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Adjustments to reconcile profit before tax to net cash provided by operating activities
1 Basis of preparation and significant accounting policies The accounting policies applied in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements for the 2014 fiscal year are set out below. These have been applied consistently for all periods presented, except as otherwise stated.
Business activity Ryanair Limited and its subsidiaries (―Ryanair Limited‖) has operated as an international airline since commencing operations in 1985. On August 23, 1996, Ryanair Holdings Limited, a newly formed holding company, acquired the entire issued share capital of Ryanair Limited. On May 16, 1997, Ryanair Holdings Limited re-registered as a public limited company, Ryanair Holdings plc (the ―Company‖). Ryanair Holdings plc and its subsidiaries are hereafter together referred to as ―Ryanair Holdings plc‖ (or ―we‖, ―our‖, ―us‖, ―Ryanair‖ or the ―Company‖) and currently operate a low-fares airline headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. All trading activity continues to be undertaken by the group of companies headed by Ryanair Limited.
Statement of compliance
In accordance with the International Accounting Standards (―IAS‖) Regulation (EC 1606 (2002)) which applies throughout the European Union (―EU‖), the consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standards and International Financial Reporting Standards (―IFRS‖) as adopted by the EU (―IFRS as adopted by the EU‖), which are effective for the year ended and as at March 31, 2014. In addition to complying with its legal obligation to comply with IFRS as adopted by the EU, the consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with IFRS as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (―IASB‖) (―IFRS as issued by the IASB‖). The consolidated financial statements have also been prepared in accordance with the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2013.
Details of legislative changes and new accounting standards or amendments to accounting standards, which are not yet effective and have not been early adopted in these consolidated financial statements, and the likely impact on future financial statements are set forth below in the prospective accounting changes section.
New accounting standards adopted during the year
The following new and amended standards, that have been issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and are effective under those standards for the first time for the financial year beginning on or after January 1, 2013, and have also been endorsed by the EU, have been applied by the Group for the first time in the consolidated financial statements;
IAS 1 (amendment 2011), “Presentation of Items of financial statements”.
IAS 19 (amendment 2011), “Employee benefits”.
IFRS 7 (amendment), ―Disclosures – Offsetting Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities” IFRS 13, ―Fair Value Measurement”.
―Improvements to IFRSs‖. 2009-2011 Cycle.
IAS 27 (amended 2011), ―Separate financial statements‖.
IAS 28 (amended 2011), ―Associates and joint ventures‖.
IFRS 10, “Consolidated Financial Statements”.
IFRS 11, ―Joint arrangements”.
IFRS 12, ―Disclosure of interests in other entities”.
In addition the following amendment has been early adopted:
IAS 36 (amendment), “Recoverable Amount Disclosures for Non-Financial Assets” (effective for fiscal periods beginning on or after January 1, 2014).
The adoption of these new or amended standards did not have a material impact on our financial position, results from operations, or disclosures in the year ended March 31, 2014.
Basis of preparation These consolidated financial statements are presented in euro millions, the euro being the functional currency of the parent entity and the majority of the group companies. They are prepared on the historical cost basis, except for derivative financial instruments and available-for-sale securities which are stated at fair value, and share-based payments, which are based on fair value determined as at the grant date of the relevant share options. Certain non-current assets, when they are classified as held for sale, are stated at the lower of cost and fair value less costs to sell.
Critical accounting policies
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with IFRS requires management to make judgements, estimates and assumptions that affect the application of policies and reported amounts of assets and liabilities, income and expenses. These estimates and associated assumptions are based on historical experience and various other factors believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, and the results of such estimates form the basis of judgements about carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Actual results could differ materially from these estimates. These underlying assumptions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. A revision to an accounting estimate is recognised in the period in which the estimate is revised if the revision affects only that period or in the period of the revision and future periods if these are also affected. Principal sources of estimation uncertainty have been set forth in the critical accounting policies section below. Actual results may differ from estimates.
The Company believes that its critical accounting policies, which are those that require management‘s most difficult, subjective and complex judgements, are those described in this section. These critical accounting policies, the judgements and other uncertainties affecting application of these policies and the sensitivity of reported results to changes in conditions and assumptions are factors to be considered in reviewing the consolidated financial statements.
As of March 31, 2014, Ryanair had €5.1 billion of property, plant and equipment long-lived assets, virtually all of which consisted of aircraft. In accounting for long-lived assets, Ryanair must make estimates about the expected useful lives of the assets, the expected residual values of the assets and the potential for impairment based on the fair value of the assets and the cash flows they generate.
In estimating the lives and expected residual values of its aircraft, Ryanair has primarily relied on its own and industry experience, recommendations from Boeing, the manufacturer of all of the Company‘s aircraft, and other data available in the marketplace. Subsequent revisions to these estimates, which can be significant, could be caused by changes to Ryanair‘s maintenance programme, changes in utilisation of the aircraft, changes to governmental regulations on aging aircraft, and changing market prices for new and used aircraft of the same or similar types. Ryanair evaluates its estimates and assumptions in each reporting period, and, when warranted, adjusts these assumptions. Generally, these adjustments are accounted for on a prospective basis, through depreciation expense.
Ryanair periodically evaluates its long-lived assets for impairment. Factors that would indicate potential impairment would include, but are not limited to, significant decreases in the market value of an aircraft, a significant change in an aircraft‘s physical condition and operating or cash flow losses associated with the use of the aircraft. While the airline industry as a whole has experienced many of these factors from time to time, Ryanair has not yet been seriously impacted and continues to record positive cash flows from these longlived assets. Consequently, Ryanair has not yet identified any impairments related to its existing aircraft fleet.
The Company will continue to monitor its long-lived assets and the general airline operating environment.
The Company‘s estimate of the recoverable amount of aircraft residual values is 15% of current market value of new aircraft, determined periodically, based on independent valuations and actual aircraft disposals during prior periods. Aircraft are depreciated over a useful life of 23 years from the date of manufacture to residual value.
Heavy maintenance An element of the cost of an acquired aircraft is attributed, on acquisition, to its service potential, reflecting the maintenance condition of the engines and airframe.
For aircraft held under operating lease agreements, Ryanair is contractually committed to either return the aircraft in a certain condition or to compensate the lessor based on the actual condition of the airframe, engines and life-limited parts upon return. In order to fulfill such conditions of the lease, maintenance, in the form of major airframe overhaul, engine maintenance checks, and restitution of major life-limited parts, is required to be performed during the period of the lease and upon return of the aircraft to the lessor. The estimated airframe and engine maintenance costs and the costs associated with the restitution of major lifelimited parts, are accrued and charged to profit or loss over the lease term for this contractual obligation, based on the present value of the estimated future cost of the major airframe overhaul, engine maintenance checks, and restitution of major life-limited parts, calculated by reference to the number of hours flown or cycles operated during the year.
Ryanair‘s aircraft operating lease agreements typically have a term of seven years, which closely correlates with the timing of heavy maintenance checks. The contractual obligation to maintain and replenish aircraft held under operating lease exists independently of any future actions within the control of Ryanair.
While Ryanair may, in very limited circumstances, sub-lease its aircraft, it remains fully liable to perform all of its contractual obligations under the ‗head lease‘ notwithstanding any such sub-leasing.
Both of these elements of accounting policies involve the use of estimates in determining the quantum of both the initial maintenance asset and/or the amount of provisions to be recorded and the respective periods over which such amounts are charged to income. In making such estimates, Ryanair has primarily relied on its own and industry experience, industry regulations and recommendations from Boeing; however, these estimates can be subject to revision, depending on a number of factors, such as the timing of the planned maintenance, the ultimate utilisation of the aircraft, changes to government regulations and increases or decreases in estimated costs. Ryanair evaluates its estimates and assumptions in each reporting period and, when warranted, adjusts its assumptions, which generally impact maintenance and depreciation expense in the income statement on a prospective basis.
Income tax on the profit or loss for the year comprises current and deferred tax. Current tax payable on taxable profits is recognised as an expense in the period in which the profits arise using tax rates enacted or substantively enacted at the balance sheet date. Deferred tax is provided in full, using the balance sheet liability method on temporary differences arising from the tax basis of assets and liabilities and their carrying amount in the consolidated financial statements.
Social insurance, passenger taxes and sales taxes are recorded as a liability based on laws enacted in the jurisdictions to which they relate. Liabilities are recorded when an obligation has been incurred.
Ryanair reviews its tax obligations by jurisdiction regularly. There are many complexities and judgements in determining tax obligations due to the inherent complexity of tax law, the manner in which airline businesses are carried out whereby operations can begin and end in different jurisdictions and assumptions made about the timing and amount of individual balances to be included in financial statements and tax returns.
Ryanair has an internal tax group and takes professional advice on more complex matters in estimating its tax liabilities. Ryanair also deals extensively with revenue authorities in each jurisdiction in which it operates. Tax liabilities are based on the best estimate of the likely obligation at each reporting period. These estimates are subject to revision based on the outcome of tax audits and discussions with revenue authorities that can take several years to conclude.
Basis of consolidation
The consolidated financial statements comprise the financial statements of Ryanair Holdings plc and its subsidiary undertakings as of March 31, 2014. Subsidiaries are entities controlled by Ryanair. Control exists when Ryanair is exposed or has rights to variable returns from its involvement with the investee and has the ability to affect those returns through its power over the investee.
All inter-company account balances and any unrealised income or expenses arising from intra-group transactions have been eliminated in preparing the consolidated financial statements.
The results of subsidiary undertakings acquired or disposed of in the period are included in the consolidated income statement from the date of acquisition or up to the date of disposal. Upon the acquisition of a business, fair values are attributed to the separable net assets acquired.
Foreign currency translation
Items included in the financial statements of each of the group entities are measured using the currency of the primary economic environment in which the entity operates (the ―functional currency‖). The consolidated financial statements are presented in euro, which is the functional currency of the majority of the group entities.
Transactions arising in foreign currencies are translated into the respective functional currencies at the rates of exchange in effect at the dates of the transactions. Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are re-translated at the rate of exchange prevailing at the balance sheet date. Non-monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are translated to euro at foreign exchange rates in effect at the dates the transactions were effected. Foreign currency differences arising on retranslation are recognised in profit or loss, except for differences arising on qualifying cash-flow hedges, which are recognised in other comprehensive income.