Swisscom Ltd – Annual report – 31 December 2018
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:
In the fourth quarter of 2018 and after completion 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. As a rule, the business plans cover a three-year period. A planning horizon of five years is used for the impairment test of Fastweb. For the free cash flows extending beyond the detailed planning period, a terminal value was computed by capitalising the normalised cash flows using a steady long-term growth rate. The growth rate applied is that customarily assumed for the country or market. 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 (abroad: Germany) with a duration of ten years and a zero-interest rate is taken, subject to a minimum interest rate 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
The discount rates used take into consideration the specific risks relating to the cash-generating unit in question. The projected cash flows and management assumptions are corroborated by external sources of information.
Results and sensitivity of impairment tests
Residential Customers and Enterprise Customers Swisscom Switzerland
As of 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 of the date of the impairment test, no impairment of goodwill resulted. The recoverable amount exceeded the carrying amount by EUR 1,178 million (CHF 1,343 million). In the prior year, the difference amounted to EUR 332 million (CHF 386 million). The following changes in material assumptions lead to a situation where the value in use equates 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 Management’s judgement. 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 of disposal and the value in use.