IFRS 15, policies, judgements and estimates, contracts, aircraft manufacturer

Airbus SE – Annual report – 31 December 2021

Industry: aircraft manufacturing

3. Significant Accounting Policies (extract)

Revenue recognition Revenue is recognised when the Company transfers control of the promised goods or services to the customer. The Company measures revenue, for the consideration to which the Company is expected to be entitled in exchange for transferring promised goods or services. Variable considerations are included in the transaction price when it is highly probable that there will be no significant reversal of the revenue in the future. The Company identifies the various performance obligations of the contract and allocates the transaction price to these performance obligations. Advances and pre-delivery payments (contract liabilities) are received in the normal course of business and are not considered to be a significant financing component as they are intended to protect the Company from the customer failing to complete its contractual obligations.

Incurred inefficiency cost such as the unexpected cost of materials, labour hours expended or other resources consumed do not generate revenue as they do not contribute to the Company’s progress in satisfying the performance obligations.

Revenue from the sale of commercial aircraft is recognised at a point in time (i.e. at delivery of the aircraft). The Company estimates the amount of price concession granted by the Company’s engine suppliers to their customers as a reduction of both revenue and cost of sales.

An aircraft can remain in storage under a bill-and-hold arrangement. In such cases, revenue is recognised when the requirements for the transfer of control under a bill-and-hold arrangement are fulfilled.

Revenue from the sale of military aircraft, space systems and services — When control of produced goods or rendered services is transferred over time to the customer, revenue is recognised over time, i.e. under the percentage of completion method (“PoC” method).

The Company transfers control over time when:

  • it produces a good with no alternative use and the Company has an irrevocable right to payment (including a reasonable margin) for the work completed to date, in the event of contract termination at the convenience of customers (e.g. Tiger contract); or
  • it creates a good which is controlled by the customer as the good is created or enhanced (e.g. Eurofighter contracts, some border security contracts, A400M development); or
  • the customer simultaneously receives and consumes the benefits provided by the Company (e.g. maintenance contracts).

For the application of the over time method (PoC method), the measurement of progress towards complete satisfaction of a performance obligation is based on inputs (i.e. cost incurred). When none of the criteria stated above have been met, revenue is recognised at a point in time. For instance, revenue is recognised at the delivery of aircraft under IFRS 15 from the sale of military transport aircraft, from the A400M launch contract and most of NH90 serial helicopters’ contracts.

Provisions for onerous contracts — The Company records provisions for onerous contracts when it becomes probable that the total contract costs will exceed total contract revenue. Before a provision for onerous contracts is recorded, the related assets under construction are measured at their net realisable value and written-off if necessary. Onerous contracts are identified by monitoring the progress of the contract together with the underlying programme status. An estimate of the related contract costs is made, which requires significant and complex assumptions, judgements and estimates related to achieving certain performance standards (see “– Note 4: Key Estimates and Judgements”, “– Note 12: Revenue and Gross Margin” and “– Note 24: Provisions, Contingent Assets and Contingent Liabilities”).

4. Key Estimates and Judgements (extract)

Revenue recognition for performance obligations transferred over time — The PoC method is used to recognise revenue for performance obligations transferred over time. This method places considerable importance on accurate estimates at completion as well as on the extent of progress towards completion. For the determination of the progress of the performance obligations, significant estimates include total contract costs, remaining costs to completion, total contract revenue, contract risks and other judgements.

The management of the segments continually review all estimates involved in such performance obligations and adjusts them as necessary (see “– Note 22: Contract Assets and Contract Liabilities, Trade Receivables and Trade Liabilities”).

Provisions — The evaluation of provisions, such as onerous contracts, programme-related provisions and restructuring measures are based on best estimates. Onerous contracts are identified by monitoring the progress of the contract and the underlying programme performance. The associated estimates of the relevant contract costs require significant judgement related to performance achievements. Depending on the size and nature of the Company’s contracts and related programmes, the extent of assumptions, judgements and estimates in these monitoring processes differs. In particular, the introduction of commercial or military aircraft programmes (e.g. A400M) or major derivative aircraft programmes involves an increased level of estimates and judgements associated with the expected development, production and certification schedules and expected cost components (see “– Note 24: Provisions, Contingent Assets and Contingent Liabilities”).

In view of overall commercial relationships, contract adjustments may occur, and must be considered on a case by case basis.

Estimates and judgements are subject to change based on new information as contracts and related programmes progress. Furthermore, the complex design and manufacturing processes of the Company’s industry require challenging integration and coordination along the supply chain including an ongoing assessment of suppliers’ assertions which may additionally impact the outcome of these monitoring processes.

A restructuring provision is recognised when the Company has developed a detailed formal plan for the restructuring and has raised a valid expectation in those affected that it will carry out the restructuring by starting to implement the plan or announcing its main features to those affected by it. The measurement of a restructuring provision is at the best estimate of the anticipated costs and includes only the direct expenditures arising from the restructuring, which are those amounts that are both necessarily entailed by the restructuring and not associated with the ongoing activities of the Company.