4.6 Change in working capital and funds to be redeemed
Funds to be redeemed correspond to the face value of all vouchers in circulation and funds loaded on cards but not yet used. They derive from multiple transactions:
- on the one hand, with customers to whom vouchers have been issued or whose cards have been loaded, with a corresponding inflow recognized either in available cash or – depending on applicable regulations – in restricted cash (mainly in France, Belgium, the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Romania and Mexico);
- on the other hand, with merchants that are reimbursed by Edenred with respect to the vouchers and cards used by employees in their establishments.
Considering Edenred’s operations, the main components of working capital analyzed are funds to be redeemed and restricted cash. These two aggregates are key indicators for managing the business.
Funds to be redeemed are recognized in current liabilities.
At December 31, 2021, working capital stood at negative €4,880 million versus negative €4,924 million at December 31, 2020. The difference in working capital (excluding corporate income tax liabilities) is mainly attributable to:
- the deposit made to the French State in relation to payment of the €157 million fine in the antitrust dispute (Note 10.3);
- a €91 million negative currency effect; and
- a negative €6 million impact from other effects on business, offsetting each other between:
- the impact of the economic recovery resulting in a reduction of funds to be redeemed, as beneficiaries used the vouchers accumulated in 2020, following the lockdowns,
- the renewal of vouchers in circulation.
The update to the statistical impairment rates used for Group entities’ current assets did not lead to any additional material provisions being recognized as of December 31st, 2021.