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B. Summary of accounting policies

General information

With the exception of financial instruments, which are measured at fair value, the consolidated financial statements are prepared on the historical cost basis.

The accounting policies applied to the consolidated financial statements are consistent with those of the previous year with the exceptions listed below.

The following new and revised Standards were adopted for the first time in the business year 2013/14:





Effective date1








Fair Value Measurement


January 1, 2013



Financial Instruments: Disclosures – Offsetting Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities


January 1, 2013

IAS 12,


Income Taxes – Deferred Tax: Recovery of Underlying Assets


January 1, 2013

IAS 1,


Presentation of Financial Statements – Presentation of Items of Other Comprehensive Income


July 1, 2012

IAS 19,


Employee Benefits


January 1, 2013

Various Standards


Annual Improvements to International Financial Reporting Standards, 2009–2011 Cycle
(Exception: amendments related to IAS 32 are early adopted)


January 1, 2013






1 These Standards are applicable to reporting periods beginning on or after the effective date.

IFRS 13 defines the concept of fair value, provides a framework for measuring fair value in a single Standard, and prescribes the disclosures related to the measurement of fair value. There are additional notes and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements of voestalpine AG as a result of the first-time application of IFRS 13.

As a result of the amendments to IFRS 7, new provisions governing disclosures for offsetting financial instruments have been included in the statement of financial position. This change had no impact on the consolidated financial statements of voestalpine AG as of March 31, 2014.

The amendments to IAS 1 require that the items of other comprehensive income are grouped according to whether they will be recycled later into the income statement or not. The presentation of the statement of comprehensive income was adjusted accordingly.

As a result of the amendments to IAS 19, the corridor method is being eliminated and finance costs will be determined on a net basis. Furthermore, past service cost must be recognized immediately through profit or loss in the future, and additional disclosures are required with regard to defined benefit plans. In the voestalpine Group, actuarial gains and losses from severance and pension obligations have already been recognized directly in equity in the year in which they are incurred. The amendments to IAS 19 result in a change in the accounting treatment of expected return on plan assets of voestalpine AG. Up to March 31, 2013, in the voestalpine Group the expected return on plan assets was reported based on the underlying contracts with the pension funds in EBIT or in financial income; now it is recognized in full under net financial income.

The relevant line items were retroactively adjusted for the business year 2012/13 to reflect the following adjustments due to the amendments to IAS 19:

Adjustments to the income statement


(XLS:) Download







Cost of sales



Distribution costs



Administrative expenses



Other operating expenses









Net interest cost of employee benefits



Profit for the period








In millions of euros

The application of the other new standards does not have a significant impact on the consolidated financial statements.

The following Standards have been endorsed by the European Union as of the reporting date, but their application was not yet mandatory for the business year 2013/14:





Effective date1








Consolidated Financial Statements


January 1, 2014



Joint Arrangements


January 1, 2014



Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities


January 1, 2014

IAS 27, new version


Separate Financial Statements


January 1, 2014

IAS 28, new version


Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures


January 1, 2014

IAS 32, amendments


Financial Instruments: Presentation – Offsetting Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities


January 1, 2014

IAS 36, amendments


Impairment of Assets – Recoverable Amount
Disclosures for Non-Financial Assets


January 1, 2014

IAS 39, amendments


Novation of Derivatives and Continuation of Hedge Accounting


January 1, 2014

various Standards, amendments


Amendments to IFRS 10, Consolidated Financial Statements, IFRS 11, Joint Arrangements, and IFRS 12, Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities – Transition Guidance


January 1, 2014

various Standards, amendments


Amendments to IFRS 10, Consolidated Financial Statements, IFRS 12, Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities, and IAS 27, Separate Financial Statements – Investment Entities


January 1, 2014






1 These Standards are applicable to reporting periods beginning on or after the effective date.

IFRS 10 comprehensively redefines the concept of control. This should create a uniform basis for defining the consolidated group. This Standard replaces the provisions of the previous IAS 27 “Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements” for consolidated financial statements.

IFRS 11 governs the accounting of entities that jointly control an arrangement that is classified either as a joint venture or a joint operation. This Standard replaces IAS 31 “Interests in Joint Ventures” and eliminates the possibility of proportionate consolidation of joint ventures, whereby these are to be included in the consolidated group in the future using equity method accounting. IAS 28 now includes the provisions for associates and joint ventures that are measured based on the equity method under IFRS 11. Starting with business year 2014/15, the results of entities consolidated according to the equity method will be reported under EBIT. voestalpine Tubulars GmbH and voestalpine Tubulars GmbH & Co KG shall be proportionately consolidated by March 31, 2014, and, beginning with the business year 2014/15, the equity method shall be applied. The currently eleven associates, which were already previously accounted for using the equity method, shall also be recognized in EBIT. Disclosures regarding proportionately consolidated companies can be found under item C. Scope of consolidated financial statements.

IFRS 12 includes the disclosure requirements for subsidiaries, joint arrangements, associates, and unconsolidated structured entities, which will result in a range of additional disclosures in the consolidated financial statements of voestalpine AG.

Changes to IFRS 10, IFRS 11, and IFRS 12 were published in June 2012 in order to clarify the content and scope of certain guidelines regarding their first-time application.

Changes to IFRS 10, IFRS 12, and IAS 27 were published in October 2012 in order to create an exception for qualified investment entities from the regulation requiring consolidation of subsidiaries.

The amendments to IAS 32 clarify the requirements for offsetting financial instruments in the statement of financial position; as a result, new provisions governing disclosures have been added to IFRS 7.

The changes to IAS 36 represent a correction of disclosure requirements regarding the recoverable amount for non-financial assets that were changed to a greater extent than intended in connection with IFRS 13.

Due to the change to IAS 39, the novation of a hedging instrument to a central counterparty as a result of statutory requirements does not result in a dissolution of a hedge relationship under certain conditions.

The Group did not early adopt these Standards. With the exception of the described effects of IFRS 11, material effects of the new and revised Standards on voestalpine AG’s consolidated financial statements are not expected.

The use of automated calculation systems may result in rounding differences.

Basis of consolidation

The annual financial statements of fully consolidated or proportionately consolidated entities are prepared using uniform accounting policies. For entities included using the equity method, local accounting policies and different reporting dates are maintained if the relevant amounts are immaterial.

In the case of initial consolidation, assets, liabilities, and contingent liabilities are measured at their fair value at the date of acquisition. Any excess of the cost of acquisition over the net of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed is recognized as goodwill. If the net of the assets acquired and liabilities assumed exceeds the cost of acquisition, the difference is recognized at the time of acquisition in profit or loss. Non-controlling interests in the acquired entity are stated at the non-controlling proportion of the net fair values of the acquired assets, liabilities, and contingent liabilities.

All intra-group profits, receivables and payables, income and expenses are eliminated.

Foreign currency translation

In accordance with IAS 21, annual financial statements in foreign currencies that are included in the consolidated financial statements are translated into euros using the functional currency method. The relevant national currency is the functional currency in all cases since, from a financial, economic, and organizational perspective, these entities all operate independently. Assets and liabilities have been translated using the exchange rate on the reporting date. Income and expenses have been translated using the average exchange rate for the business year.

Equity is translated using the historical exchange rate. Currency translation differences are recognized directly in equity in the currency translation reserve.

In the separate financial statements of consolidated entities, foreign currency transactions are translated into the functional currency of the entity using the exchange rate at the date of the transaction. Foreign exchange gains and losses resulting from translation at the transaction date and reporting date are recognized in the consolidated income statement.

Currency exchange rates (ECB fixing) of key currencies have changed as follows:

Closing exchange rate



































Average annual rate






























Uncertainties in accounting estimates and assumptions

The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with IFRS requires the management to make accounting estimates and assumptions that may significantly affect the recognition and measurement of assets and liabilities, the recognition of other obligations as of the reporting date, and the recognition of income and expenses during the business year.

The following assumptions bear a significant risk of causing a material adjustment to assets and liabilities within the next business year:

  • The assessment of the recoverability of intangible assets, goodwill as well as property, plant and equipment is based on assumptions concerning the future. The determination of the recoverable amount in the course of an impairment test is based on various assumptions, such as future net cash flows and discount rates. The net cash flows correspond to the amounts in the most current business plan at the time of the preparation of financial statements.
  • Where the assessment of the recoverability of financial instruments cannot be derived from active markets, it is determined using alternative actuarial models. The underlying parameters used in the determination of the fair values are based partially on assumptions concerning the future.
  • The valuation of existing severance payment and pension obligations is based on assumptions regarding interest rate, retirement age, life expectancy, and future salary/wage increases.
  • Recognition of deferred tax assets is based on the assumption that sufficient taxable profit will be generated in the future to utilize these tax loss carryforwards.

Estimates and underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Actual results may differ from these estimates if the determining factors at the reporting date differ from expectations. Revisions to accounting estimates are recognized through profit or loss in the period in which the estimates are revised, and the assumptions are adjusted accordingly.

Recognition of revenue and expenses

Revenue arising from the provision of goods and services is realized when all material risks and rewards arising from the goods or services provided have passed to the buyer. Operating expenses are recognized when goods or services are used or when the expense is incurred.

Investment grants are treated as deferred items and recognized as income over the useful life of the asset. Cost subsidies are recognized on an accrual basis, corresponding to the associated expenses. Government grants of EUR 20.6 million (2012/13: EUR 28.6 million) for capital expenditures, research and development, and promotion of job opportunities were recognized as income during the reporting period. Expenses for research and development amounted to EUR 130.0 million (2012/13: EUR 125.6 million) in the business year 2013/14.

Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment are measured at cost less accumulated depreciation and any impairment losses.

The cost of self-constructed property, plant and equipment includes direct costs and an appropriate portion of indirect materials and indirect labor.

Depreciation is calculated on a straight-line basis over the expected useful lives. Land is not subject to depreciation. Depreciation is based on the following rates:




Plant and equipment



Fixtures and fittings



With regard to borrowing costs relating to qualifying assets, for which the commencement date for capitalization is on or after April 1, 2009, the Group capitalizes borrowing costs directly attributable to the acquisition, construction, or production of a qualifying asset as part of the cost of that asset. The commencement date for capitalization is the date when expenditures for the asset and borrowing costs are incurred as well as activities are undertaken that are necessary to prepare the asset for its intended use or sale. Previously, the Group immediately recognized all borrowing costs as an expense.

Investment property is measured following the cost model. Useful lives and depreciation methods are identical to property, plant and equipment recognized under IAS 16.


Leased assets are treated as finance leases when they are considered asset purchases subject to long-term financing in economic terms. All other leased assets are classified as operating leases. Lease payments under operating leases are shown as expenses in the consolidated income statement.

Finance leases are initially recognized as Group assets at fair value or the lower present value of the minimum lease payments at the inception of the lease. The corresponding liabilities to the lessors are recorded under financial liabilities in the consolidated statement of financial position.

Finance leases are depreciated over their expected useful lives on the same basis as comparable assets or, where shorter, over the term of the relevant lease. The Group does not act as a lessor.


All corporate acquisitions are accounted for by applying the purchase method. Goodwill arises from the acquisition of subsidiaries and investments in associates.

Goodwill is allocated to cash-generating units and, in accordance with IFRS 3, is not amortized, but tested at least annually for impairment. The carrying amount of investments in associates also includes the carrying amount of goodwill.

Negative goodwill arising from an acquisition is immediately recognized as income.

On disposal of a subsidiary, the goodwill associated with the subsidiary is included in the determination of the profit or loss on disposal based on relative value in accordance with IAS 36.86.

Other intangible assets

Expenses for research activities, undertaken with the prospect of gaining new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding, are recognized as an expense as incurred. In accordance with IAS 38.57, development expenditure is capitalized if the relevant criteria are satisfied. Expenditure on internally generated goodwill and brands is recognized as an expense as incurred.

Other intangible assets that are acquired by the Group are stated at cost less accumulated amortization and impairment charges. Amortization is charged on a straight-line basis over the expected useful life of the asset. The maximum expected useful lives are as follows:

Backlog of orders


1 year

Customer relations


11 years



8 years

Impairment testing of goodwill, other intangible assets, and property, plant and equipment

Cash-generating units that include goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite useful lives are tested for impairment at least annually. All other assets and cash-generating units are tested for impairment if there are any indications that impairment may have arisen.

For the purpose of impairment testing, assets are grouped at the lowest levels at which cash flows are independently generated (cash-generating units). Goodwill is allocated to those cash-generating units that are expected to benefit from synergies of the related business combination and represent the lowest level within the Group at which management monitors cash flows.

An impairment loss is recognized for the amount by which the asset’s or cash-generating unit’s carrying amount exceeds its recoverable amount. The recoverable amount is the higher of the fair value less cost to sell and the value in use. Impairment losses recognized with regard to cash-generating units to which goodwill has been allocated are first applied against the carrying amount of goodwill. Any remaining impairment loss reduces the carrying amounts of the assets of the cash-generating unit on a pro-rata basis.

With the exception of goodwill, impairment losses are reversed when previous indications of impairment no longer exist.

Investments in associates

The proportionate results and equity of associates that are not of minor significance are included in the consolidated financial statements using the equity method.

Financial instruments

Derivative financial instruments are used exclusively by voestalpine AG for the purpose of hedging the foreign currency risk, interest rate risk, and raw materials price risk. Derivative financial instruments are carried at fair value. Hedge accounting in accordance with IAS 39 is used for the majority of the Group’s derivative financial instruments. Gains or losses resulting from changes in the value of derivative financial instruments are recognized either as profit or loss or directly in equity, depending on whether a fair value hedge or cash flow hedge is involved.

Loans and receivables are carried at amortized cost. Since the Group’s securities meet the criteria in accordance with IAS 39.9 for application of the fair value option, securities are recognized at fair value through profit or loss. There are no held-to-maturity financial instruments.

Other investments

Investments in subsidiaries, joint ventures, and associates that are not included in the consolidated financial statements by full consolidation, proportionate consolidation, or the equity method are reported under other investments at the lower of cost or market value.

Securities are carried at market value. The fair value option is applied. Changes in the fair value are recognized through profit or loss in the income statement.

Income taxes

Income tax expense represents the total of current and deferred tax. Current tax is based on taxable income and is calculated using the tax rates currently applicable.

In accordance with IAS 12, all temporary differences between items in the consolidated financial statements and their tax bases are included in deferred taxes. Deferred tax assets on carryforwards of unused tax losses are recognized to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profit will be available against which the tax losses can be utilized.

In accordance with IAS 12.39, deferred taxes on differences resulting from investments in subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures were not recognized. Deferred tax liabilities are recognized for write-downs on investments claimed as tax deductions in Austria for the event that there are any possible future obligations to reverse the write-downs.

The calculation of deferred taxes is based on the respective local income tax rates that have been enacted or substantively enacted.


Inventories are stated at the lower of cost and net realizable value. Net realizable value represents the estimated selling price less estimated costs of completion and estimated costs necessary to make the sale. In exceptional cases, the replacement cost of raw materials and supplies may serve as the basis of measurement in accordance with IAS 2.32.

The cost of inventories of the same type is determined by the weighted average price method or a similar method. Cost includes directly attributable costs and all pro-rated material and production overheads based on normal capacity utilization. Interest costs and general administrative and sales expenses are not recognized in inventory.

Emission certificates

Free certificates are measured at zero cost over the entire holding period, as the rights have been allocated free of charge. Purchased emission certificates are recorded at actual cost under current assets and measured at fair value at the reporting date (limited by the actual cost).

In the case of under-allocation, amounts for CO2 emission certificates are included in the other provisions. The measurement is based on the rate prevailing on the reporting date (or the carrying amount) of the relevant certificates.

Trade and other receivables

Trade and other receivables are stated at amortized cost. Credit insurance is acquired to cover individually identifiable risks. Non-interest- or low-interest-bearing receivables with a remaining period of more than one year are recognized at their discounted present value. Sold receivables, for which the default risk is transferred to the buyer and for which the seller assumes a contingent liability to the extent of the retained amount from credit insurances, are derecognized because the power of disposition has transferred to the buyer.

When the outcome of a construction contract pursuant to IAS 11 can be estimated reliably, contract revenue and contract costs associated with the construction contract are recognized by reference to the stage of completion of the contract activity at the end of the reporting period (“percentage of completion method”), measured based on the proportion of contract costs incurred for work performed to date relative to the estimated total contract costs. When the outcome of a construction contract cannot be estimated reliably, contract revenue is recognized to the extent of contract cost incurred that is probably recoverable. Contract costs are recognized as expenses in the period in which they are incurred. When it is probable that total contract costs will exceed total contract revenue, the expected loss is immediately recognized as an expense.

Accruals and deferrals are reported under other receivables and other liabilities.

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand, cash at banks, and checks and are carried at market value.

Pensions and other employee obligations

Pensions and other employee obligations include provisions for severance payments, pensions, and long-service bonuses and are recognized in accordance with IAS 19 using the projected unit credit method.

Actuarial gains and losses from severance and pension provisions are recognized directly in equity in the year in which they are incurred. Actuarial gains and losses from provisions for long-service bonuses are recognized immediately in profit or loss.

Severance obligations

Employees of Austrian entities who started their employment before January 1, 2003, are entitled to receive a severance payment if their employment is terminated by the employer or if they retire. The amount to be paid depends on the number of years of service and the employee’s salary or wage at the time employment ends. For employees who started their employment after December 31, 2002, severance obligations are transferred to a contribution-based system. The contributions to external employee pension funds are recognized as expenses.

Defined contribution plans

Defined contribution plans involve no future obligations after the payment of premiums to the managing pension fund or commercial insurance company.

Defined benefit plans

Defined benefit plans guarantee the employee a specified pension. The payment starts after retirement (or death or disability) and is continued until death of the former employee (or death of spouse). Widow’s and widower’s pensions (50% to 75% of the old age pension) are paid to the surviving spouse until death or remarriage. Orphans’ pensions (10% to 20% of the old age pension) are paid to dependent children until the end of their education but only up to the age of 27.

Longevity is the central (and only) risk within these defined benefit pension obligations. All calculations are made using the most recent mortality tables and even a substantial reduction in mortality would affect the DBO by less than 5% as of the reporting date. Other risks, such as the risk of rising costs of medical services, do not affect the obligations.

Almost all pension obligations within the Group cover vested claims.


The amount of the pension is either based on a certain percentage of the final salary depending on the years of service or on a valorized fixed amount per year of service. The predominant part of the defined benefit pension obligations is transferred to a pension fund although the obligation for subsequent payments remains within the company.


The different pension plans in Germany derive the amount of the pension from the following basics:

  • A certain percentage of the final salary depending on the years of service
  • An increasing percentage of a fixed target pension depending on the years of service
  • A fixed pension amount
  • A fixed, valorized amount per year of service linked to the average salary within the company
  • A fixed, valorized amount per year of service

A small part of the pension rights are financed by insurers although the obligations themselves remain within the companies.


Pension rights of active members and beneficiaries are accommodated by a defined contribution plan. Pension entitlements of former employees and retirees are based upon a percentage of the total salary in any year of service. Benefits are paid through a commercial insurance company and the indexation of benefits is set by the industry’s pension fund. The employer may need to make additional payments to the insurer if returns of the funds held by the commercial insurer are insufficient to finance the agreed benefit increases. This scheme with the substantial obligations was closed for future participation of new entrants as of January 1, 2013.

The calculation of employee benefits in all countries where the Group has material operations is based on the following parameters:











Interest rate (%)





Salary/wage increases (%)1





Pension benefit increases (%)1










Retirement age men/women







max. 62 years


max. 62 years



63–67 years


63–67 years



65–67 years


65–67 years






Mortality tables







AVÖ 2008-P


AVÖ 2008-P



Richttafeln 2005 G


Richttafeln 2005 G











1 Recognition only for salary-dependent and value-guaranteed commitments, respectively.

Net interest expenses resulting from employee benefits are included in the consolidated income statement under finance costs.

Obligations from long-service bonuses

In most of the Austrian Group companies, employees are entitled to payment of a long-service bonus, which is based either on a collective agreement or a provision in a works agreement. This is a one-time payment when the anniversary of service has been reached; depending on the length of service, the bonus amounts to between one monthly salary and three monthly salaries.

Other provisions

Other provisions due to present obligations arising from past events, where it is probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation, are stated at the amount that reflects the most probable value based on a reliable estimate. Provisions are discounted where the effect is material.

The assumptions that underlie the provisions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. The actual figures can deviate from the assumptions if the underlying circumstances as of the reporting date have not developed as expected. As soon as better information is available, changes are recognized through profit and loss and the assumptions are adjusted accordingly.

Please note that we are invoking the safeguard clause according to which information about provisions is not provided if this could seriously and adversely impact the Company’s interests.

Contingent liabilities

Contingent liabilities are present obligations arising from past events, where it is not probable that an outflow of resources will be required to settle the obligation, or possible obligations arising from past events whose existence or non-existence depends on less certain future events, which are not within the company’s full control. When, in extremely rare cases, an existing debt cannot be stated in the statement of financial position as a provision because a reliable estimate of the debt is not possible, a contingent liability shall also be recognized.

With regard to possible obligations, we wish to point out that information about contingent liabilities is not provided if this could seriously and adversely impact the Company’s interests.


Liabilities, except liabilities from derivative financial instruments, are stated at amortized cost.

Employee stock ownership plan

The employee stock ownership plan in Austrian Group companies is based on the appropriation of a part of the salary and wage increase due to collective bargaining agreements over several business years. For the first time in the business year 2000/01, employees received voestalpine AG shares in return for a 1% lower salary or wage increase.

In each of the business years 2002/03, 2003/04, 2005/06, 2007/08, and 2008/09, between 0.3% and 0.5% of the total amount of wages and salaries required for the increase were used to provide voestalpine AG shares to employees. The actual amount is calculated from the monthly amount of wages and salaries waived, based on November 1, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2008, applying an annual increase of 3.5%. In business years 2012/13 and 2013/14, an additional 0.3% and 0.27%, respectively, of the total amount of wages and salaries needed for the collective agreement pay increase for 2012 and 2013, respectively, were used to provide shares under the participation plan for those Austrian Group companies whose initial participation in the employee stock ownership plan had begun at a later date.

The Works Council and each company shall execute an agreement for implementation of the Austrian employee stock ownership plan. Shares are acquired by the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung (a private foundation for the Company’s employee shareholding scheme), which transfers the shares to employees according to the wages and salaries they have waived. The value of the consideration provided is independent of price fluctuations. Therefore, IFRS 2 does not apply to the allocation of shares based on lower collective bargaining agreements.

An international participation model was developed for Group companies outside Austria, which was initially implemented in several companies in Great Britain and Germany in the business year 2009/10. Due to very positive experience gained in these pilot projects, the model was expanded in these two countries and introduced step by step in the Netherlands, in Poland, and in Belgium in the following business years. In the business year 2013/14, a total of 64 companies participated in the international employee stock ownership program in these five countries.

On March 31, 2014, the voestalpine Mitarbeiterbeteiligung Privatstiftung held approximately 14.0% (March 31, 2013: 14.4%) of voestalpine AG’s shares in trust for employees.

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About voestalpine

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide.


50 Countries on all 5 continents
500 Group companies and locations
48,113 Employees worldwide

Earnings FY 2013/14

€ 11.2 Billion


€ 1.4 Billion


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