Property, Plant and Equipment and Investment Property
Property, plant and equipment used in the production process are classified as “Property, plant and equipment.” Land and buildings that are not used in the production process are classified as “Investment property.” In the financial statements, these assets are shown at purchase or production cost, or at their conveyance value, including any attributable incidental costs and direct costs deemed necessary to make them operable, net of any capital grants.
Individual components of a facility that have different useful lives are recognized separately, so that each component may be depreciated at a rate consistent with its useful life. Under this principle, the value of a building and the value of the land over which it has been erected are recognized separately and only the building is depreciated.
Any costs that the Group expects to incur in the decommissioning and remediation of industrial sites are recognized as an amortizable asset component. The value at which these costs are recognized is equal to the present value of the costs that the Group expects to incur in the future. Scheduled maintenance costs are charged in full to income in the year they are incurred. Costs incurred for major maintenance that is performed at regular intervals are added to the respective assets and are written off over the remaining useful lives of the assets.
The estimated realizable value that the Group expects to recover at the end of an asset’s useful life is not depreciated. Property, plant and equipment is depreciated each year on a straight-line basis at rates based on technical and financial estimates of the assets’ remaining useful lives.
The table that follows shows the ranges of the depreciation rates applied by the Group:
||Electric Power Operations||Hydrocarbons Operations||Corporate Activities and Other Segments|
|Plant and machinery||4.0%||20.0%||1.8%||51.3%||6.8%||27.1%|
|Manufacturing and distribution equipment||5.0%||25.0%||17.5%||35.0%||5.0%||25.0%|
In addition, items of property, plant and equipment appurtenant to hydrocarbon production concessions and the related costs incurred to close mineral wells, clear the drill site and dismantle or remove structures are recognized as assets and depreciated in accordance with the unit of production (UOP) method, which is used to amortize the underlying concessions. The depreciation rate is determined as the ratio between the quantities produced during the year and the estimated remaining available reserves at the beginning of the year.
Thermoelectric power plant and wind farms that sell energy under the CIP 6/92 rate schedule are depreciated by a method based on the economic benefits produced. The resulting depreciation process follows a step-down process, with straight line depreciation for each of the periods. This method reflects the differences between the amounts charged under the CIP 6/92 rate schedule for the eight-year incentivized period, those for the following seven-year contract period and the market rates applicable upon the expiration of the CIP 6/92 contracts.
The depreciation of assets transferable at no cost is taken on a straight-line basis over the remaining term of the respective contracts or their estimated useful lives, whichever is shorter.
Assets acquired under financial leases are recognized as “Property, plant and equipment”, offset by a financial liability of equal amount. The liability is gradually eliminated in accordance with the principal repayment schedule of the respective lease agreement. The value of the asset recognized as “Property, plant and equipment” is depreciated on a straight-line basis, based on technical and financial estimates of its useful life.
Upon first-time adoption of the IFRS principles, the Group used fair value as deemed cost. As a result, accumulated depreciation and amortization and the provision for writedowns booked through January 1, 2004 were derecognized. The accumulated depreciation and amortization and the provision for writedowns discussed in the notes to the financial statements refer exclusively to depreciation, amortization and writedowns accumulated after January 1, 2004.
If there are indications of a decline in value, assets are tested for an impairment in the manner described below under “Impairment of Assets”. When the reasons for a writedown no longer apply, the asset’s cost can be reinstated.
Beginning on January 1, 2009, borrowing costs directly attributable to the acquisition, construction or production of an asset with a significant useful life are capitalized, when the investment amount exceeds a predetermined threshold. Until December 31, 2008, financial expense was not capitalized.
Goodwill, Hydrocarbon Concessions and Other Intangible Assets
Only identifiable assets that are controlled by the Company and are capable of producing future benefits can be identified as intangible assets. They include goodwill, when it is acquired for consideration.
Intangibles assets are recognized at their purchase or internal production cost, including incidentals, in accordance with the same criteria used for “Property, plant and equipment”. Development costs can be capitalized, provided they can be identified reliably and it can be demonstrated that the asset is capable of producing future economic benefits.
Intangible assets with finite useful lives are amortized on a straight-line basis over their useful lives, starting when they are available for use.
Goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite useful lives are not amortized, but the recoverability of their carrying amounts is tested annually (impairment test) for each Cash Generating Unit (CGU) or group of CGUs to which assets with indefinite lives can reasonably be allocated. The impairment test is described below in the paragraph entitled “Impairment of Assets”. Concerning the goodwill, writedowns cannot be reversed in subsequent periods.
Hydrocarbon Concessions, Exploration Activities and Measurement of Mineral Resources
The costs incurred to acquire mineral leases or extend the duration of existing concessions are recognized as intangible assets. If an exploration project is later abandoned, the residual cost is immediately recognized in profit and loss.
Exploration costs and costs incurred in connection with geological surveys, exploratory testing, geological and geophysical mapping and exploratory drilling are recognized as intangible assets but their full amount is amortized in the year they are incurred.
Development costs related to successful mineral wells and production costs incurred to build facilities to extract and store hydrocarbons are recognized as “Property, plant and equipment”, in accordance with the nature of the asset, and are depreciated by the unit of production (UOP) method.
The costs incurred to shut down wells, abandon the drill site and dismantle or remove the equipment (decommissioning costs) are capitalized and amortized in accordance with the unit of production (UOP) method.
Hydrocarbon production concessions are amortized in accordance with the unit of production (UOP) method. The amortization rate is determined as the ratio between the quantities produced during the year and the estimated remaining available reserves at the beginning of the year, taking into account any significant change to reserves that occurred during the year. In addition, a test is conducted each year to make sure that the carrying amounts of these assets are not greater than their realizable value computed by discounting future cash flows, which are estimated based on future production programs or their market values if higher.
Exploration and Production activities in which Edison Group is the operator or the venturer (so-called “Profit Sharing Agreement - PSA”) are recognized only to the extent of the interest held.
Environmental Securities (Emissions Rights, Green Certificates, etc.)
The Group secures a supply of environmental securities (primarily emissions rights and green certificates) partly to meet its own requirements in the exercise of its Industrial Activities (so-called own use) and partly for trading purposes (so-called Trading Activities). The valuation criteria applied vary, depending on the intended use at the time of acquisition.
Specifically, “Other intangible assets” can include emissions rights and green certificates, which are recognized at the cost incurred to acquire them, provided that the rights or certificates carried by the Group at the end of the reporting period represent a surplus over its requirements of such instruments, based on the emissions released during the year, for the emissions rights, or the production generated, for the green certificates. Emissions rights and green certificates allocated free of charge are recognized at a zero carrying value. Since these assets are designed for instantaneous use, they are tested for impairment and cannot be amortized. Their recoverable value is their value in use or their market value, whichever is greater.
On the other hand, if, at the end of the reporting period, the volume of the emissions actually generated is greater than the volume of allocated emissions and any purchased emissions, a special provision for risks is recognized to account for the difference. Any emissions rights and certificates that are surrendered each year, based on the volume of polluting emissions released into the atmosphere each year or the production generated, will be deleted using any reserves for risks set aside the previous year.
Environmental securities owned and held during the year in the exercise of Trading Activities are treated as inventory and measured at fair value, as explained in the “Trading Activities” and “Inventory” paragraphs of these Notes.
Impairment of Assets
IAS 36 requires that an entity test its property, plant and equipment and intangible assets for impairment when there are indications that an impairment has occurred.
In the case of goodwill and other assets with indefinite lives or assets that are not available for use, an impairment test must be performed at least once a year.
The recoverability of a carrying amount is tested by comparing it against the asset’s sales price, less cost to sell, or its value in use, whichever is greater.
As a rule, value in use is the present value of the future cash flows that an asset or a CGU is expected to generate plus the amount expected from its disposal at the end of its useful life.
CGUs, which have been identified in a way that is consistent with the Group’s organizational and business structure, are homogeneous groups of assets that generate cash inflows independently, through the continued use of the assets included in each group.
Financial instruments include equity investments (other than investments in subsidiaries, joint ventures and affiliate companies) that are held for trading (trading equity investments) and available-for-sale investments. They also include long-term loans and receivables, trade receivables and other receivables generated by the Company, and current financial assets, such as cash and cash equivalents. Cash and cash equivalents include bank and postal deposit accounts, readily marketable securities purchased as temporary investments of cash and loans receivable due within three months. Financial instruments also include loans payable, trade and other payables, other financial liabilities and derivatives.
Financial assets and financial liabilities are recognized at fair value when the Company acquires the rights or assumes obligations conveyed contractually by the financial instrument.
The initial amount at which these items are recognized must include transaction costs directly attributable to the purchase or issue costs that are included in the initial valuation of all those assets and liabilities that can be classified as financial instruments. Subsequent measurements will depend on the type of instrument, as follows:
With the exception of derivatives, assets held for trading are valued at fair value, with any resultinggains or losses recognized in the income statement. This class of assets consists mainly of equity investments held for trading and the so-called Trading Activities reviewed below.
- Provided they are not derivatives and equity investments, other financial assets and liabilities with fixed or determinable payments are valued at their amortized cost. Any transaction costs incurred in the purchasing/selling phases (e.g., issue premiums or discounts, the costs incurred to secure loans, etc.) are recognized directly as adjustments to the face value of the corresponding asset or liability. Financial income and expense is computed in accordance with the effective interest rate method. Financial assets are measured on a regular basis to determine whether there is any objective evidence that their value may have been impaired. More specifically, the measurement of receivables takes into account the solvency of creditors and the level of credit risk, which is indicative of individual debtors’ ability to pay. Any losses are recognized in the income statement for the corresponding period. This category includes long-term loans and receivables, trade receivables and other receivables generated by the Company, as well as loans payable, trade and other payables and other financial liabilities.
- Available-for-sale assets are measured at fair value and any resulting gains or losses are recognized in equity until disposal, when they are transferred to the income statement. Losses that result from measurement at fair value are recognized directly in the income statement when there is objective evidence that the value of a financial asset has been impaired, even if the asset has not been sold. Equity investments in companies that are not publicly traded, the fair value of which cannot be measured reliably, are valued at cost less impairment losses, but the original cost can be reinstated in subsequent years if the reasons for the writedowns are no longer applicable. This category includes equity investments representing an interest of less than 20%.
- Derivatives are measured at fair value and, as a rule, any resulting changes are recognized in the income statement. However, whenever possible, the Group uses hedge accounting and, consequently, derivatives are classified as hedges when the relationship between the derivative and the hedged item is formally documented and the effectiveness of the hedging relationship, which is tested periodically, is high in accordance with IAS 39 rules. If this is the case, the following accounting treatments are applied:
a) When derivatives hedge the risk of fluctuations in the cash flow of the hedged items (Cash Flow Hedge), the effective portion of any change in the fair value of the derivatives is recognized directly in equity, while the ineffective portion is recognized directly in the income statement. The amounts recognized in equity are transferred to the income statement in conjunction with the gains or losses generated by the hedged item.
b) When derivatives hedge the risk of changes in the fair value of the hedged items (Faiir Value Hedge), any changes in the fair value of the derivatives are recognized directly in the income statement. The carrying amount of the hedged items is adjusted accordingly in the Income Statement, to reflect changes in fair value associated with the hedged risk.
Financial assets are derecognized when they no longer convey the right to receive the related cash flows and substantially all of the risks and benefits conveyed by the ownership of the assets have been transferred or when an asset is deemed to be totally non-recoverable after all necessary recovery procedures have been carried out.
Financial liabilities are derecognized when the corresponding contractual obligations are extinguished. Changes to existing contract terms can qualify as an extinguishing event if the new terms materially alter the original stipulations and, in any case, when the present value of the cash flows that will be generated under the revised agreements differs by more than 10% from the value of the cash flows of the original liability.
The fair value of financial instruments that are traded on an active market is based on their market price at the end of the reporting period. The fair value of financial instruments that are not traded on an active market is determined using appropriate valuation techniques.
Approved activities that are part of the core businesses of the Edison Group include physical and financial trading in commodities and environmental securities. These activities must be carried out in accordance with special procedures and are segregated at inception in special Trading Portfolios, separate from the other core activities (so-called Industrial Activities). Trading Activities include physical and financial contracts for commodities and environmental securities, which are measured at fair value, with changes in fair value recognized in the income statement. Individual contracts may require physical delivery.
In such cases, any inventories are measured at fair value, with changes in fair value recognized in the income statement.
The amounts show in income statement for revenues and raw materials and services used reflect a presentation that recognizes only the resulting “trading margin” (so-called net presentation).
Inventories attributable to the Industrial Activities are valued at purchase or production cost, including incidental expenses, determined primarily by the FIFO method, or at estimated realizable value, based on market conditions, whichever is lower. Inventories attributable to Trading Activities are deemed to be assets held for trading and, consequently, are measured at fair value, with changes in fair value recognized in the income statement.
Valuation of Long-term Take-or-pay Contracts
Under the terms of medium/long-term contracts for the importation of natural gas, the importer is required to take delivery of a minimum annual quantity of natural gas. If delivery of the minimum annual quantity is not achieved, the importer is required to pay the consideration attributable to the undelivered quantity. This payment can be treated either as an advance on future deliveries or as a penalty for the failure to take delivery. The first situation (advance on future deliveries) occurs in the case of undelivered quantities for which there is a reasonable certainty that, over the remaining term of the contract, the shortfall will be made up in future years by means of increased deliveries, in excess of minimum annual contract quantities.
The second situation (penalty for failure to take delivery) occurs in the case of undelivered quantities for which there is no expectation that the shortfall can be made up in the future. The portion of the payment that qualifies as an advance on future deliveries is recognized in “Other assets,” current or non-current depending in expected timing of recovery, while the portion that qualifies as a penalty for failure to take delivery is recognized in the income statement. These valuations are also applicable to quantities that are undelivered and unpaid at the end of the reporting period, the payment for which will occur in the following period. The corresponding amount is recognized as a commitment in the memorandum accounts.
The provision for employee severance indemnities and the provision for pensions are computed on an actuarial basis. The amount of employee benefits that vested during the year is recognized in the income statement as a “Labor Costs”. The theoretical finance charge that the Company would incur if it were to borrow in the marketplace an amount equal to the provision for employee severance indemnities is posted to “Net financial income (expense)”. Actuarial gains and losses that arise from changes in the actuarial assumptions used are recognized in the income statement, taking into account the average working lives of the employees.
Specifically, in accordance with Budget Law No. 296 of December 27, 2006, only the liability for vested employee severance benefits that remained at the Company was valued for IAS 19 purposes, since the portion applicable to future vesting benefits is being paid to separate entities (supplemental pension funds or INPS funds). As a result of these payments, the Company has no further obligations with regard to the work that employees will perform in the future (so-called “defined-contribution plan”).
Stock option plans are valued at the time the options are awarded by determining the fair value of the option granted. This amount, net of any subscription costs, is allocated over the plan’s vesting period. The corresponding cost is recognized in the income statement, with an offsetting entry posted to an equity reserve (so-called “equity settled payments”).
Provision for Risks and Charges
Provision for risks and charges are recognized exclusively when there is a present obligation arising from past events that can be reliably estimated. These obligations can be legal or contractual in nature or can be the result of representations or actions of the Company that created valid expectations in the relevant counterparties that the Company will be responsible for complying or will assume the responsibility of causing others to comply with an obligation (implied obligations). If the time value of money is significant, the liability is discounted and the effect of the discounting process is recognized as a financial expense.
Recognition of Revenues and Expenses
Revenues and income and costs and expenses are recognized net of returns, discounts, allowances, bonuses and any taxes directly related to the sale of products or the provision of services. Sales revenues are recognized when title to the goods passes to the buyer. As a rule, this occurs when the goods are delivered or shipped. Materials used include the cost of green certificates, emissions rights and white certificates attributable to the period. Purchases of environmental securities held for trading are added to inventory. Financial income and expense is recognized when accrued. Dividends are recognized when the shareholders are awarded the rights to collect them, which generally occurs in the year when the disbursing investee company holds a Shareholders’ Meeting that approves a distribution of earnings or reserves.
Current income taxes are recognized by each company, based on an estimate of its taxable income, in accordance with the tax rates and laws that have been enacted or substantively enacted in each country at the end of the reporting period and taking into account any applicable exemptions or available tax credits.
Deferred-tax assets and liabilities are computed on the temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities and the corresponding tax bases, using the tax rates that are expected to be in effect when the temporary differences are reversed. Deferred-tax assets are recognized only when their future recovery is reasonably certain. Otherwise, their value is written off. The valuation of deferred-tax assets must be carried out taking into account the Company’s planning horizon, based on available approved Company plans. When gains and losses are recognized directly in equity, the corresponding current income taxes and deferred-tax assets or liabilities must also be recognized in equity. The deferred-tax liability on retained earnings of Group companies is recognized only if there is truly an intent to distribute those earnings and provided that the tax liability is not cancelled when a consolidated tax return is filed.
Use of Estimated Values
The preparation of the financial statements and the accompanying notes requires the use of estimates and assumptions both in the measurement of certain assets and liabilities and in the valuation of contingent assets and liabilities. The actual results that will arise upon the occurrence of the relevant events could differ from these estimates.
The estimates and assumptions used are revised on an ongoing basis, and the impact of any such revision is immediately recognized in the income statement. The use of estimates is particularly significant for the following items:
- Amortization and depreciation (assets with a finite useful life) and impairment tests of property, plant and equipment, goodwill and other intangible assets. The process of determining depreciation and amortization expense entails reviewing periodically the remaining useful lives of assets, the available hydrocarbon reserves, the decommissioning/shut down costs and the assets’ recoverable value. Information about the impairment test is provided later in these Notes, in the paragraph entitled “Impairment Test in Accordance with IAS 36 applied to the Value of Goodwill, Property, Plant and Equipment and Other Intangibles”, which includes a description of the methods and assumptions used.
- Valuation of derivatives and financial instruments in general. Information about valuation criteria and quantitative disclosures are provided, respectively, in the paragraph entitled “Financial instruments” and in the paragraph entitled “Analysis of Forward Transactions and Derivatives,” which supplement and complete the financial statements. The methods applied to determine fair value and manage inherent risks in connection with energy commodities traded by the Group, foreign exchange rates and interest rates are described later in these Notes, in a section entitled “Group Financial Risk Management”.
- Measurement of certain sales revenues, in particular for the CIP 6/92 contracts, of the provisions for risks and charges, of the allowances for doubtful accounts and other provisions for writedowns, of employee benefits and of income taxes. In these cases, the estimates used are the best possible estimates, based on currently available information.