Report of the Group auditors
Report on the audit of the financial statements
We have audited the financial statements of CPH Chemie + Papier Holding AG, which comprise the income statement for the year ended 31 December 2021, balance sheet as at 31 December 2021 and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies.
In our opinion, the financial statements as at 31 December 2021 comply with Swiss law and the company’s articles of incorporation.
Basis for opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with Swiss law and Swiss Auditing Standards. Our responsibilities under those provisions and standards are further described in the “Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements” section of our report.
We are independent of the entity in accordance with the provisions of Swiss law and the requirements of the Swiss audit profession and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.
Our audit approach
Overall materiality: CHF 4 000 000
We tailored the scope of our audit in order to perform sufficient work to enable us to provide an opinion on the financial statements as a whole, taking into account the structure of the entity, the accounting processes and controls, and the industry in which the entity operates.
As key audit matter the following area of focus has been identified:
Valuation of long-term receivables from Group companies and of investments in Group companies.
The scope of our audit was influenced by our application of materiality. Our audit opinion aims to provide reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement. Misstatements may arise due to fraud or error. They are considered material if, individually or in aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of the financial statements.
Based on our professional judgement, we determined certain quantitative thresholds for materiality, including the overall materiality for the financial statements as a whole as set out in the table below. These, together with qualitative considerations, helped us to determine the scope of our audit and the nature, timing and extent of our audit procedures and to evaluate the effect of misstatements, both individually and in aggregate, on the financial statements as a whole.
CHF 4 000 000
Rationale for the materiality benchmark applied
We chose total assets as the benchmark for determining materiality because it is a generally accepted benchmark for materiality considerations relating to a holding company.
We designed our audit by determining materiality and assessing the risks of material misstatement in the financial statements. In particular, we considered where subjective judgements were made; for example, in respect of significant accounting estimates that involved making assumptions and considering future events that are inherently uncertain. As in all of our audits, we also addressed the risk of management override of internal controls, including among other matters consideration of whether there was evidence of bias that represented a risk of material misstatement due to fraud.
Report on key audit matters based on the circular 1/2015 of the Federal Audit Oversight Authority
Key audit matters are those matters that, in our professional judgement, were of most significance in our audit of the financial statements of the current period. These matters were addressed in the context of our audit of the financial statements as a whole, and in forming our opinion thereon, and we do not provide a separate opinion on these matters.
Valuation of long-term receivables from Group companies and of investments in Group companies
Key audit matter
We consider the valuation of long-term receivables from Group companies and of investments in Group companies as a key audit matter. These items are disclosed on the balance sheet in the amounts of CHF 360 million and CHF 89 million, respectively.
The valuation of long-term receivables from Group companies and of investments in Group companies depends on the financial substance and profitability of the subsidiaries. In the financial year 2021, the company recorded value adjustments on investments in Group companies in the amount of CHF 62 million net.
Please refer to notes 2.2, 2.11 and 2.12 in the notes to the financial statements.
How our audit addressed the key audit matter
We performed the following audit procedures with regard to the valuation of long-term receivables from Group companies and of investments in Group companies:
- For significant investments in Group companies and long-term receivables from Group companies, we tested the recoverability based on the net assets valued in accordance with Swiss GAAP FER or, if necessary, on the basis of other Management assessments of net asset or capitalised earnings.
- In addition, we examined, if necessary, whether appropriate provisions for letters of subordination agreements had been recorded.
Our audit supports the amounts recognised by Management with regard to long-term receivables from Group companies and investments in Group companies.
Responsibilities of the Board of Directors for the financial statements
The Board of Directors is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with the provisions of Swiss law and the company’s articles of incorporation, and for such internal control as the Board of Directors determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
In preparing the financial statements, the Board of Directors is responsible for assessing the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the Board of Directors either intends to liquidate the entity or to cease operations, or has no realistic alternative but to do so.
Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements
Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with Swiss law and Swiss Auditing Standards will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.
A further description of our responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is located at the website of EXPERTsuisse: http://expertsuisse.ch/en/audit-report-for-public-companies. This description forms part of our auditor’s report.
Report on other legal and regulatory requirements
In accordance with article 728a paragraph 1 item 3 CO and Swiss Auditing Standard 890, we confirm that an internal control system exists which has been designed for the preparation of financial statements according to the instructions of the Board of Directors.
We further confirm that the proposed appropriation of reserves complies with Swiss law and the company’s articles of incorporation. We recommend that the financial statements submitted to you be approved.
Auditor in charge
Zürich, 11 February 2022