Risk management in relation to financial instruments
Owing to its global business operations, the DEUTZ Group is exposed to various financial risks that can arise from adverse movements and trends in the international sales, procurement, interest-rate and foreign-exchange markets. The overarching risk management strategy used is designed to mitigate potentially negative effects on the DEUTZ Group’s financial position.
The management and early identification of financial risks is based on annual financial planning, together with updates and regular analyses of variances during the course of the year. Financial management in the Group is the responsibility of DEUTZ AG as the parent company.
The treasury department identifies, measures and hedges financial risk in close collaboration with the Group’s operating segments. The Board of Management specifies principles for the Group’s overarching risk management strategy as well as guidelines for certain aspects, such as how to manage currency risk, interest-rate risk and credit risk and how to hedge them using derivative and non-derivative financial instruments.
The Finance Committee, which meets roughly every three months, provides a forum at which operational issues relating to risk management and other financially relevant decisions are discussed. The Finance Committee consists of the relevant member of the Board of Management plus representatives of the treasury and finance departments.
The objective of risk management is to mitigate fluctuations in profits and cash flows caused by volatility in commodity, interest-rate and foreign-exchange markets. Derivative financial instruments are used only for hedging purposes, i.e. only in connection with corresponding underlying transactions arising from the Group’s ordinary business activities or financial transactions that have a countervailing risk profile to that of the hedging transaction. The nature and scope of the hedged items are specified in a binding financing directive.
DEUTZ works exclusively with leading banks in order to minimise counterparty risk.
The treasury department manages the lines of credit in accordance with the Group’s financing principles. Subsidiaries are funded primarily by DEUTZ Group loans.
We manage the financial risk as follows:
Risk from bad debts
We protect ourselves against the risk of bad debts by constantly monitoring our situation, including through electronic means, and by regularly analysing receivables and their breakdown. The Company takes out credit insurance to cover a large proportion of its receivables unless payment is made in advance or by letter of credit.
Currency risk arising from operating activities
Currency risk, primarily in US dollars, which arises as a result of transactions with third parties denominated in foreign currency, is monitored by means of a central currency management system and mitigated by the use of derivative financial instruments. The DEUTZ Group’s net currency exposure is normally hedged by forwards equivalent to 50 to 80 per cent of open items, or 100 per cent in the case of selected project-based firm commitments. DEUTZ is also taking specific action to increase the volume of purchasing in US dollars; this enables the Company to counteract exchange-rate risks from sales invoiced in US dollars by way of natural hedging.
Interest-rate risk arising from funding arrangements
The DEUTZ Group is exposed to risk from interest rate changes, above all in relation to floating-rate loans and other loans that it has taken up. We hedged the interest-rate risk arising from the funding arranged in mid-2012 with the European Investment Bank. This means that, as far as some of our financial arrangements are concerned, we will not be affected by any rises in short-term interest rates in the future.
The funding agreements concluded provide the Company with adequate liquidity for its further development. During the term of the agreement, DEUTZ AG must ensure that the DEUTZ Group complies with certain financial covenants (ratio of financial debt to equity and ratio of financial debt to EBITDA). The financial covenants have a comfortable buffer in line with our medium-term balance sheet and profit planning. Only if there is a dramatic deterioration in the general economic situation is there a risk of the covenants being breached.
Further information on financial risk management can be found in Note 25.