Debt investors

Bond 2022

Bond 2019

Interest-bearing debt by credit type (30 Sep 2017):

- Total interest-bearing debt: 228.9 mEUR


Maturity of Group’s interest-bearing debt (EUR million) 30 Sep 2017



Financial risk management

The duty of Group Treasury in the HKScan Group is to ensure cost-effective funding and financial risk management for Group companies and to attend to relations with financiers. The treasury policy approved by the Board provides the principles for financial risk management in the Group. The policy is supplemented by separate guidelines and instructions, as well as approval practices.

Financial risks mean unfavourable movements taking place in the financial markets that may erode accrual of the company’s result or reduce cash flows. Financial risk management aims to use financial means to hedge the company’s intended earnings performance and equity and to safeguard the Group’s liquidity in all circumstances and market conditions.

External funding of the Group’s operations and financial risk management is centralised to Group Treasury operating under the Group Treasurer. Group Treasury identifies and assesses the risks and acquires the instruments required for hedging against the risks, in close co-operation with the operational units.

Risk management may employ various instruments, such as currency forwards and options, interest-rate or currency swaps, foreign currency loans and commodity derivatives. Derivatives are used for the sole purpose of hedging, not for speculation. Funding of the Group’s subsidiaries is managed mainly through the parent company. The subsidiaries may not accept new external funding, nor may they give guarantees or pledges without the permission of the Group Treasury in the parent company.

Foreign exchange risk

The Group’s domestic market consists of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Baltic countries. The company produces, sells and markets pork, beef, poultry and lamb products, processed meats and convenience foods to retail, food service, industry and export sectors.

Transaction risk arises when the Group companies engage in foreign currency denominated import and export both outside and within the Group. The aim of transaction risk management is to hedge the Group’s business against foreign exchange rate movements and allow the business units time to react and adapt to fluctuations in exchange rates. Foreign exchange risk exposures, which include sales, purchases and financing related contractual cash flows (balance sheet items and committed cash flows), as well as highly probable forecasted cash flows, are hedged through forward contracts made with the parent company. The business units report their risk exposures and hedging levels to Group Treasury on a regular basis.

The subsidiaries must hedge balance sheet items in full amount and committed cash flows from 50 to 100 per cent. In addition, forecasted, highly probable cash flows are hedged 0 - 50 per cent for up to 12 months into the future. Group Treasury can use currency forwards, options and swaps as hedging instruments. Treasury targets to hedge fully its significant foreign exchange risk exposures.

Translation risk arises from the consolidation of equity into the basic currency in subsidiaries whose operational currency is not the euro. The largest foreign currency denominated equities of the Group companies are in Swedish krona and Danish krone. Fluctuations of exchange rates affect the amount of consolidated equity, and translation differences are generated in connection with the consolidation of equity in accounting. Group Treasury identifies and manages foreign exchange translation risks according to Treasury Policy. HKScan Group is not hedging translation risk currently.

Interest rate risk

The Group’s main exposure to interest rate risk arises through interest-bearing liabilities. The goal of interest rate risk management is to reduce the fluctuation of interest expenses in the income statement, minimize debt servicing costs and improve the predictability. The Group’s short-term money market investments expose it to cash flow interest rate risk, but the impact is not significant as these investments are targeted to keep in minimum. Group revenues and operative cash flows are mainly independent of fluctuations in market rates.

Interest rate risk is measured by the effect of interest rate movements on the total forecasted debt portfolio. The relevant measurement horizons are selected in accordance with the rolling business strategy planning and possible major investment programmes.

To manage interest rate risks, Group borrowings are spread across fixed and variable interest instruments. The company may borrow at fixed or variable interest rates and use interest rate derivatives to achieve a result that is in line with the Treasury policy. The goal of the policy is to keep the fixed interest term of the loans between 12 and 48 months. On the balance sheet date the fixed interest term was 32 months.

Counterparty risk

Financial counterparty risk refers to the risk that counterparty may fail to fulfill its contractual obligations. The risks are mostly related to investment activities and counterparty risks in derivative contracts. Banks that finance the Group are used as counterparties whenever possible, as well as a few other specified counterparties. Cash may be invested in bank deposits, certificates of deposit, municipal papers and the commercial paper programmes of certain specified companies listed on the main list of the Nasdaq Helsinki and to certain state-owned companies. Because of the limited extent of the investment activities, the resulting counterparty and price risks are not significant.

Commodity risk

The Group is exposed to commodity risks that are related to the availability and price fluctuations of commodities. In addition to meat raw materials physical electricity consumption is one of the most significant commodity risks in the Group companies. The subsidiaries can hedge against fluctuation in market prices for electricity and other commodities by procuring fixed-price products or through derivative contracts with Group Treasury. The companies may use external parties to assist them in commodity risk management.

The Group uses electricity derivatives in Finland and Sweden to level out energy costs. The electricity price risk is evaluated for five-year periods. The value changes of derivatives hedging the price of electricity supplied during the period are included in the adjustment items of purchases. Hedge accounting is applied to contracts hedging future purchases.

Credit risk

The Group’s Treasury Policy and related guidelines specify the credit quality requirements and investment principles applied to customers and counterparties to investment transactions and derivative contracts. The Group Treasury is responsible for defining the principles for credit management within the Group and updating the Credit Policy as well as instructing the Group’s subsidiaries in credit management.

Credit risk results from a customer’s possible failure to fulfil its payment obligations. The Group’s trade receivables are spread among a wide customer base, the most important customers being central retail organizations in the various market areas. The creditworthiness, payment behaviour and credit limits of the clients are monitored systematically. As a main principle some type of securing is needed for all credit granted. The security can be credit insurance, a bank guarantee, or a security deposit. In addition, the Group is exposed to minor credit risk in remaining financing investments of primary production contract producers.

Liquidity and refinancing risk

The Group constantly assesses and monitors the amount of funding required for operations by means such as preparation and analysis of cash flow forecasts. The Group maintains adequate liquidity under all circumstances to cover its business and financing needs in the foreseeable future.

The availability of funding is ensured by spreading the maturity of the borrowing portfolio, financing sources and instruments. In general, cash and cash equivalents are targeted to keep in minimum. The Group also has revolving credit facilities with banks, bank borrowings, current accounts with overdraft facilities and the short-term EUR 200 million Finnish commercial paper programme. Liquidity risk is managed by retaining long-term liquidity reserves and by exceeding short-term liquidity requirements. The Group’s liquidity reserve includes cash and cash equivalents, money market investments and long-term unused committed credit facilities. Short-term liquidity requirements include the repayments of short- and long-term debt within the next 12 months, expected dividends as well as a specifically defined strategic liquidity requirement, which covers the operative funding needs.

The average rate of interest (including commitment fees) paid by the Group was 3.5 (3.1) per cent at the balance sheet date.

The company’s current loan agreements are subject to the net gearing ratio financial covenant. Financiers are provided with quarterly reports on the observance of the financial loan covenant. If the Group is in breach of the covenant, the creditor may demand accelerated loan repayment. Management monitors the fulfillment of the loan covenant on a regular basis. On 31 December, the financial covenant was well below the covenant level.

Group management has identified no significant concentrations of liquidity risk in financial assets or sources of funding.

Capital management

The purpose of capital management in the Group is to support business through an optimal capital structure by safeguarding a normal operating environment and enabling organic and structural growth. An optimal capital structure also generates lower costs of capital.

Capital structure is influenced by controlling the amount of working capital tied up in the business and through reported profit/loss, distribution of dividend and share issues. The Group may also decide on the disposal of assets to reduce liabilities.

The tools to monitor the development of the Group’s capital structure are the equity ratio and net gearing ratio. Equity ratio refers to the ratio of equity to total assets. Net gearing ratio is measured as net liabilities divided by equity. Net liabilities include interest-bearing liabilities less interest-bearing short term receivables and cash and cash equivalents.
On the balance sheet date the equity ratio is 47.9 per cent. The target in respect of net gearing ratio is below 100 per cent. On the balance sheet date, the net gearing ratio was 33.5 per cent.