Summary of significant accounting policies
Basis of preparation
DSM’s consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as adopted by the European Union and the provisions of section 362-8 of Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code. The accounting policies applied by DSM comply with IFRS and the pronouncements of the International Financial Reporting Interpretation Committee (IFRIC) effective at 31 December 2021.
The impact of the IBOR reform (phase 1, effective as of 2020, and phase 2, effective as of 2021) on the operations and results of DSM is not material. Furthermore, other new or amended standards that are effective from 1 January 2021 do not have a material effect on DSM’s consolidated financial statements. In addition, new or amended standards effective after 1 January 2022 were neither adopted early, nor expected to have significant impact.
Consolidation including joint arrangements
The consolidated financial statements comprise the financial statements of Royal DSM and its subsidiaries (together ‘DSM’ or ‘group’). As a parent company, DSM is exposed, or has a right, to the variable returns from its involvement with its subsidiaries and has the ability to affect the returns through its power over the subsidiary. The financial data of subsidiaries are fully consolidated. Non-controlling interests in the group’s equity and profit and loss are stated separately. Subsidiaries are consolidated from the acquisition date until the date on which DSM ceases to have control. From the acquisition date onwards, all intra-group balances and transactions and unrealized profits or losses from intra-group transactions are eliminated, with one exception: unrealized losses are not eliminated if there is evidence of an impairment of the asset transferred. In such cases, an impairment of the asset is recognized.
A joint arrangement is an entity in which DSM holds an interest and which is jointly controlled by DSM and one or more other venturers under a contractual arrangement. A joint arrangement can either be a joint venture where DSM and the other partner(s) have rights to the net assets of the arrangement, or a joint operation where DSM and the partner(s) have rights to the assets, and obligations for the liabilities of the arrangement. For joint ventures, the investment in the net assets is recognized and accounted for in accordance with the equity method. For a joint operation, assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses are recognized in the financial statements of DSM in accordance with the contractual entitlement or obligations of DSM.
Business combinations are accounted for using the acquisition method. The cost of an acquisition is measured as the aggregate of the consideration transferred, including liabilities incurred, measured at acquisition date fair value, and the amount of any non-controlling interest in the acquiree. Acquisition costs incurred are expensed.
As of the acquisition date, identifiable assets acquired, liabilities assumed and any non-controlling interest in the acquiree are recognized separately from goodwill. Identifiable assets acquired and the liabilities assumed are measured at acquisition date fair value. For each business combination, DSM elects whether it measures the non-controlling interest in the acquiree at fair value or at the proportionate share of the acquiree’s identifiable net assets. Any contingent consideration payable is measured at fair value at the acquisition date.
For business combinations with the acquisition date in the prior reporting period, comparative information is revised in case adjustments are made during the measurement period to the provisional amounts, determined as part of the purchase price allocation (PPA), based on information available at the acquisition date.
Segment information is presented in respect of the group’s reportable operating segments, about which separate financial information is available that is regularly evaluated by the chief operating decision maker. DSM has determined that Nutrition, Materials and the Innovation Center represent reportable segments in addition to Corporate Activities. The Managing Board decides how to allocate resources and assesses the performance of the clusters. Cluster performance is reported and reviewed down to the level of Adjusted EBITDA. The clusters are organized in accordance with the type of products produced and the nature of the markets served. The same accounting policies that are applied for the consolidated financial statements of DSM are also applied for the operating segments. Prices for transactions between segments are determined on an arm’s length basis. Segment results, assets and liabilities include items directly attributable to a segment as well as those that can reasonably and consistently be allocated. Selected information on a country and regional basis is provided in addition to the information about operating segments.
Foreign currency translation
The presentation currency of the group is the euro.
Each entity of the group records transactions and balance sheet items in its functional currency. Transactions denominated in a currency other than the functional currency are recorded at the spot exchange rates prevailing at the date of the transactions. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in a currency other than the functional currency of the entity are translated at the closing rates. Exchange differences resulting from the settlement of these transactions and from the translation of monetary items are recognized in the income statement.
Non-monetary assets that are measured on the basis of historical costs denominated in a currency other than the functional currency continue to be translated against the rate at initial recognition and will not result in exchange differences.
On consolidation, the balance sheets of subsidiaries that do not have the euro as their functional currency are translated into euros at the closing rate. The income statements of these entities are translated into euros at the average rates for the relevant period. Goodwill paid on acquisition is recorded in the functional currency of the acquired entity. Exchange differences arising from the translation of the net investment in entities with a functional currency other than the euro are recorded in Other comprehensive income. The same applies to exchange differences arising from borrowings and other financial instruments insofar as those instruments hedge the currency risk related to the net investment. On disposal of an entity with a functional currency other than the euro, the cumulative exchange differences relating to the translation of the net investment are recognized in profit or loss.
Distinction between current and non-current
An asset (liability) is classified as current when it is expected to be realized (settled) within 12 months after the balance sheet date.
Financial assets and financial liabilities are offset and the net amount is presented in the balance sheet when DSM has a legal right to offset the amounts and intends either to settle them on a net basis or to realize the asset and settle the liability simultaneously.
Goodwill represents the excess of the cost of an acquisition over DSM’s share in the net fair value of the identifiable assets and liabilities of an acquired subsidiary, joint venture or associate. Goodwill paid on acquisition of subsidiaries is included in intangible assets. Goodwill paid on acquisition of joint ventures or associates is included in the carrying amount of these entities. Goodwill recognized as an intangible asset is not amortized but tested for impairment annually, and when there are indications that the carrying amount may exceed the recoverable amount. A gain or loss on the disposal of an entity includes the carrying amount of goodwill relating to the entity sold.
Intangible assets acquired in a business combination are recognized at fair value on the date of acquisition and subsequently amortized over their expected useful lives, which vary from 4 to 20 years.
Separately acquired licenses, patents, drawing rights and application software are carried at historical cost less straight-line amortization and less any impairment losses. The expected useful lives vary from 4 to 15 years. Costs of software maintenance are expensed when incurred. Capital expenditure that is directly related to the development of application software is recognized as an intangible asset and amortized over its estimated useful life (5 to 8 years).
Research costs are expensed when incurred. Development expenditure is capitalized if the recognition criteria are met and if it is demonstrated that it is technically feasible to complete the asset; that the entity intends to complete the asset; that the entity is able to sell the asset; that the asset is capable of generating future economic benefits; that adequate resources are available to complete the asset; and that the expenditure attributable to the asset can be reliably measured. Development expenditure is amortized over the asset’s useful life. Development projects under construction are included under ‘Development projects’.
Property, plant and equipment
Property, plant and equipment are measured at cost less depreciation calculated on a straight-line basis and less any impairment losses. Interest during construction is capitalized when it meets the criteria of a qualifying asset. Expenditures relating to major scheduled turnarounds are capitalized and depreciated over the period up to the next turnaround.
Property, plant and equipment are systematically depreciated over their estimated useful lives. The estimated remaining lives of assets are reviewed every year, taking account of commercial and technological obsolescence as well as normal wear and tear. The initially assumed expected useful lives are in principle as follows: for buildings 10–50 years; for plant and machinery 5–15 years; for other equipment 4–10 years. Land is not depreciated.
An item of property, plant and equipment is derecognized upon disposal or when no future economic benefits are expected to arise from the continued use or the sale of the asset. Any gain or loss arising on derecognition of the asset is recorded in profit or loss.
DSM recognizes a lease liability and a corresponding right-of-use asset at the commencement date of a lease. The lease liability is initially measured at the present value of the remaining lease payments that are not paid at the commencement date. In general, DSM splits the contractual consideration into a lease and a non-lease component based on their relative stand-alone prices. For vehicle leases, however, DSM applies the practical expedient not to make this split but rather accounts for the fixed consideration as a single lease component. If available, DSM applies the implicit interest rate in the contract to discount the remaining lease payments; only else, DSM uses the applicable incremental borrowing rate as the discount rate. In determining the incremental borrowing rate, DSM applies the practical expedient to use a single discount rate to portfolios of leases with reasonably similar characteristics. Over time, the lease liability is increased by the interest expense related to the unwinding of the lease liability and decreased by the lease payments made. The lease liability is remeasured when DSM reassesses or modifies the contractual terms and conditions, including indexation.
The corresponding right-of-use assets are measured at cost less any depreciation on a straight-line basis over the expected lease term, less any impairment losses, and adjusted for remeasurements of the lease liability. In line with the initially assumed expected useful life of the corresponding asset class within Property, plant and equipment, the minimum expected lease term for building leases is in principle 10 years. However, the contractual terms or specific circumstances could require applying the shorter non-cancellable period in determining the expected lease term. For vehicle leases, the expected lease term is set equal to the contractual term (4–5 years).
Payments related to short-term leases (leases with a term shorter than 12 months) are recognized on a straight-line basis in profit or loss.
Impairment of non-financial assets
When there are indications that the carrying amount of a non-financial asset (an intangible asset or an item of property, plant and equipment) may exceed the estimated recoverable amount (the higher of its value in use and fair value less costs to sell), the possible existence of an impairment loss is investigated. If an asset does not generate largely independent cash flows, the recoverable amount is determined for the cash generating unit (CGU) to which the asset belongs. In assessing the value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market interest rates and the risks specific to the asset.
When the recoverable amount of a non-financial asset is less than its carrying amount, the carrying amount is impaired to its recoverable amount and an impairment charge is recognized in profit or loss. An impairment loss is reversed when there has been a change in estimate that is relevant for the determination of the asset’s recoverable amount since the last impairment loss was recognized. Impairment losses for goodwill are never reversed.
Associates and joint ventures
An associate is an entity over which DSM has significant influence but no control or joint control, usually evidenced by a shareholding that entitles DSM to between 20% and 50% of the voting rights. A joint venture is an entity over which DSM has joint control and is entitled to its share of the net assets and liabilities. Investments in associates and joint ventures are accounted for by the equity method, which involves recognition in the income statement of DSM’s share of the associate’s or joint venture’s profit or loss for the year determined in accordance with the accounting policies of DSM. Any other results at DSM in relation to associated companies are recognized under Other results related to associates and joint ventures. DSM’s interest in an associate or joint venture is carried in the balance sheet at its share in the net assets of the associate or joint venture together with goodwill paid on acquisition, less any impairment loss.
When DSM’s share in the loss of an associate or joint venture exceeds the carrying amount of that entity, the carrying amount is reduced to zero. No further losses are recognized, unless DSM has responsibility for obligations relating to the entity.
Financial instruments are contractual rights and obligations resulting in an inflow or outflow of financial assets or the issue of equity instruments. They are initially measured at fair value plus any directly attributable transaction costs. Transaction costs for financial instruments assigned to the category ‘At fair value through profit and loss’ are recognized directly in the income statement. Subsequent measurement is based on the classification of financial instruments defined in IFRS 9.
Non-derivative financial instruments
DSM initially recognizes financial assets and financial liabilities on the date when DSM becomes a party to the contractual provisions of the instrument. DSM derecognizes a financial asset when the contractual rights to the cash flows from the asset expire, or when it transfers the rights to receive the contractual cash flows in a transaction in which substantially all the risks and rewards of ownership of the financial asset are transferred. DSM derecognizes a financial liability when its contractual obligations are discharged or canceled, or expire.
Other financial assets
Other financial assets comprise loans to associates and joint ventures, other participating interests and other receivables.
DSM’s business model objective for loans is ‘held-to-collect contractual cash flows only’. Held to collect loans, other receivables and other deferred items, for which the contractual cash flows consist solely of principal and interest, are measured at amortized cost, using the effective interest method, which generally corresponds to the nominal value, less an adjustment for expected credit loss. Upon disposal of these assets the gain or loss is recognized in profit or loss.
Other receivables, for which the contractual cash flows are not solely principal and interest, are recognized at fair value, with changes in fair value recognized in profit or loss.
Other participating interests comprise equity interests in entities in which DSM has no significant influence; these are accounted for as assets at fair value through profit or loss, or DSM uses the irrevocable election to present the fair value changes in other comprehensive income (Fair value reserve) instead of profit or loss. These fair value changes in OCI will not be recycled through profit and loss upon disposal of the interest. All dividends received will be presented in profit or loss.
Expected credit loss
All financial assets measured at amortized cost include an allowance for expected credit loss as of the date of initial recognition of the asset. Expected credit losses are measured as the present value of the difference between the cash flows due to DSM, and the cash flows that DSM expects to receive. Expected credit losses, are reassessed over time and recognized in the income statement. Loss allowances for trade receivables are always measured at lifetime expected credit loss.
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost and net realizable value. The first in, first out (FIFO) method of valuation is used unless the nature of the inventories requires the use of a different cost formula, in which case the weighted average cost method is used. The cost of intermediates and finished goods includes directly attributable costs and related production overhead expenses. Net realizable value is determined as the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business, less the estimated costs of completion and the estimated costs necessary to make the sale. Products whose manufacturing cost cannot be calculated because of joint cost components are stated at net realizable value after deduction of a margin for selling and distribution efforts.
Current receivables, which include trade receivables, income tax receivables and other current receivables, for which the contractual cash flows are solely principal and interest are initially recognized at fair value plus any directly attributable transaction costs.
Subsequent to initial recognition, they are measured at amortized cost using the effective interest method, which generally corresponds to nominal value, less an adjustment for expected credit loss.
Current investments are initially recognized at fair value plus any directly attributable transaction costs. Subsequent to initial recognition, they are measured at amortized cost using the effective interest method. Deposits with banks with a maturity between 3 and 12 months are classified as current investments.
Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents comprise cash at banks and in hand and deposits held at call with banks with a maturity of less than three months at inception. Bank overdrafts are included in current liabilities. Included in cash and cash equivalents are investments in money market funds that do not meet the SPPI (Solely Payments of Principal & Interest) criterion but are held to meet short-term cash demand. Cash and cash equivalents are measured at fair value through profit and loss, or amortized cost.
Non-current assets and disposal groups held for sale
Non-current assets and disposal groups (assets and liabilities relating to an activity that is to be sold) are classified as ‘held for sale’ if their carrying amount is to be recovered principally through a sales transaction rather than through continuing use. The reclassification takes place when the assets are available for immediate sale and the sale is highly probable. These conditions are usually met as from the date on which a letter of intent or agreement to sell is ready for signing. Non-current assets and disposal groups held for sale are measured at the lower of carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell. Non-current assets held for sale are not depreciated or amortized. For transparency, non-current assets and disposal groups that will contribute to joint ventures are reported separately from other assets and liabilities held for sale.
Discontinued operations comprise those activities that were disposed of during the period or which were classified as held for sale at the end of the period and represent a separate major line of business or geographical area that can be clearly distinguished for operational and financial reporting purposes.
Royal DSM Shareholders’ equity
DSM’s ordinary shares and Cumulative Preference Shares are classified as Royal DSM Shareholders’ equity. This is the case for the latter, as there is no mandatory redemption, and distributions to the shareholders are at the discretion of DSM. The price paid for repurchased DSM shares (treasury shares) is deducted from Royal DSM Shareholders’ equity until the shares are canceled or reissued. Treasury shares are presented in the treasury share reserve. When treasury shares are sold or reissued, the amount received is recognized as an increase in equity. Dividend to be distributed to holders of Cumulative Preference Shares is recognized as a liability when the Supervisory Board approves the proposal for profit distribution. Dividend to be distributed to holders of ordinary shares is recognized as a liability when the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders approves the profit appropriation.
Provisions are recognized when all of the following conditions are met: (1) there is a present legal or constructive obligation as a result of past events, (2) it is probable that a transfer of economic benefits will settle the obligation, and (3) a reliable estimate can be made of the amount of the obligation.
The probable amount required to settle long-term obligations is discounted if the effect of discounting is material. Where discounting is used, the increase in the provision due to the passage of time is recognized as financial expense.
Borrowings are not held for trading and are initially recognized at fair value of the proceeds received, net of transaction costs. Subsequently, borrowings are stated at amortized cost using the effective interest method. Measurement at amortized cost includes any discount or premium on the borrowing. Interest expenses are recorded as financial expense in profit or loss.
If the interest rate risk relating to a long-term borrowing is hedged through a fair value hedge, and the hedge is effective, the carrying amount of the long-term loan is adjusted for changes in fair value of the interest component of the hedged loan.
Other liabilities are measured at amortized cost, which generally corresponds to the nominal value, or at fair value through profit and loss. The latter is mainly applied to acquisition-related liabilities.
Revenue for contracts with customers
Revenue from contracts with customers is recognized by identifying the contract and its performance obligations as well as determination and allocation of the transaction price to these performance obligations. At DSM, revenue related to the sale of goods is recognized in the income statement when the performance obligation is satisfied. This is at the point in time when transfer of control of the goods passes to the buyer. Revenue recognized is measured at the fair value of the contractual transaction price allocated to the performance obligation that is satisfied.
Income coming from the rendering of services is recognized when the service, i.e., the performance obligation, has been performed. The revenue recognized is measured at the fair value of the contractual transaction price allocated to the performance obligation that is satisfied.
Net sales represent the invoice value less estimated rebates, cash discounts, and indirect taxes.
Income related to the sale or licensing of technologies or technological expertise is recognized in the income statement either at a point in time or over time, depending on when the contractually identified performance obligations are satisfied. Performance obligations related to license income include the transfer of rights and obligations associated with those technologies. License income is reported in Net sales when the income is part of the ordinary and recurring activities of the business and, if this is not the case, it is reported in Other operating income.
Interest income is recognized on a time-proportionate basis using the effective interest method.
Dividend income is recognized when the right to receive payment is established.
Government grants are recognized at their fair value if there is reasonable assurance that the grant will be received and all related conditions will be complied with. Cost grants are recognized as income over the periods necessary to match the grant on a systematic basis to the cost that it is intended to compensate. If the grant is an investment grant, its fair value is initially recognized as deferred income in Other non-current liabilities and then released to profit or loss over the expected useful life of the relevant asset.
Performance shares and restricted share units are granted free of charge to eligible staff and generally vest after three years on the achievement of previously determined target vesting conditions. The cost of performance share units and restricted share units is measured by reference to the fair value of the DSM shares on the date on which the performance share units and restricted share units were granted and is recognized in profit or loss (Employee benefit costs) during the vesting period, together with a corresponding increase in equity. Vesting conditions other than market conditions are taken into account by adjusting the number of equity instruments, so that the amount recognized during the vesting period in employee benefit costs is based on the number of equity instruments that eventually vest.
The costs of option plans are measured by reference to the fair value of the options on the date on which the options are granted. The fair value is determined using the Black-Scholes model, taking into account market conditions linked to the price of the DSM share. The costs of these options are recognized in profit or loss (Employee benefit costs) during the vesting period, together with a corresponding increase in Equity in the case of equity-settled options or Other non-current liabilities in the case of cash-settled options. No expense is recognized for options that do not ultimately vest, except for options where vesting is conditional upon a market condition.
DSM is subject to legislation encouraging reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and has been awarded emission rights (principally CO2 emission rights) in a number of jurisdictions. Emission rights are reserved for meeting delivery obligations and are recognized at cost. Revenue is recognized when surplus emission rights are sold to third parties. When actual emissions exceed the emission rights available to DSM, a liability is recognized for the expected additional costs.
Alternative performance measures (APMs)
DSM uses Alternative performance measures to present and discuss DSM’s financial results. To arrive at these APMs, adjustments are made for material items of income and expense arising from circumstances such as acquisitions and divestments, restructuring, impairments and other events.
Other APM adjusting events include site closure costs, environmental cleaning, litigation settlements or other non-operational (contractual) arrangements. Other than items related to acquisition and integration costs incurred in the first year from the acquisition date (including non-recurring inventory value adjustments) as well as adjustments due to previously recognized APM adjusting events, the threshold is €10 million.
Income tax expense is recognized in the income statement except to the extent that it relates to an item recognized directly in Other comprehensive income or Shareholders’ equity.
Current tax is the expected tax payable or receivable on the taxable income for the year, using tax rates enacted at the balance sheet date, and any adjustment to tax payable with respect to previous years. The current tax position also reflects any uncertainty related to income taxes. Current tax assets and liabilities are offset only if certain criteria are met.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the expected tax consequences of temporary differences between the carrying amount of assets and liabilities and their tax base. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured at the tax rates that have been enacted or substantially enacted at the balance sheet date, and reflect any uncertainty related to income taxes and are expected to apply when the related deferred tax assets are realized or the deferred tax liabilities are settled. Deferred tax assets, including assets arising from losses carried forward and tax credits, are reassessed over time and recognized to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profits will be available against which the deductible temporary differences and unused tax losses can be utilized. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are stated at nominal value.
Deferred taxes are not provided for the following temporary differences: the initial recognition of goodwill, the initial recognition of assets or liabilities that affect neither accounting nor taxable profit, and differences relating to investments in subsidiaries to the extent that they will probably not reverse in the foreseeable future. Deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are offset and presented net when there is a legally enforceable right to offset, and the assets and liabilities relate to income taxes levied by the same taxation authority.
Derivatives are measured at fair value at initial recognition and subsequent changes are recognized in profit or loss, unless hedge accounting is applied.
DSM uses derivatives such as foreign currency forward contracts and interest rate swaps to hedge risks associated with foreign currency and interest rate fluctuations. In addition, DSM may use commodity swap or forward contracts to hedge risks associated with exposure to fluctuations in commodity prices.
Derivatives used as hedge instrument are recognized in the balance sheet at fair value and changes in fair value are recognized in profit or loss unless cash flow hedge accounting or net investment hedge accounting is applied.
Cash flow hedge
Changes in the fair value of derivatives designated and qualifying as cash flow hedges are recognized in Other comprehensive income (Hedging reserve) to the extent that the hedge is effective. Upon recognition of the related asset or liability, the cumulative gain or loss is transferred from the hedging reserve and included in the carrying amount of the hedged item if it is a non-financial asset or liability. Any ineffective portion of the changes of the fair value of the derivative is recognized immediately in profit and loss. If the forecast transaction is no longer expected to occur, the hedge no longer meets the criteria for hedge accounting, the hedging instrument expires or is sold, terminated or exercised, or the designation is revoked, then hedge accounting is discontinued prospectively. If the forecast transaction is no longer expected to occur, then the amount accumulated in equity is reclassified to profit or loss. If the hedged item is a financial asset or liability, the gain or loss is transferred to profit or loss.
Net investment hedge
Changes in the fair value of derivatives designated and qualifying as net investment hedges are recognized in Other comprehensive income (Translation reserve) to the extent that the hedge is effective and the change in fair value is caused by changes in currency exchange rates. Accumulated gains and losses are released from Other comprehensive income and are included in profit or loss when the net investment is disposed of.
Fair value hedge
Changes in the fair value of derivatives designated and qualifying as fair value hedges are immediately recognized in the income statement, together with any changes in the fair value of the hedged assets or liabilities attributable to the hedged risk.
Pensions and other post-employment benefits
For DSM’s defined contribution plans, the obligations are limited to the payment of contributions, which are recognized as Employee benefit costs.
For defined benefit plans, the aggregate of the value of the defined benefit obligation and the fair value of plan assets for each plan is recognized as a net defined benefit liability or asset. Defined benefit obligations are determined using the projected unit credit method. Plan assets are recognized at fair value. If the fair value of plan assets exceeds the present value of the defined benefit obligation, a net asset is only recognized to the extent that the asset is available for refunds to the employer or for reductions in future contributions to the plan. Defined benefit pension costs consist of three elements: service costs, net interest, and remeasurements. Service costs are part of Employee benefit costs and consist of current service costs. Past service costs and results of plan settlements are included in Other operating income or expense. Net interest is part of Financial income and expense and is determined on the basis of the value of the net defined benefit asset or liability at the start of the year, and on the interest on high-quality corporate bonds. Remeasurements are actuarial gains and losses, the return (or interest cost) on net plan assets (or liabilities) excluding amounts included in net interest and changes in the effect of the asset ceiling. These remeasurements are recognized in Other comprehensive income as they occur and are not recycled through profit or loss at a later stage.