Revenues are recognized in accordance with IAS 18. They are measured at the fair value of the consideration received or receivable and reduced by anticipated reductions in price, trade discounts and similar other deductions. Revenues from the sale of goods are recognized when the Bertelsmann Group has transferred the significant risks and rewards associated with ownership of the goods to the purchaser, and the amount of revenue can be reliably measured. Revenues from advertising are recognized when the corresponding advertisement or commercial appears in the respective medium. Income from royalties (licenses) is recognized on an accrual basis in line with the provisions of the underlying contract. Revenues from services rendered are recognized based on their percentage of completion. Interest income and expenses are recognized on an accrual basis using the effective interest method in accordance with IAS 39. Dividends are only recognized in profit or loss when the shareholder’s legal entitlement to payment is established. Other income is recognized when the economic benefits are probable and the amount can be measured reliably. Expenses are deferred on the basis of underlying facts or the period of time to which they relate.
In accordance with "Impairment Losses" section.3, goodwill resulting from a business combination is initially recognized at acquisition cost, with subsequent recognition at cost less accumulated losses. Goodwill is subject to impairment testing at least annually in accordance with IAS 36. In the Bertelsmann Group, goodwill is tested for impairment as outlined in the
Non-current, internally generated intangible assets are capitalized at cost in accordance with IAS 38 if the corresponding requirements have been met. Intangible assets acquired separately are carried at acquisition cost less accumulated amortization and accumulated impairment losses, also in accordance with IAS 38. Intangible assets acquired as part of a business combination are initially recognized at fair value on the acquisition date in accordance with IFRS 3. Intangible assets with finite useful life are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful life. Impairment losses and reversals of impairment losses are determined by applying the requirements for impairment testing in accordance with IAS 36. As a rule, capitalized software has a useful life of between three and five years. Supply rights and subscriber portfolios are amortized over a period of two to 15 years, while the amortization period for trademarks and music and publishing rights is three to 25 years. Licenses are amortized on a straight-line basis over the term of the license agreement or depending on performance (based on the ratios of income from use generated in the reporting period to the estimated total income from use over the whole useful life). Intangible assets with indefinite useful life are not amortized. Instead, they are subject to at least annual impairment testing in accordance with IAS 36 and, if applicable, written down to their recoverable amount.
Items of property, plant and equipment are accounted for in accordance with IAS 16 and carried at cost less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. Depreciation is determined on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the asset. In the financial year 2017, depreciation is generally based on the following useful lives:
Land is not subject to depreciation.
Goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite useful life are tested for impairment in accordance with IAS 36 annually as of December 31 and if a triggering event occurs. Intangible assets with a finite useful life and property, plant and equipment are tested for impairment at the end of each reporting period in accordance with IAS 36 only if there are any indications of impairment. An impairment loss in accordance with IAS 36 has occurred when the carrying amount of an asset or cash-generating unit exceeds its recoverable amount. The recoverable amount is the higher of fair value less costs of disposal and value in use. Fair value less costs of disposal and the value in use are generally determined using the discounted cash flow method, which is based on future cash flow forecasts, which are part of company forecasts. For assets held for sale, only fair value less costs to sell is used as a basis for comparison. For determining the value in use, estimated future cash inflows or outflows from future restructurings or from improvement or enhancement of the cash-generating units’ performance are excluded unless, as of the end of the reporting period, the cash-generating unit is committed to the restructuring and related provisions have been made. If an active market exists, the market price or, if applicable, the price in the most recent comparable transaction is used for fair value measurement.
If there is no active market, fair value less costs of disposal is generally calculated using the discounted cash flow method. If it is not possible to allocate cash flows to assets, the relevant impairment losses are determined on the basis of cash flows attributable to the cash-generating unit to which the assets belong. Projected cash flows are based on internal estimates for three planning periods. Generally, two further detailed planning periods are applied in addition. For periods beyond this detailed horizon, a perpetual annuity is recognized, taking into account individual business-specific growth rates. Discounting is generally based on the weighted average cost of capital (WACC) after tax. Specific WACCs are derived for cash-generating units with different risk profiles. The Bertelsmann Group performs sensitivity analyses on the cash-generating units, especially on those where the headroom between the recoverable amount and the carrying amount is low. If the reasons for an impairment loss recognized in prior periods no longer exist, the impairment loss is reversed up to a maximum of the carrying amount of the respective asset if the impairment loss had not been recognized. The latter does not apply to goodwill. The impairment loss and reversals of impairment losses are both recognized immediately in profit or loss.
On the date the lease agreement is entered into, a lease is classified as a finance lease or an operating lease in accordance with IAS 17. A lease is classified as a finance lease if substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership are transferred to the Bertelsmann Group. An operating lease is a lease not classified as a finance lease. Lease payments for operating leases are recognized in profit or loss under “Other operating expenses” using the straight-line method over the lease term.
Financial assets are recognized initially at fair value, taking into account transaction costs that are directly attributable to the acquisition of the financial asset. In the case of financial assets that are recognized at fair value through profit or loss, transaction costs are recognized directly in the income statement. Regular purchases and sales of financial assets are recognized on the trade date – the day on which the Bertelsmann Group enters into an obligation to buy or sell the asset.
For subsequent measurement, financial assets are classified into the following categories and subcategories:
The Bertelsmann Group does not use the category of held-tomaturity financial instruments.
Available-for-sale financial assets:
The available-for-sale category primarily includes non-current equity investments not classified as loans and receivables or at fair value through profit or loss. In accordance with IAS 39, available-for-sale financial assets are measured at their fair value at the end of the reporting period to the extent that this value can be reliably measured. Otherwise these are measured at cost. With deferred taxes taken into consideration, gains and losses resulting from fluctuations in the fair value are recognized in other comprehensive income. However, if there is objective evidence of impairment, this is recognized in profit or loss. A significant or prolonged decline in the fair value of an equity instrument below its acquisition cost is also to be regarded as objective evidence of impairment. If these assets are sold, the accumulated gains and losses previously recognized in other comprehensive income are reclassified from equity to the income statement.
Primary and derivative financial assets held for trading:
This category includes derivatives that do not meet the formal requirements of IAS 39 for hedge accounting. They are measured at their fair value. Gains or losses from changes to the fair values are recognized in profit or loss. All derivatives that fulfill the formal requirements of IAS 39 for hedge accounting are carried separately as derivative financial instruments used in hedging relationships and are measured at fair value. Further details are presented in the section "Derivative Financial Instruments".
Financial assets initially recognized at fair value through profit or loss:
This category includes financial assets that are designated upon initial recognition at fair value through profit or loss. Changes in fair value are recognized in the other financial result.
Originated loans and trade receivables:
Originated loans and trade receivables are non-derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market. They are carried at amortized cost using the effective interest method. Long-term interestfree or low-interest loans and receivables are discounted. If there is objective evidence of impairment, the carrying amount is reduced through use of an allowance account and the loss is recognized in profit or loss.
Cash and cash equivalents:
Cash includes bank balances and cash on hand. Cash equivalents include short-term, highly liquid securities with a term to maturity on acquisition of a maximum of three months.
Impairment losses and reversals:
The carrying amounts of financial assets not recognized at fair value through profit or loss are examined at the end of each reporting period to determine whether there is objective evidence of impairment. Such evidence exists in the following cases: information concerning financial difficulties of a customer or a group of customers; default or delinquency in interest or principal payments; the probability of being subject to bankruptcy or other financial restructuring; and recognizable facts that point to a measurable reduction in the estimated future cash flows, such as an unfavorable change in the borrower’s payment status or the economic situation that corresponds to the delayed performance. In the case of financial assets carried at amortized cost, the loss in case of impairment corresponds to the difference between the carrying amount and the present value of the anticipated future cash flows – discounted using the original effective interest rate for the financial asset. If it is established that the fair value has increased at a later measurement date, the impairment loss previously recognized is reversed up to a maximum of amortized cost in profit or loss. Impairment losses are not reversed in the case of unlisted equity instruments that are classified as available-for-sale assets and carried at cost. In case of impairment on available-for-sale assets carried at cost, the amount of the impairment loss is measured as the difference between the carrying amount of the financial asset and the present value of the estimated future cash flows discounted using the risk-adjusted interest rate.
In the case of financial assets and financial liabilities measured at fair value, the valuation technique applied depends on the respective inputs present in each case. If listed prices can be identified for identical assets on active markets, they are used for valuation (level 1). If this is not possible, the fair values of comparable market transactions are applied, and financial methods that are based on observable market data are used (level 2). If the fair values are not based on observable market data, they are identified using established financial methods or on the basis of observable prices obtained as part of the most recently implemented qualified financing rounds taking into account the life and developmental cycle of the respective entity (level 3).
Inventories – including raw materials and supplies, finished goods, work in progress and merchandise – are accounted for in accordance with IAS 2 and recognized at the lower of historical cost and net realizable value at the end of the reporting period. Similar inventories are measured at average cost or using the FIFO (first-in, first-out) method. In addition, inventories include all short-term film, television and similar rights that are intended for broadcast or sale within the Group’s normal operating cycle. In particular, this includes films and TV shows currently in production, co-productions and acquired broadcasting rights. The carrying amount of such items at the end of the reporting period is the lower of historical cost or net realizable value. The consumption of film and television rights starts from the date of initial broadcast and depends either on the number of planned broadcasts or the expected revenues. The broadcast-based consumption of film and television rights is as follows:
The consumption of inventories and film and television rights is recognized in the income statement in the cost of materials and changes in inventories, respectively.
In the financial year 2017, no material revenues were recognized from customer-specific production contracts.
In accordance with IAS 12 current income taxes are calculated on the basis of the respective entity-specific taxable income of the financial year. For the calculation of current and deferred taxes, the applicable tax laws and tax jurisdictions of the respective country in which the consolidated Group companies are registered are considered. In the case of existing tax groups and tax-transparent entities, current and deferred taxes are accounted for in accordance with the applicable tax requirements in each case and from the perspective of the formally applicable company laws. Accordingly, current and deferred taxes within Consolidated Financial Statements are recognized on the level of the entity carrying the tax liability. In accordance with IAS 12, deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for temporary differences between the tax base and the carrying amounts shown on the IFRS consolidated balance sheet, and for as yet unused tax loss carryforwards and tax credits.
Deferred tax assets are recognized only to the extent it is probable that taxable income will be available against which the deductible temporary difference can be utilized. Deferred tax assets that are unlikely to be realized within a clearly predictable period are reduced by valuation allowances. Deferred tax liabilities are generally recognized for all taxable temporary differences. Deferred tax assets and liabilities resulting from business combinations are recognized with the exception of temporary differences on goodwill not recognizable for tax purposes. The tax rates applied for computation are those expected as of the date of reversal of temporary differences and use of tax loss carryforwards, respectively. As a rule, deferred taxes are recognized in profit or loss unless they relate to items recognized in other comprehensive income. In this case, deferred taxes are recognized in other comprehensive income.
In addition to foreign exchange gains and losses, accumulated other comprehensive income also includes in accordance with IAS 39 in equity recognized unrealized gains and losses from the fair value measurement of available-for-sale financial assets and of derivatives used in cash flow hedges. In addition, in accordance with IAS 28.10, changes in other comprehensive income for entities accounted for using the equity method are recognized. Remeasurement effects of defined benefit pension plans (actuarial gains and losses on the defined benefit obligation, differences between actual investment returns and the return implied by the net interest cost on the plan assets, and effects of the asset ceiling) are recognized in the retained earnings in the year in which these gains and losses have been incurred as part of the reconciliation of total comprehensive income for the period in the statement of changes in equity. Deferred taxes on the aforementioned items are also recognized directly in equity.
Provisions for pensions and similar obligations are calculated using the projected unit credit method in accordance with IAS 19. The net interest expense included in pension expense is recognized in the financial result. Remeasurement effects of defined benefit pension plans (actuarial gains and losses on the defined benefit obligation, differences between actual investment returns and the return implied by the net interest cost on the plan assets, and effects of the asset ceiling) are recognized immediately in equity under other comprehensive income and are not reclassified to profit or loss in a subsequent period (recycled).
With the exception of the other personnel-related provisions calculated in accordance with IAS 19, all of the other provisions are recognized in accordance with IAS 37. Provisions are measured in the amount of the most likely outcome. Noncurrent provisions are discounted. The discount rates take into account current market expectations and, if necessary, specific risks for the liability. As a rule, income from the reversal of provisions is generally included in the income statement line item to which the provision was previously charged.
Trade payables and other primary financial liabilities, including profit participation certificates, are initially measured at their fair value less transaction costs. Subsequent measurement is based on amortized cost using the effective interest method (financial liabilities at amortized cost), unless the financial liability is classified as initially recognized at fair value through profit or loss. Finance lease liabilities, which are also recognized under financial liabilities, are carried at their net present value in accordance with IAS 17. Future payments related to put options issued by the Bertelsmann Group on the equity interests of subsidiaries are accounted for as a financial liability. The liability is initially recognized at the present value of the redemption amount with a corresponding charge directly to equity. In case of a business combination with the transfer to the Bertelsmann Group of the risks and rewards of the non-controlling interests underlying the put option, the goodwill increases by a corresponding amount upon initial recognition. Subsequent measurement of liabilities from put options is recognized through profit or loss.
As set out in IAS 39, all derivative financial instruments are recognized at fair value on the balance sheet. Derivative financial instruments are recognized as of the transaction date. When a contract involving a derivative is entered into, it is initially determined whether that contract is intended to serve as a fair value hedge or as a cash flow hedge. Some derivatives do not meet the requirements included in IAS 39 for recognition as hedges, despite this being their economic purpose (stand-alone hedge). Changes in the fair values of derivatives are recognized as follows:
In the financial year 2017, no hedge transactions were recognized with fair value hedges. Likewise, no hedge of net investment in foreign operations was made.
Share-based payments for employees of the Bertelsmann Group include equity-settled share-based payment transactions and cash-settled share-based payment transactions. Equitysettled share-based payment transactions are granted to certain directors and senior employees in the form of share options. The options are granted at the market price on the grant date and are exercisable at that price. For share options, the fair value of the options granted is recognized as personnel costs with a corresponding increase in equity. The fair value is measured at the grant date and allocated over the vesting period during which the employees become unconditionally entitled to the options. The fair value of the options granted is measured using a binomial option pricing model, taking into account the terms and conditions at which the options were granted. The amount recognized as an expense is adjusted to reflect the actual number of share options vesting. Share options forfeited solely due to share prices not achieving the vesting threshold are excluded. The financial liability of cash-settled share-based payment transactions is measured initially at fair value at grant date using an option pricing model. Until the liability is settled, its fair value shall be remeasured at the end of each reporting period and at the date of settlement, with any value changes recognized in profit or loss as personnel costs of the period.
Non-current assets or disposal groups are classified as held for sale if the associated carrying amount will be recovered principally through a sale transaction and not from continued use. These non-current assets and the associated liabilities are presented in separate line items in the balance sheet in accordance with IFRS 5. They are measured at the lower of the carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell. Depreciation/ amortization is not recognized if a non-current asset is classified as held for sale or forms part of a disposal group that is classified as held for sale.
Components of entities that fulfill the requirements of IFRS 5.32 are classified as discontinued operations and thus are carried separately in the income statement and cash flow statement. All of the changes in amounts made during the reporting period that are directly connected with the sale of a discontinued operation in any preceding period are also stated in this separate category. If a component of an entity is no longer classified as held for sale, the results of this entity component that were previously carried under discontinued operations are reclassified to continuing operations for all of the reporting periods shown.
The preparation of Consolidated Financial Statements requires the use of accounting judgments, estimates and assumptions that may impact the carrying amounts of assets, liabilities, income and expenses recognized. Amounts actually realized may differ from estimated amounts. The following section presents accounting judgments, estimates and assumptions that are material in the Bertelsmann Consolidated Financial Statements for understanding the uncertainties associated with financial reporting.
In the case of purchase price allocations, assumptions are also made regarding the measurement of assets and liabilities assumed as part of business combinations. This applies in particular with regard to the acquired intangible assets, as measurements are based on fair value. As a rule, this is the present value of the future cash flows after taking into account the present value of the tax amortization benefit. In addition, the definition of uniform useful lives within the Group is based on management’s assumptions. General information on useful lives is presented in the sections "Other Intangible Assets" and "Property, Plant and Equipment".
Assessments of the ability to realize uncertain tax positions and future tax benefits are also based on assumptions and estimates. Recognition of an asset or liability from an uncertain tax position is performed in accordance with IAS 12 if payment or refund of an uncertain tax position is probable. Measurement of the uncertain tax position is at its most likely amount. Deferred tax assets are only carried to the extent that it is probable that they can be utilized against future taxable profits. When assessing the probability of the ability to use deferred tax assets in the future, various factors are taken into account, including past earnings, company forecasts, tax forecast strategies and loss carryforward periods. Information relating to the ability to realize tax benefits is presented in note 9 “Income Taxes”.
Assumptions are also made for measuring fair values of financial assets and financial liabilities. In this regard, Bertelsmann uses various financial methods that take into account the market conditions and risks in effect at the end of the respective reporting periods. The inputs to these models are taken from observable markets where possible, but where these are not available, measuring fair values is based on assumptions by management. These assumptions relate to input factors such as liquidity risk and default risks.
Estimates and assumptions also relate to the share-based payments. The conditions of the cash-settled share-based payment transactions and the stock option plans are presented in greater detail in the "Share-Based Payments" section in note 18 “Equity”.
Estimates and the underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. As a rule, adjustments to estimates are taken into account in the period in which the change is made and in future periods.
The items “Changes in inventories” and “Own costs capitalized” will no longer be reported separately in the Consolidated Income Statement but shown in the item “Cost of materials.” The reclassifications increase clarity, legibility and comparability with the international companies preparing their Consolidated Financial Statements using the cost of sales method. The figures of the previous year were adjusted for better comparability. Because these items were only reclassified within the income statement, EBIT and Group profit or loss remain unchanged in their respective amounts. Further details are presented in note 14 "Inventories.”