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 2012 financial year, the following new and modified IFRS became mandatory for the first time:

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. This will not have a significant impact on UNIQA.

Standards and modifications to standards that are not yet in effect

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. Modifications must be applied for financial years beginning on or after 1 July 2012.

Modifications to IAS 19 are intended to improve the understanding of users of financial statements with regard to the way in which defined benefit plans affect a company’s net assets, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. The objective of the standard is to prescribe accounting and disclosure requirements for employee benefits. Following endorsement in EU law, the modification to IAS 19 is applicable to users of EU IFRSs in financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2013.

IFRS 13, Fair Value Measurement, applies to IFRSs that require or permit fair value measurement or disclosures. The standard provides a single IFRS framework for measuring fair value and requires disclosures about fair value measurement. The standard defines fair value on the basis of an “exit price” notion and uses a fair value hierarchy, which results in a market-based, rather than entity-specific, measurement. IFRS 13 is a new IFRS standard published in May 2011. It applies to reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2013.

Modifications made to IFRS 1 as of March 2012 with regard to government loans with a below-market rate of interest were amended and are expected to apply to reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2013. Changes for countries with high inflation enter into force on 1 January 2013.

The modification to IFRS 7 (revised 12/2011) prescribes additional quantitative information in order to enable users to better compare and coordinate IFRS disclosures and disclosures according to US GAAP. The IASB also amended IAS 32 in order to specify additional guidelines with the aim of reducing incoherent application of standards in practice. Modifications relating to offsetting financial assets and financial liabilities released in December 2011 come into force on 1 January 2013.

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. The binding date of application for the original standard was postponed to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2013 for EU companies. This modification does not affect UNIQA.

© UNIQA Group 2013