Supplier income, amounts received in year, receivables and payables

J Sainsbury plc – Annual report – 6 March 2021

Industry: retail

4 Significant accounting judgements, estimates and assumptions (extract)

Sources of estimation uncertainty (extract)

The following estimates, which were disclosed as key estimates in the prior year financial statements, are no longer deemed to be key estimates:

  • Supplier arrangements – Supplier incentives, rebates and discounts are inherently mechanical in nature. The Group has moved away from volume-based supplier arrangements and therefore this is no longer a source of estimation uncertainty. Equally, agreements in relation to fixed amounts and marketing and advertising income are sufficiently detailed to significantly reduce the degree of estimation required to be applied by the Group. Therefore, supplier arrangements are no longer deemed to be a significant estimate.

8 Supplier arrangements

Supplier incentives, rebates and discounts, collectively known as ‘supplier arrangements’, represent a material deduction to cost of sales and directly affect the Group’s reported margin.

Income is recognised when earned by the Group when all obligations per the terms of the contract have been performed. Any supplier arrangements which are linked to inventory purchases are included within the cost of the related inventory, and therefore recognised within cost of sales once the inventory is sold. Unpaid amounts relating to supplier arrangements are recognised within trade and other receivables, unless there is a legal right of offset, in which case it is recognised within trade and other payables.

The types of supplier arrangements applicable to the Group are as follows:

  • Discounts and supplier incentives – these represent the majority of all supplier arrangements and are linked to individual unit sales. The incentive is typically based on an agreed sum per item sold on promotion for a period and therefore is considered part of the purchase price of that product.
  • Fixed amounts – these are agreed with suppliers primarily to support in-store activity including promotions, such as utilising specific space. Income is recognised as the obligations per the terms of the agreement have been satisfied. These involve a degree of judgement and estimation in ensuring the appropriate cut-off for fixed amounts which span a period-end, however the agreements are sufficiently detailed which significantly reduces the degree of estimation required to be applied.
  • Volume-based rebates – these are typically agreed on an annual basis, aligned with the Group’s financial year. The rebate amount is linked to pre-agreed targets such as sales volumes and requires estimates of the amount earned up to the balance sheet date, for each relevant supplier contract. Where agreements span a financial period-end, estimations are required of projected turnover and judgement may also need to be applied to determine the rebate level earned as agreements may involve multiple tiers. In order to minimise any risk arising from estimation, agreements from suppliers are obtained to agree the value to be recognised at year-end, prior to it being invoiced. By aligning the agreements to the Group’s financial year, where possible, the estimates required are minimised.
  • Marketing and advertising income – relates to income which is directly linked to the cost of producing the Argos catalogue as well as advertising income from suppliers through the Group’s subsidiary Nectar 360 Services LLP. During the year it was announced that production of the Argos catalogue would cease. Income relating to the Argos catalogue is recognised once agreed with the supplier and when the catalogue is made available to the Group. Advertising income relating to Nectar 360 Services LLP is recognised when the advertising campaign obligations are fulfilled.

Amounts recognised in the income statement during the year for fixed amounts, volume-based rebates and marketing and advertising income are shown below. Discounts and supplier incentives are not shown as they are deemed to be part of the cost price of inventory.

Of the above amounts, the following was outstanding and held on the balance sheet at the period-end: