Accounting regulations

As a publicly listed company, UNIQA is obligated to prepare its Consolidated Financial Statements according to internationally accepted accounting principles. In accordance with Section 245a of the Austrian Commercial Code, the company has prepared the Consolidated Financial Statements exclusively in agreement with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as applied within the European Union. These Consolidated Financial Statements and the Group Management Report therefore do not follow the accounting principles according to the Insurance Supervisory Act, rather the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the International Accounting Standards (IAS) in the versions applicable to this reporting period. No early application of modified standards was performed.

Since 2005, UNIQA Versicherungen AG has applied IFRS 4 published in 2004 for insurance policies. This standard demands that the methods of accounting and valuation be largely unaltered with regard to the actuarial items.

The present Consolidated Financial Statements were therefore prepared, as in previous years, in compliance with IFRS 4 and in accordance with the regulations of the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US-GAAP). For balancing the accounts and evaluation of the insurance-specific entries of the life insurer with profit participation, FAS 120 was observed; FAS 60 was applied for specific items in health, property and casualty insurance and FAS 113 in the area of reinsurance. The unit-linked life insurance, where the policyholder bears the investment risk, is stated according to FAS 97.

The financial instruments were balanced in accordance with IAS 39, including the information required by IFRS 7, as most recently amended in November 2009. Aside from recording the securities under “Held to maturity”, “Available for sale”, “At fair value through profit or loss” and “Derivative financial instruments (held for trading)”, additional disclosures for securities available for sale are reported in the following investment categories, which were utilised for the internal risk reports:

  • Shares in affiliated companies
  • Shares
  • Equity funds
  • Debenture bonds not capital-guaranteed
  • Other variable-yield securities
  • Participating interests and other investments
  • Fixed-interest securities

In the 2011 financial year, the following new and modified IFRS have become mandatory for the first time:

The modification of IAS 24 (revised 11/2009) – information regarding relationships with associated companies and persons – simplified the reporting obligations of companies in which the state owns shares. The new regulation does not affect UNIQA.

The revision of IAS 32 (revised 10/2009), Financial Instruments: Presentation, dictates that certain subscription rights, such as options and subscription warrants in foreign currency (in a currency other than the functional currency) for issuer countries whose equity instruments refer to such rights, are now to be presented in the balance sheet as equity and not as liabilities. This modification does not affect UNIQA.

Standards and modifications to standards that are not yet in effect

Modifications to IFRS 7 (revised 10/2010), Financial Instruments: Disclosures, Improved Disclosures on Financial Instruments, includes expanded disclosure requirements for the transfer of financial assets. This should create additional transparency with regard to the influence of such transactions on risk exposure and the financial situation of companies. The new regulations must be applied to all financial years that begin on or after 1 July 2011; they were integrated into European law in November 2011.

Modifications to IAS 12 (revised 12/2010), Income Tax, Deferred Tax: Recovery of Underlying Assets, address the dependency of deferred tax valuation on whether the book value of an asset is realised through use or through sale. This distinction is frequently vague in practice. The introduction of a rebuttable presumption clarifies that the realisation of book value is normally attained via sale. These modifications are mandatory for financial years that begin on or after 1 January 2012; they have not yet been integrated into European law.

Due to modifications of IAS 1 (revised 06/2011), Presentation of Financial Statements, Presentation of Items in Other Comprehensive Income, items in other comprehensive income that are reclassified at a later time into the income statement, as well as those items for which this is not the case, must be presented separately. This is designed to improve the presentation of these items and to further align IFRS and US GAAP standards. The modifications must be applied for all financial years that begin on or after 1 July 2012, and they have not yet been integrated into European law.