Notes to the financial statements: principles

1. Accounting principles

1.Accounting principles

The present financial statements were prepared in accordance with the provisions of Swiss financial reporting law (Title Thirty-Two of the Code of Obligations).

2. Accounting and valuation principles

2.Accounting and valuation principles

The main items are recognised as follows:

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash holdings and bank and postal account balances, and are recognised on the balance sheet at nominal value.

Replacement values of held-for-trading positions

Derivative financial instruments held for trading with a directly observable market price or directly observable input parameters are recognised at fair value. Fluctuation reserves are not created.

Current financial assets

Future cash flows in foreign currencies can be hedged. The corresponding derivative is recognised in profit or loss on the occurrence of the underlying transaction.

Trade accounts receivable

Trade accounts receivable are recognised at nominal value and impaired if necessary. A general allowance for impairment accepted for tax purposes can be made on the closing balance.

Other receivables

Other receivables are measured at nominal values. Any counterparty risks are accounted for by means of necessary impairment.

Provided the conditions for large orders are met, long-term construction contracts are valued in accordance with the percentage of completion (PoC) method. Following the consolidated financial statements, these are recognised in other receivables. Under the PoC method, in addition to acquisition or production costs a portion of profits corresponding to the percentage of completion of the order is calculated, provided that the order’s realisation is reasonably certain. The percentage of completion is calculated on the basis of the accrued costs in relation to the anticipated total costs (cost to cost). If the conditions for applying the PoC method are not met, recognition is under work in progress.

Inventories and work in progress

Inventories and work in progress are recognised at acquisition or production cost taking account of economically necessary impairments. Otherwise, a general provision for impairment accepted for tax purposes may be made.

Prepaid expenses and accrued income/deferred income and accrued expenses

Accruals and deferrals comprise the assets and liabilities resulting from the allocation of individual expense and income items in accordance with the accrual and matching principles. The origination costs of interest-bearing liabilities are capitalised under prepaid expenses and accrued income. Accruals and deferrals for goods and services delivered or received but not yet invoiced are recognised in prepaid expenses and accrued income or deferred income and accrued expenses as applicable. Accruals and deferrals are recognised at their nominal value.

Financial assets and shareholdings

Financial assets and shareholdings are recognised at cost taking account of necessary impairment. Minority interests (less than 20 per cent) are recognised as financial assets. Financial assets and shareholdings are measured on a unit of account basis.

Tangible assets

Tangible assets are recognised at acquisition or production cost less accumulated depreciation and any impairment losses. Self-constructed tangible assets are to be capitalised if the expenses incurred can be individually recognised and measured. Own costs capitalised are measured on the basis of hours actually incurred, which are multiplied by hourly rates calculated for the current financial year. Amortisation is done on a straight-line basis over the subsequent useful life.


Useful life



Power plants

20 – 80 years depending on the type of facility


15 – 40 years

Assets under construction

Reclassification to the corresponding category when available for use

Land and buildings

Land indefinite, buildings 10 – 50 years


1 – 25 years

Intangible assets

Intangible assets are initially recognised at the lower of cost (acquisition or manufacturing cost). Provided the prerequisites for capitalisation are met, intangible assets generated internally are capitalised. If there are indications of overvaluation, necessary impairments are taken into account. Amortisation is done on a straight-line basis over the subsequent useful life.


Useful life



Concessions and compensation of reversion waivers

13 - 68 years

Rights of use

15 – 99 years


4 – 15 years

Current liabilities

Current liabilities are recognised at nominal value.

Non-current liabilities

Non-current liabilities comprise long-term, interest-bearing financial liabilities at nominal value and other non-interest-bearing long-term liabilities.


A provision is a probable liability on the basis of a past event; the amount of the liability and/or the date on which it will fall due is uncertain but can be estimated. The amount of provisions is based on the management’s assessment, and reflects the future outflows of funds that can be anticipated as of the balance sheet date.

Treasury shares

Treasury shares are recognised as a negative item in shareholders’ equity on the date of acquisition, without any subsequent measurement. On resale the profit or loss is booked directly to free reserves from earnings under other reserves.