23. Financial risk management
The duty of Group Treasury in the HKScan Group is to ensure cost-effective funding and financial risk management for Group companies and to attend to relations with financiers. The treasury policy approved by the Board provides the principles for financial risk management in the Group. The policy is supplemented by separate guidelines and instructions, as well as approval practices.
Financial risks mean unfavourable movements taking place in the financial markets that may erode accrual of the company’s result or reduce cash flows. Financial risk management aims to use financial means to hedge the company’s intended earnings performance and equity, and to safeguard the Group’s liquidity in all circumstances and market conditions.
External funding of the Group’s operations and financial risk management is centralised to the Group Treasury operating under the Group Treasurer. Group Treasury identifies and assesses the risks and acquires the instruments required for hedging against the risks, in close co-operation with the operational units.
Risk management may employ various instruments, such as currency forwards and options, interest-rate or currency swaps, foreign currency loans and commodity derivatives. Derivatives are used for the sole purpose of hedging, not for speculation. Funding of the Group’s subsidiaries is managed mainly through the parent company. The subsidiaries may not accept new external funding, nor may they give guarantees or pledges without the permission of the Group Treasury in the parent company.
Foreign exchange risk
The Group’s domestic market consists of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltic countries. The company produces, sells and markets pork, beef, poultry and lamb products, processed meats and convenience foods to retail, food service, industry and export sectors. Meat products are mainly produced for domestic markets which reduces the overall currency risk in the Group.
Transaction risk arises when the Group companies engage in foreign currency denominated import and export both outside and within the Group. The aim of transaction risk management is to hedge the Group’s business against foreign exchange rate movements and allow the business units time to react and adapt to fluctuations in exchange rates. Foreign exchange risk exposures, which include sales, purchases (balance sheet items and committed cash flows), financing related contractual cash flows, and highly probable forecasted cash flows, are hedged through forward contracts made with the parent company. The business units report their balance sheet risk exposures, forecasted foreign currency sales and purchases and hedging levels to the Group Treasury on a regular basis.
According to Treasury Policy, subsidiaries must hedge balance sheet items in full amount and committed cash flows from 50 to 100 per cent. In addition, forecasted, highly probable cash flows are hedged at 0 - 50 per cent for up to 12 months into the future. Group Treasury can use currency forwards, options and swaps as hedging instruments. Treasury targets to hedge fully its significant foreign exchange risk exposures. Those include commercial exposures, external financing and internal financing which is given in the subsidiary’s home currency. All the forward contracts mature within one year. Hedge accounting is not applied currently. Nevertheless, all hedging instruments are done for hedging purposes.
Translation risk arises from the consolidation of equity into the basic currency in subsidiaries whose operational currency is not the euro. The largest foreign currency denominated equities of the Group companies are in Swedish krona and Danish krone. Fluctuations of exchange rates affect the amount of consolidated equity, and translation differences are generated in connection with the consolidation of equity in accounting. Group Treasury identifies and manages foreign exchange translation risks according to Treasury Policy. HKScan Group is not hedging translation risk currently.
The equities of the Group’s non-euro-denominated subsidiaries and associates are presented in the following table in million euros.