Financial Risk Management

The Company’s activities expose it to a variety of financial risks, market risks (including currency risk, interest rate risk and commodity risk), credit risk and liquidity risk. The Company’s overall risk management program focuses on the unpredictability of financial markets and seeks to minimize potential adverse effects on the Company’s financial performance. The Company uses derivative financial instruments to hedge certain risk exposures. The Company buys and sells derivatives in the ordinary course of business and also incurs financial liabilities in order to manage market risks. All such transactions are carried out within the guidelines set in the Company policy. Generally, the Company seeks to apply hedge accounting in order to manage volatility in the income statement and statement of comprehensive income. The purpose is to manage the interest rate, currency and commodity price risk arising from the Company’s operations and its sources of finance. Derivatives are only used to hedge closely correlated underlying business transactions.

The Company’s principal financial instruments, other than derivatives, comprise trade debtors and creditors, bank loans and overdrafts, cash and cash equivalents (including short-term deposits) and financial guarantees. The main purpose of these financial instruments is to finance the Company’s operations. Trade debtors and creditors result directly from the business operations of the Company.

Financial risk management is carried out by a central treasury department under policies approved by the Management Board. Treasury identifies, evaluates and hedges financial risks in close co-operation with the subsidiaries and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) during the quarterly Asset and Liability Committee. The Management Board provides written principles for overall risk management, as well as written policies covering specific areas, such as foreign exchange risk, interest rate risk, credit risk, use of derivative financial instruments and non-derivative financial instruments, and investment of excess liquidity. It is, and has been throughout the year under review, the Company’s policy that no speculation in financial instruments shall be undertaken. The main risks arising from the Company’s financial instruments are market risk, liquidity risk and credit risk.