Note 4 Financial risk and risk management

Goals and policy for risk management

AddLife strives for structured and efficient management of the financial risks that arise in operations, which is manifest in the financial policy adopted by the Board of Directors. Financial operations are not conducted as a separate line of business, instead they are merely intended to constitute support for the business and reduce risks in financial operations. The policy stipulates goals and risks in the financial operations, and how they are to be managed. The financial policy expresses the goal of minimising and controlling financial risks. The policy defines and identifies the financial risks that arise at AddLife and how responsibility for managing these risks is distributed in the organisation. The financial risks defined in the financial policy are currency risk, interest rate risk, liquidity, financing and issuer/borrower risk. Operational risks, that is, financial risks related to operating activities, are managed by each subsidiary's management according to principles in the financial policy and subordinate process descriptions approved by the Group's Board of Directors and management. The subsidiaries within AddLife include financial derivatives with an external counterparty. Risks such as translation exposure, refinancing risk and interest rate risk are managed by the Parent Company, AddLife AB.

Currency risks

The AddLife Group conducts extensive trading in foreign countries and as such the Group has a material currency exposure, which shall be managed in a way which minimises impact on profit from exchange rate fluctuations.

The AddLife Group practices a decentralised responsibility for currency risk management, which among other things means that risk identification and risk hedging either through matching of currency flows, via currency accounts, or via forward exchange contracts is conducted at the subsidiary level. The companies are responsible for choosing the most appropriate hedging measure from a commercial and risk point of view. To minimise currency risks, matching of inflows and outflows in the same currency shall be prioritised. Currency clauses may be used if the company finds it to be advantageous from a risk and commercial point of view. The main principle for the currency clause is 80 percent compensation for an exchange rate fluctuation of +/-2 percent. If the company determines that currency risk could have a significant impact on profits after the exposure has been reduced through matching and/or currency clauses, the company must hedge its net commercial flows using forward exchange contracts on a monthly basis. For AddLife, currency risk arises as a result of future payment flows in foreign currency, known as transaction exposure, and also because parts of the Group's equity comprise net assets in foreign subsidiaries, known as translation exposure. 

Transaction exposure

Transaction exposure comprises all future contracted and forecast ingoing and outgoing payments in foreign currency. The Group's currency flows usually pertain to flows in foreign currency from purchases, sales and dividends. Transaction exposure also comprises financial transactions and balances. During financial years 2019 and 2018, the Group's payment flows in foreign currencies were distributed as follows:

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  2020 2019
  Currency flows, gross   Currency flows, gross  
  Inflows Outflows Net flows Inflows Outflows Net flows
EUR 602.6 1,181.4 -578.8 330.8 784.0 -453.2
DKK 109.8 14.8 95.0 95.0 14.2 80.8
PLN 166.2 0.5 165.7 82.9 1.2 81.7
NOK 120.6 0.9 119.7 77.8 0.6 77.2
USD 44.8 517.8 -473.0 38.9 246.5 -207.6
GBP 38.2 49.2 -11.0 33.1 14.5 18.6
CHF 7.2 57.1 -49.9 1.0 7.4 -6.4

The effects of exchange rate fluctuations are reduced by buying and selling in the same currency, through currency clauses in customer contracts and, to a certain degree, by forward purchases or sales of foreign currency. Currency clauses are a common method in the industry for handling uncertainty associated with future cash flows. A currency clause means that compensation will be paid for any changes in the exchange rate that exceed a certain predefined level during the contract period. If these thresholds are not reached, for example when the exchange rate changes by less than two percentage points, no compensation is paid. The currency clauses adjust the exchange rate change between the time the order is placed and the invoice date. Currency clauses are symmetrically designed, which means that compensation is charged or credited when the exchange rate rises or declines beyond the predefined thresholds.

Of AddLife’s net sales in 2019, currency clauses cover about 23 (25) percent and sales in the purchasing currency make up about 23 (19) percent. In certain transactions, there is a direct link between the customer's order and the associated purchase order, which is a good basis for effective currency risk management. However, in many cases the dates of the orders do not coincide, which may reduce the effectiveness of these measures. The companies within AddLife have reduced their currency exposure by using forward foreign exchange contracts. At the end of the 2020 financial year, there were outstanding forward foreign exchange contracts in a gross amount of SEK 52.9 million (59.9), of which EUR equalled SEK 45.4 million (39.6) and USD SEK 7.5 million (19.4). All futures refer to currency purchases. Of the total contracts of SEK 52.9 million (59.0), SEK 52.9 million (52.5) mature within six months. Hedge accounting does not apply to forward foreign exchange contracts; instead, they are classified as a financial asset/liability measured at fair value through profit or loss Currency flows in the Parent Company are mainly in Swedish kronor (SEK). To the extent that internal and external loans and investments in the Parent Company are in foreign currency, 100 percent of the capital amount is hedged. 

Translation exposure

AddLife’s translation exposure is not hedged at this time, with the exception of some foreign operations denominated in EUR (see hedging of the Group’s net investment in foreign operations). AddLife’s net assets are distributed among foreign currencies as shown below:

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  2020 2019
Net investments SEKm Sensitivity analysis¹ SEKm Sensitivity analysis¹
EUR 545.7 27.3 257.6 12.9
DKK 327.4 16.4 94.5 4.7
NOK 166.8 8.3 134.4 6.7
CHF 80.2 4.0 38.0 1.9
¹ Impact of +/–5% in exchange rate on Group equity

When translating the income statement of units with a functional currency other than SEK, a translation effect arises when exchange rates vary. With the current distribution of Group companies' different functional currencies, a change of 1 percentage point in the exchange rates would have an effect on net sales and on EBITA as follows:

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  2020 2019
Net sales 40.3 29.3
EBITA 5.6 2.5

The exchange rates used in the financial statements are shown in the following table:

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Average rate Closing day rate
Exchange rate 2020 2019 2020-12-31 2019-12-31
AUD 6.34 6.57 6.26 6.51
CHF 9.25 9.52 9.80 9.57
CNY 1.33 1.37 1.25 1.33
DKK 1.41 1.42 1.35 1.40
EUR 10.49 10.59 10.04 10.43
GBP 11.80 12.07 11.09 12.21
NOK 0.98 1.07 0.95 1.06
PLN 2.36 2.46 2.22 2.44
USD 9.20 9.46 8.19 9.32

Financing and liquidity

The overall objective of AddLife’s financing and debt management is to secure both long term and short term financing for the operations, and to minimise borrowing costs. Capital requirements must be secured through active and professional borrowing procedures involving overdraft and credit facilities. Raising of external financing is centralised to AddLife AB. Satisfactory payment capacity shall be achieved through contractual credit facilities. Excess liquidity is primarily used to pay down outstanding loans. Temporary surpluses of liquid funds are invested with as good a return as possible. Credit, interest rate and liquidity risks should be minimised when investing liquid funds. The fixed interest term and the period during which capital is tied up may not exceed six months. Only counterparties with high credit ratings are permitted. AddLife AB provides an internal bank which lends to and borrows from the subsidiaries. AddLife's current interest-bearing liabilities are shown in Note 28. AddLife Group provides a common cash pool for the countries in which the Group has significant operations. Subsidiaries in these countries have been connected to the cash pool and manage all liquidity within the framework of the cash pool accounts. In cases where there is no cash pool in the country where the subsidiary operates its business, or if an individual foreign currency account does not exist within the cash pool, the subsidiary shall deposit any excess liquidity with AddLife AB.

Temporary excess liquidity in AddLife AB may be invested in accordance with the following guidelines:

Refinancing risk 

Refinancing risk is the risk of AddLife not having access to sufficient financing at any given time. The refinancing risk increases if AddLife’s credit rating deteriorates or if AddLife becomes too dependent on one source of financing. If all or a large percentage of the debt portfolio falls due at one or more individual occasions it could result in the extension or refinancing of a large percentage of the loan volume having to be made on unfavourable interest and loan terms. In order to limit refinancing risk, procurement of long-term credit facilities is initiated no later than nine months before the credit facility matures. The maturity structure, including interest payments, for the Group's financial interest-bearing liabilities, is distributed over the coming years as follows:

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  Carrying amount Future payment amount within 3 months after 3 months within 1 year after 1 year within 5 years after 5 years
Interest-bearling liabilities 486.8 488.0 410.0 43.6 34.4 -
Additional purchase consideration 85.8 93.2 6.3 14.7 72.1 -
Accounts payable 610.4 610.4 610.4 - - -
Forward foreign exchange contracts 2.1 2.1 1.1 1.0 - -

Other operating liabilities that comprise financial instruments all fall due for payment within 1 year.

Interest rate risk

Interest rate risk define that the risk of actual value on nor Future cash flows by a financial instrument varies because of restatements of market rates. The interest rate risk is regulated by ensuring that the average fixed interest term of the debt portfolio varies between zero and three years. The debt portfolio consists of bank overdraft facilities with fixed interest terms of three months and outstanding external loans with remaining fixed interest terms of six months. AddLife’s financial net debt as at 31 December 2020 was SEK 700 million (902). AddLife’s net financial debt as at 31 December 2020 affects net financial items by about SEK +/- 7 million (+/–9) if interest rates change by one percentage point. 

Issuer/borrower risk and credit risk

Issuer/borrower risk and credit risk are defined as the risk of AddLife’s counterparties failing to fulfil their contractual obligations. AddLife is exposed to credit risk in its financial transactions, i.e. in investing its surplus liquidity and executing forward foreign exchange transactions, and in its commercial operations in connection with accounts receivable and advance payments to suppliers. Credit risk exposure consists of the carrying amount of the financial assets. To utilise its companies’ detailed knowledge of AddLife’s customers and suppliers, each company assesses the credit risk in its commercial transactions. New customers are assessed before credit is granted, and credit limits set are strictly enforced. Short credit periods are pursued and the absence of excessive concentration of business with individual customers and specific sectors contributes to minimising the risks. No individual customer accounts for more than 4 (2) percent of total credit exposure over a one-year period. The equivalent figure for the ten largest customers is approximately 16 (12) percent. Exposure by customer segment and geographic market is shown in the table in Note 6. Credit losses amounted to SEK 27.2 million (3.0) during the year, equal to 5.1 percent (0.1) of net sales.