IFRS 9 (2014 version), IFRS 7 paras 22A – 22C and 40-41, risks and risk management, VaR, commodity, interest, fx, risks

Barry Callebaut AG – Annual report – 31 August 2017

Industry: food and drink

26 Financial risk management (extract)

The nature of its business exposes the Group to a variety of financial risks including the effects of changes in market prices (commodity prices, foreign exchange rates and interest rates) as well as credit risks and liquidity risks.

The Group’s overall strategy for managing these risks is consistent with the Group’s objectives to maintain cost leadership, reduce earnings volatility in a cost-effective manner and minimize potential adverse effects of such market exposures on the financial performance of the Group. The Group’s Risk Management department continuously monitors the entities’ exposures to commodity price risk, foreign currency risk and interest rate risk and also monitors the use of derivative instruments.

The Group manages its business based on the following two business models:

  • Contract Business: sales contracts for cocoa ingredients and industrial or gourmet chocolate, where Barry Callebaut has entered into contracts with customers to deliver fixed quantities at fixed prices. These contractually fixed prices are generally based on the forward market prices of the raw material components valid at the contract date for the forward delivery date on which the cocoa ingredients or chocolate is planned to be delivered to the customers.
  • Price List Business: Barry Callebaut sets price lists for certain Gourmet, Specialties and Decorations products. These price lists are normally updated at intervals of six to twelve months. Customers buy products based on the issued price lists without fixed commitments on quantities.

1 Commodity price risks

a) Commodity risk management

The manufacturing of the Group’s products requires raw materials such as cocoa beans, sugar and sweeteners, dairy, nuts, oils and fats. Therefore, the Group is exposed to commodity price risks.

The Group Commodity Risk Committee (GCRC) is a committee consisting of key risk management stakeholders of the Group who meet on a regular basis to discuss Group Commodity Risk Management issues. The GCRC monitors the Group’s Commodity Risk Management activities and acts as the decision-taking body for the Group in this respect. The members of the GCRC include the Group’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who acts as Chairman of the committee, the President of Global Cocoa, the Head of Group Risk Management ( GRM), the CFO of Global Cocoa, the VP of Global Cocoa Trading & Sourcing, the Head of Global Sourcing (for non-cocoa materials) and the Head of Group Treasury.

The GCRC reports via the GRM to the Group’s Audit, Finance, Risk, Quality & Compliance Committee (AFRQCC) and must inform the latter about key Group commodity risk issues and the key mitigation decisions taken. The AFRQCC reviews and approves GCRC requests and ensures that the commodity risk management strategy is consistent with the Group’s objectives. It also sets the Group’s Value at Risk (VaR) limit for the major raw material components. The AFRQCC makes recommendations to the Board of Directors if deemed necessary and advises the Board of Directors on important risk matters and/or asks for approval.

In order to quantify and manage the Group’s consolidated exposure to commodity price risks, the concept of historical VaR is applied. The VaR concept serves as the analytical instrument for assessing the Group’s commodity price risk incurred under normal market conditions. The VaR indicates the loss, which, within a time horizon of ten days for raw materials, will not be exceeded at a confidence level of 95%, using seven years of historical market prices for each major raw material component. The VaR is used together with a calculation of the expected shortfall and worst cases as well as the use of stress test scenarios.

Liquidity, credit and fuel price risks are not included in the calculation and the VaR is based on a static portfolio during the time horizon of the analysis. The GCRC breaks down the Group VaR limit into VaR limits for cocoa raw materials and for non-cocoa related raw materials such as sugar, dairy, oils and fats. The Group’s CFO and the President of Global Cocoa allocate limits in metric tonnes to the related risk reporting units. The Board of Directors is the highest approval authority for all Group Commodity Risk Management (GCRM) matters and approves the GCRM Policy as well as the Group VaR limit.

The VaR framework of the Group is based on the standard historical VaR methodology; taking 2,000 days (equivalent to seven years) of the most recent prices, based on which the day-to-day relative price changes are calculated. This simulation of past market conditions is not predicting the future movement in commodity prices and therefore it does not represent actual losses. It only represents an indication of the future commodity price risks based on historical volatility. VaR is applied to materials with prices considered to exceed certain volatility levels (e.g. cocoa beans and cocoa products, dairy products, sugar and sweeteners, nuts, oils and fats). A s a t August 31, 2017, the Group had a total VaR for raw materials of CHF 9.7 million (2016: CHF 20.7 million) well within the Group limit. The average VaR over the fiscal year 2016/17 was CHF 9.2 million (2015/16: CHF 13.6 million).

b) Cocoa price risk and the Group’s hedging strategy

The Group’s purchasing and sourcing centers make sourcing and risk management decisions for cocoa beans, semi-finished cocoa products and ingredients including hedging commodity price risk exposures. Within the overall limits as defined by the AFRQCC, the Group’s purchasing and sourcing centers can also act as a broker-trader with the objective to generate profits from fluctuations in raw material prices or broker-trader margins.

The fair value of the Group’s open sales and purchase commitments and inventory changes are continuously in line with price movements in the respective commodity markets. It is the Group’s policy to hedge its cocoa price risk resulting from its inventory, cocoa derivatives and purchase and sales contracts. The cocoa price risk component in cocoa stock, purchase and sales contracts as well as chocolate stocks and sales contracts is hedged with exchange traded or over-the-counter cocoa bean derivatives applying fair value hedge accounting. The Group also applies cash flow hedge accounting whereby the cocoa price risk and foreign exchange risk from forecasted cocoa sales are hedged with cocoa bean futures and foreign exchange forward contracts.

In order to calculate the cocoa bean price risk exposure embedded in the various cocoa ingredients and chocolate stocks, purchase and sales contracts, the cocoa processing entities translate the various cocoa ingredient volumes in these positions into cocoa bean equivalent, using technical yields (to calculate, how many cocoa beans are needed to produce those cocoa ingredient volumes). These technical ratios vary according to cocoa ingredient types and cocoa processing units. The chocolate entities calculate the bean equivalent in their positions using the prevailing market/commercial ratios. The entities use this approach and these ratios to enter into the appropriate volume of hedging instruments in order to hedge the cocoa bean price risk component in their positions. The Group also uses the same hedging ratios in hedge accounting as described above. The cocoa bean price risk component is contractually specified in the purchase and sales contracts of cocoa ingredients and chocolate products. Therefore, the cocoa bean price risk component is considered separately identifiable and reliably measurable in the Group’s hedged items (cocoa ingredients purchase contracts, cocoa stocks, chocolate stocks, cocoa ingredients sales contracts and chocolate sales contracts) as well as in its hedging instruments (cocoa bean futures and other contracts accounted for as derivatives).

c) Sugar price risk hedges

The Group applies cash flow hedge accounting for hedging relationships when it hedges its commodity price risk and its foreign exchange risks attributable to its forecasted sugar purchases with sugar futures and with foreign exchange forward contracts, respectively. When the Group enters into agreements with sugar suppliers where the price of the forecasted sugar purchases will be indexed to the raw sugar world market price, it hedges these forecasted sugar purchases with sugar futures using a hedging ratio of 1:1.

The raw sugar world market price risk component is a contractually specified element in the hedged items. Therefore, the raw sugar world market price risk component is considered separately identifiable and reliably measurable in the Group’s hedged items (forecasted sugar purchases) as well as in its hedging instruments (sugar futures).

d) Fuel price risk hedges

The Group entered into cash flow hedge relationships to hedge its fuel oil price exposures as well as its foreign exchange risks attributable to its forecasted freight expenditures with fuel oil swaps and with foreign exchange forward contracts, respectively, applying a hedging ratio of 50% for the hedging of both risk components.

The Rotterdam IFO 380 Monthly Bunker Price is a separately identifiable and reliably measurable risk component in the forecasted freight expenditures, which is hedged by fuel oil swaps that are indexed to Fuel Oil 3.5 Percent Barges FOB Rotterdam Platt’s European prices. The commodities behind both the hedged price component and the prices used in the hedging SWAP’s are derivatives of crude oil, and there is a very strong correlation between the movements in the two prices.

The related accounting treatments are explained in the section “Summary of Accounting Policies” under the caption “Derivative financial instruments and hedging activities.”

2 Foreign currency risks

The Group operates across the world and consequently is exposed to multiple foreign currency risks, albeit primarily in EUR, USD and GBP. The Group actively monitors its transactional currency exposures and consequently enters into foreign currency hedges with the aim of preserving the value of assets, commitments and anticipated transactions. The related accounting treatment is explained in the section “Summary of Accounting Policies” under the caption “Derivative financial instruments and hedging activities.”

All risks relating to foreign currency exposures of assets and liabilities, certain unrecognized firm commitments and highly probable forecasted purchases and sales are centralized as far as possible within the Group’s treasury department, where the hedging strategies are defined.

Accordingly, the consolidated foreign currency exposures are hedged in compliance with the Group’s Treasury Policy, mainly by means of forward currency contracts entered into with financial institutions of a high credit rating. The Group’s Treasury Policy imposes a dual risk control framework of both open position limits and near-time fair valuation of net currency exposures. Both levels of control are substantially interlinked, avoiding excessive net currency exposures and substantial volatility in the Consolidated Income Statement.

The Group’s treasury department is supervised by the Group Finance Committee, which meets on a regular basis. The Group Finance Committee monitors the Group’s foreign currency risk position and acts as a decision-taking body for the Group in this respect. The Group Finance Committee consists of the Group’s CFO, the Head of Group Controlling, the Head of Group Treasury, the Head of Group Risk Management, and other Group Finance stakeholders.

The Group’s Treasury Policy, giving guidance on treasury risk management including foreign currency and interest rate risks, is approved and annually reviewed by the AFRQCC. The Group’s Risk Management department reviews the consistency of the Group’s treasury management strategy with the Group’s Treasury Policy and reports the status to the Group’s CFO periodically. The AFRQCC is informed by the CFO about the status and important matters in their quarterly meetings and approves requests of the Group’s Finance Committee on important treasury risk matters including foreign currency risks for recommendation to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is the highest approval authority for all Group Treasury Risk Management matters.

The table below provides an overview of the net exposure of EUR, GBP and USD against the main functional currencies in the Group. According to the Group’s Treasury Policy, foreign exchange exposures are hedged as from identification on an intra-day basis in line with the approved exposure limits. In case of deviation from the agreed foreign exchange exposure limits, approval has to be sought from the Group’s Finance Committee. Companies with the same functional currency are shown in one group. EUR exposures of the reporting units with functional currency franc CFA in Côte d’Ivoire (XOF) and Cameroon ( XAF) are not included, as the franc CFA has an exchange rate pegged to the EUR, currently at a rate of CFA franc 656 per euro both for XOF and XAF (total EUR long exposures of 39 million as per August 31, 2017, and 270 million as per August 31, 2016).

Net foreign currency exposures

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In order to quantify and manage the Group’s consolidated exposure to foreign currency risks, the concept of historical VaR has been implemented. The VaR concept serves as the analytical instrument for assessing the Group’s foreign currency risk incurred under normal market conditions. The VaR indicates the loss which, within a time horizon of one day, will not be exceeded at a confidence level of 95% using seven years of historical market prices for each major currency pair. The VaR is used together with the calculation of the expected shortfall and worst cases as well as the use of stress test scenarios. The VaR is based on static exposures during the time horizon of the analysis. However, the simulation of past market conditions is not predicting the future movement in foreign currency rates. Therefore, it does not represent actual losses. It only represents an indication of future foreign currency risks. As of August 31, 2017, the Group had a VaR of CHF 0.2 million (2016: CHF 0.9 million).

Value at Risk per main exposure currencies

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3 Interest rate risks

The Group is exposed to changes in interest rates through its short- and long-term debt obligations mainly located in the Group’s centralized treasury department. The Group’s centralized treasury department manages and oversees the financing lines of the Group, and the related interest rate risks and, to the extent possible, provides the necessary liquidity in the required functional currency for the companies of the Group. Consequently, the Group’s debt obligations are adjusted with the real currency mix of the Group’s liabilities in order to reflect the correct exposure to interest rates. It is the Group’s policy to manage its interest costs using an optimal mix of fixed and floating rate debt. This is achieved by entering into interest rate derivative instruments in which it exchanges fixed and floating interest rates. To avoid volatility in the Consolidated Income Statement, cash flow hedge accounting is applied to those derivative instruments.

As described in the caption “Foreign currency risks,” the Group’s Finance Committee, which meets on a monthly basis, monitors the Group’s interest risk positions and acts as a decision-taking body for the Group in this respect.

The Group’s Treasury Policy also covers the management of interest rate risks. As for foreign currency risks, the Group’s Risk Management department supervises the compliance of the treasury interest rate risk management strategy with the Group’s Treasury Policy and reports the status periodically to the Group’s CFO, who informs the AFRQCC in their quarterly meetings. The AFRQCC approves requests from the Group Finance Committee on important treasury matters, including interest rate risks, and provides recommendations thereon to the Board of Directors, which is the highest approval authority for all Group treasury matters.

The following schedule provides an overview of all interest-bearing items per year-end closing:

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Sensitivity analysis on interest rate risks

The following table shows the impact of a parallel shift of interest rates by 100 basis points (bps) up and 10 bps down on the Group’s equity and income statement, net of tax. The calculation is performed on both, the portion of the outstanding debt (excluding the asset-backed securitization program; see note 12 Trade receivables and other current assets) at floating interest rates and the outstanding derivatives exchanging floating into fixed interest rates at the respective year-end. This sensitivity analysis only indicates the potential impact for the respective fiscal year at the prevailing conditions in the financial markets. Consequently, it does not represent actual or future gains or losses, which are strictly managed and controlled, as stipulated by the Group’s Treasury Policy.

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