The principal accounting policies used when preparing the 2012 financial statements are summarised below.
Judgements, estimates and assumptions
In preparing the financial statements, management used judgements, estimates and assumptions which affect the reported amounts and rights and obligations not disclosed in the balance sheet. In particular, they relate to the revenues from sales to retail customers, the useful life of property, plant and equipment, the fair value of the relevant assets and liabilities, impairment of assets and the size of provisions. The judgements, estimates and assumptions that have been made are based on market information, knowledge, historical experience and other factors that can be deemed reasonable in the circumstances. Actual results could, however, differ from the estimates. Judgements, estimates and assumptions are reviewed on an on-going basis. Changes in accounting estimates are recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised if the revision affects only that period. If the revision also affects future periods, the change is made prospectively in the relevant periods. Any points of particular importance with regard to judgements, estimates and assumptions are set out in the notes to the income statement and balance sheet items.
Impairment of assets
There is evidence of an impairment when the carrying amount of an asset is higher than the recoverable amount. The recoverable amount of an asset is the higher of the sale price less costs to sell and the value in use. An asset's value in use is based on the present value of estimated future cash flows calculated using a pre-tax discount rate which reflects the time value of money and the specific risks of the asset. The recoverable amount of an asset which does not independently generate a cash flow and is dependent on the cash flows of other assets or groups of assets is determined for the cash-generating unit of which the asset is part.
A cash-generating unit is the smallest identifiable group of assets separately generating cash flows that are significantly independent of the cash flows from other assets or groups of assets. Cash-generating units are distinguished on the basis of the economic interrelationship between assets and the generation of external cash flows and not on the basis of separate legal entities.
Goodwill is allocated on initial recognition to one or more cash-generating units in line with the way in which the goodwill is assessed internally by the management.
Impairment tests are performed each half year. If there is evidence of impairment, the recoverable amount of the relevant asset or cash-generating unit is determined. The recoverable amount of goodwill is determined each year.
When the carrying amount of assets allocated to a cash-generating unit is higher than the recoverable amount, the carrying amount is reduced to the recoverable amount. This impairment is recognised through the income statement. Impairment of a cash-generating unit is first deducted from the goodwill attributed to that unit (or group of units) and then deducted proportionately from the carrying amount of the other assets of that unit (or group of units).
Impairment may be reversed through the income statement if the reasons for it no longer exist or have changed. Impairment is only reversed up to the original carrying amount less regular depreciation. Impairment losses on goodwill are not reversed.
The euro (€) is Eneco's functional currency and the currency in which the financial statements are presented. Transactions in foreign currencies are translated into euros at the exchange rate prevailing on the date of the transaction. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies on the reporting date are translated into euros at the exchange rate prevailing on the reporting date. Foreign currency exchange differences that arise on translation are recognised through the income statement.
If the functional currency of a foreign subsidiary, joint venture or associate is not the euro, foreign currency exchange differences arising from translation are recognised as translation differences in equity. The accumulated translation difference is recognised through the income statement when a foreign subsidiary, joint venture or associate is sold.
Assets and liabilities with a counterparty are netted off if there is a contractual right and the intention to do so. In the absence of an intention or actual netted settlement, the existence of an asset or liability is determined for each contract.