Swisscom Ltd – Annual report – 31 December 2020
Goodwill is allocated to the cash generating units of Swisscom based upon their business activities. Goodwill arising in a business combination is allocated to each cash generating unit which can derive synergies from the business combination. The goodwill allocated to the cash generating units may be analysed as follows:
As of 1 January 2020, Swisscom amended its organisational structure in Switzerland and the segment formerly known Enterprise Customers was renamed Business Customers. In order to provide all business customers with a customer experience tailored to their needs, Swisscom has merged the SME and Corporate Customer segments. As a result, segment reporting now includes the telecommunications and solutions business with small and medium-sized enterprises in the Business Customers segment (previously reported under Residential Customers) (see Note 1.1). In connection with the merger, goodwill amounting to CHF 508 million was transferred to the cash-generating unit Business Customers Swisscom Switzerland.
In the fourth quarter of 2020 and after the conclusion of business planning, individual goodwill amounts were subjected to an impairment test. The recoverable amount of a cash-generating unit is determined based on its value in use, applying the discounted cash flow (DCF) method. The projected free cash flows are estimated on the basis of the business plans approved by management, which as a rule cover a three-year period. A planning horizon of five years was used for the Fastweb impairment test. For free cash flows extending beyond the detailed planning period, a terminal value was computed by capitalising the normalised cash flows. A steady long-term growth rate that corresponds to the growth rates customary in the country or market was assumed. The projected cash flows and management assumptions are corroborated by external sources of information. The discount rate is derived from the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). This latter comprises the weighted value of own equity and external borrowing costs. For the risk-free interest rate which forms the basis of the discount rate, the yield from Swiss government bonds is taken (abroad: Germany) with a maturity of ten years and a zero-interest rate, subject to minimum interest rates of 1.5% (Switzerland) and 2.0% (abroad). For cash-generating units abroad, a risk premium for the country risk is then added.
Discount rates and long-term growth rates
Results and sensitivity of impairment tests
Residential Customers and Business Customers Swisscom Switzerland
As at the measurement date, the recoverable amount at all cash-generating units, based on their value in use, is higher than the carrying amount relevant for the impairment test. Swisscom believes none of the anticipated changes in key assumptions which can rationally be expected would cause the carrying amount of the cash-generating units to exceed the recoverable amount.
As at the date of the impairment test, no impairment of goodwill resulted. The recoverable amount exceeded the carrying amount by EUR 2,241 million (CHF 2,398 million). In the prior year, the difference amounted to EUR 1,471 million (CHF 1,618 million). The following changes in material assumptions would lead to a situation where the value in use would equate to the carrying amount:
Significant judgements or estimates
The allocation of goodwill to the cash-generating units as well as the computation of the recoverable amount is subject to the judgement of Management. This encompasses the estimation of future cash flows, the determination of the discounting rate, and the growth rate on the basis of historic data and current forecasts.
For the purposes of the impairment test, goodwill is allocated to the cash-generating units. The impairment test is performed annually on a mandatory basis. Whenever 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 to sell and the value in use.