS 9. The adjustment due to the reclassification of certain types of derivatives from profit and loss to the hedging reserve resulted in a reduction of retained earnings by 19 million euros (15 million euros net of taxes).

On the date of initial application, 1 January 2017, the financial instruments of the company were as follows, with any reclassifications noted:


On the date of initial application, 1 January 2017, the derivative contracts of the company were as follows, with any change in the application of hedge accounting noted:


*The change in the carrying amount of items in cash flow hedge accounting resulting from the application of IFRS 9 was recognised as an adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings on the date of initial application.