Note 1 Summary of accounting policies
The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the laws and regulations of France and with Regulation No. 2014-03 of French accounting standards setter ANC and all subsequent amendments. The presentation of the balance sheet and income statement has been adapted to the Company’s business as a holding company. There have been no changes in the accounting methods used for the periods presented compared with the previous year.
The main accounting policies used are as follows:
1.1 Intangible assets, property and equipment
Intangible assets, property and equipment are stated at cost (including incidental expenses) or contributed value.
They are amortized or depreciated on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives, as follows:
- software is amortized over two to five years;
- licenses are amortized over three to five years;
- office and computer equipment are depreciated over three to ten years.
Software development costs are recognized as intangible assets in accordance with the recommended method (PCG, art. 361-1). They are amortized over their period of use, ranging from five to ten years, depending on the number of Group units that use the application.
Shares in subsidiaries and affiliates are stated at cost or contributed value. Transaction costs on these assets are recorded in the income statement.
At each year-end, the Company determines whether there are any indications that the investments are impaired. The main indications are:
- below-forecast performances;
- a steep fall in revenue and profit.
If there is any indication of a loss of value, the asset is impaired in order to align its acquisition cost or its contributed value with the actual value. The actual value is the highest value between market value and value in use.
The market value corresponds to the amount that could be obtained for the sale of the asset at the closing date in normal market conditions.
Value in use is determined with due consideration to the uncertainty arising from Covid-19 by analyzing multiple criteria, taking into account in particular the Company’s share of the investee’s net assets or other assessment criteria, such as the economic environment in the country, the application of EBITDA multiples, or the investee’s current and forecast profitability using enterprise value obtained by projecting future cash flows, the long-term growth rate and the discount rate,
less net debt for the investee.
Where appropriate, an impairment loss is recorded for the shares and then for receivables linked to investments, loans and advances to the investee and, when necessary, a provision for contingencies is also recorded to cover the Company’s share of the investee’s negative net worth.
Impairment losses may be reversed in subsequent periods if the investee’s financial position improves. The carrying amount of the investee’s share should be limited to its acquisition cost or contributed value.
In the event of a partial sale of a portfolio of securities carrying the same rights, the acquisition cost of the retained securities is estimated by the weighted average cost method or by the FIFO method, which presumes that the retained securities were acquired after those that were sold.
In accordance with the French ANC Regulation No. 2015-06 published on November 29, 2015, technical losses on mergers are recognized in the balance sheet under “Other investments” and receive the same treatment for valuation and amortization described above.
Receivables are stated at their nominal value. They are impaired when it is likely that their carrying amount will not be recovered in full.
1.4 Marketable securities
Marketable securities are recognized at their acquisition cost. When there is an indication of loss of value, impairment is recorded as necessary based on the market value at the end of the period.
Revenue corresponds to fees invoiced to subsidiaries under the Master Services Agreement. Other service revenues correspond to fees invoiced to subsidiaries for the secondment of staff, IT services and loan guarantees.
1.6 Other income
Other income corresponds to brand license fees invoiced to subsidiaries.
1.7 Provisions for retirement
Managers and employees are paid a length-of-service award on retirement and various long-service awards during their career with the Company.