IAS 36, goodwill, intangibles, PPE impairment disclosures, VIU basis, climate change, COVID – 19, sensitivity analysis

ArcelorMittal S.A. – Annual report – 31 December 2020

Industry: manufacturing

(millions of U.S. dollars, except share and per share data)


5.1 Goodwill and intangible assets

The carrying amounts of goodwill and intangible assets are summarized as follows:


Goodwill arising on an acquisition is recognized as previously described within the business combinations section in note 2.2.3. Goodwill is allocated to those groups of cash-generating units that are expected to benefit from the business combination in which the goodwill arose and in all cases is at the operating segment level, which represents the lowest level at which goodwill is monitored for internal management purposes.

Goodwill acquired in business combinations for each of the Company’s operating segments is as follows:

1. See notes 2.3.1 and 2.3.2

1. Other movements for Europe include 6 relating to the acquisition of Münker and 8 for Brazil relating to the increase in goodwill following the completion of the acquisition-date fair value of AMSF (see note 2.2.4).

5.3 Impairment of intangible assets, including goodwill, and tangible assets

Net impairment (reversals)/charges recognized were as follows:

Impairment test of goodwill

Goodwill is tested for impairment annually, as of October 1 or whenever changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable, at the level of the groups of cash-generating units (“GCGU”) which correspond to the operating segments representing the lowest level at which goodwill is monitored for internal management purposes. Whenever the cash-generating units comprising the operating segments are tested for impairment at the same time as goodwill, the cash-generating units are tested first and any impairment of the assets is recorded prior to the testing of goodwill.

The recoverable amounts of the GCGUs are mainly determined based on their value in use. The value in use of each GCGU is determined by estimating future cash flows. The 2020 impairment test of goodwill did not include the GCGU corresponding to the Mining segment as goodwill allocated to this GCGU was fully impaired in 2015. The key assumptions for the value in use calculations are primarily the discount rates, growth rates, expected changes to average selling prices, shipments and direct costs during the period. Assumptions for average selling prices and shipments are based on historical experience and expectations of future changes in the market. In addition, with respect to raw material price assumptions, the Company applied a range of $67 per tonne to $100 per tonne for iron ore and $142 per tonne to $149 per tonne for coking coal. Cash flow forecasts adjusted for the risks specific to the tested assets are derived from the most recent financial plans approved by management for the next five years. Beyond the specifically forecasted period, the Company extrapolates cash flows for the remaining years based on an estimated growth rate of 2%. This rate does not exceed the average long-term growth rate for the relevant markets.

The Company considered its exposure to certain climate-related risks which could affect its estimates of future cash flow projections applied for the determination of the recoverable amount of its GCGUs and CGUs. With the switch to electric vehicles and the move to wind and solar power generation, the Company sees additional opportunities as customers deepen their understanding of embedded and lifecycle emissions of the materials where steel compares favorably. ArcelorMittal’s most substantial climate-related policy risk is the EU Emissions Trading scheme (“‘ETS”), which applies to all its European plants. The risk concerns the Company’s primary steelmaking plants which are exposed to this regulation and yet unprotected against competition from imported steel. The Company is committed to the objectives of the Paris agreement and announced its ambition to reduce carbon emissions by 30% in Europe by 2030 and achieve group-wide carbon neutrality by 2050. These announced goals would require significant long-term investments that are conditioned by outstanding requirements such as a global level playing field, access to abundant and affordable clean energy, facilitating necessary energy infrastructure, access to sustainable finance for low-emissions steelmaking and accelerated transition to a circular economy. Therefore, given the uncertainties around these requirements, as per the Company’s best estimate, the abovementioned significant long-term investments should not be included in the Company’s assumptions for future cash flows of the recoverable amount of its GCGUs and CGUs. At the same time, the Company is engaged in developing in the near to medium term a range of low-emission technologies for the transition to decarbonized steel including the Smart Carbon route and the Hydrogen-DRI route and required investments are considered either in the Company’s future cash flow projections or in the context of joint ventures, as an element of the Company’s best estimate of capital expenditures which are committed and / or being implemented. Additionally, the Company’s assumptions for future cash flows include an estimate for costs that the Company expects to incur to acquire emission allowances, which primarily impacts the flat steel operations in Europe. The assumption for carbon emission cost is based on historical experience, expected opportunities to mitigate or otherwise offset such future costs and information available of future changes. Due to economic developments, uncertainties over the pace of transition to low-emission technologies, political and environmental actions that will be taken to meet the carbon reduction goals, regulatory changes and emissions activity arising from climate-related matters, the Company’s assumptions used in the recoverable amount calculations, such as capital expenditure, carbon emission costs and other assumptions are inherently uncertain and may ultimately differ from actual amounts.

The assumptions used in the value in use calculations are inherently uncertain in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and require management judgment. The Company’s process includes specific consideration given to the most recent short, medium and long-term price forecasts and discount rates consistent with external information, expected production and shipment volumes and updated development plans, operating costs and capital expenditure plans. The Company does not believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has structurally altered the long-term outlook of operations and subject to certain differences by geographical areas, ArcelorMittal expects shipments to return to pre-COVID-19 levels by 2022 with the benefit from a favorable supply demand balance following a prolonged period of destocking. Operating margins are expected to be restored in 2021 with the benefit of improved selling prices and structural cost improvements sustained from the Company’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Management estimates discount rates using pre-tax rates that reflect current market rates for investments of similar risk. The rate for each CGU, including beta, cost of debt and capital structure was estimated from the weighted average cost of capital of producers, which operate a portfolio of assets similar to those of the Company’s assets and CGU specific country risk premiums were applied. GCGU weighted average pre-tax discount rates were as follows in 2020 and 2019:

Once recognized, impairment losses for goodwill are not reversed.

There were no impairment charges recognized with respect to goodwill following the Company’s impairment tests as of October 1, 2020 and October 1, 2019. The total value in use calculated for all GCGUs remained relatively stable overall in 2020 as compared to 2019. In 2018, the Company recognized a 18 and 16 impairment loss relating to goodwill in connection with the sale of the Votorantim remedies and the intended sale of the ArcelorMittal Italia remedies (see note 2.3.1).

In 2020, the Company did not identify any reasonably possible change in key assumptions which could cause an impairment loss to be recognized for any of its GCGUs.

Impairment test of property, plant and equipment

At each reporting date, ArcelorMittal reviews the carrying amounts of its intangible assets (excluding goodwill) and tangible assets to determine whether there is any indication that the carrying amount of those assets may not be recoverable through continuing use. If any such indication exists, the recoverable amount of the asset (or cash generating unit) is reviewed in order to determine the amount of the impairment, if any. The recoverable amount is the higher of its fair value less cost of disposal and its value in use.

In estimating its value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset (or cash-generating unit). For an asset that does not generate cash inflows largely independent of those from other assets, the recoverable amount is determined for the cash-generating unit to which the asset belongs. The cash-generating unit is the smallest identifiable group of assets corresponding to operating units that generate cash inflows. If the recoverable amount of an asset (or cash-generating unit) is estimated to be less than its carrying amount, an impairment loss is recognized. An impairment loss is recognized as an expense immediately as part of operating income in the consolidated statements of operations.

In the case of permanently idled assets, the impairment is measured at the individual asset level. Otherwise, the Company’s assets are measured for impairment at the cash-generating unit level. In certain instances, the cash-generating unit is an integrated manufacturing facility which may also be an operating subsidiary. Further, a manufacturing facility may be operated in concert with another facility with neither facility generating cash flows that are largely independent from the cash flows of the other. In this instance, the two facilities are combined for purposes of testing for impairment. As of December 31, 2020, the Company determined it has 53 cash=generating units.

In the context of the investment agreement signed on December 10, 2020 with Invitalia (see note 2.3.2) in order to create a partnership between Invitalia and the Company with respect to ArcelorMittal Italia, the Company performed a fair value calculation of ArcelorMittal Italia, which was a separate cash-generating unit, prior to held for sale classification based on the industrial plan agreed with Invitalia and concluded the carrying amount was recoverable.

An impairment loss, related to intangible assets other than goodwill and tangible assets recognized in prior years is reversed if, and only if, there has been a change in the estimates used to determine the asset’s recoverable amount since the last impairment loss was recognized. However, the increased carrying amount of an asset due to a reversal of an impairment loss will not exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined (net of amortization or depreciation) had no impairment loss been recognized for the asset in prior years. A reversal of an impairment loss is recognized immediately as part of operating income in the consolidated statements of operations.

Impairment charges and reversals relating to property, plant and equipment were as follows for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018:


In 2020, the Company recognized a 133 net reversal of impairment including impairment charges of 92 and 104 related to the permanent closure of the coke plant in Florange (France) and the permanent closure of part of a blast furnace and steel plant in Krakow (Poland), respectively. In addition, the Company recognized an impairment loss of 331 relating to its plate business in the Europe segment classified as held for sale at December 31, 2020 (see note 2.3.2).

In the third quarter of 2020, the Company reversed 660 of impairment charges of property, plant and equipment previously recognized for ArcelorMittal USA as a result of the increase in the recoverable amount. The Company calculated the fair value less cost of disposal using a market approach with market multiples derived from comparable transactions, a Level 3 unobservable input. ArcelorMittal USA was sold to Cleveland- Cliffs as described in note 2.3.1.


In 2019, the Company recognized a total impairment charge related to property, plant and equipment amounting to 1,927, of which 1,300 relating to ArcelorMittal USA (NAFTA), 102 to ArcelorMittal South Africa (ACIS), and 525 in Europe, including 497 related to ArcelorMittal Italia remedies (see note 2.3.1).

During the six months ended June 30, 2019, the Company recognized an impairment charge for property, plant and equipment amounting to 600 relating to ArcelorMittal USA as a result of a downward revision of cash flow projections in particular with respect to near-term steel selling prices as follows:

In the second half of 2019, in connection with management’s annual test for impairment of goodwill, property, plant and equipment was also tested for impairment at that date. The Company recognized an impairment charge for property, plant and equipment amounting to 700 relating to ArcelorMittal USA in the NAFTA operating segment as a result of a downward revision of cash flow projections in particular with respect to near-term steel selling prices consisting of the following:

In the same context, the Company recognized a impairment charge for property, plant and equipment of 75 relating to the Long Steel Products facility of Newcastle in ArcelorMittal South Africa as a result of a lower domestic volumes as follows:

In addition, the Company recorded impairment charges for property, plant and equipment of ArcelorMittal South Africa of 27 including 20 with respect to the closure of the Saldanha facility.


In 2018, the Company recognized a total impairment charge related to property, plant and equipment of 960 including 872 in connection with the intended sale of the ArcelorMittal Italia remedies and 68 in relation to the sale of the Votorantim remedies (see note 2.3.1).