2.2 Significant accounting policies

Related parties

Related parties are mainly parties that have the same parent as Enel SpA, companies that directly or indirectly through one or more intermediaries control, are controlled or are subject to the joint control of Enel SpA and in which the latter has a holding that enables it to exercise significant influence. Related parties also include entities that operate post-employment benefit plans for employees of Enel SpA or its associates (specifically, the FOPEN and FONDENEL pension funds), as well as the members of the boards of statutory auditors, and their immediate family, and the key management personnel, and their immediate family, of Enel SpA and its subsidiaries. Key management personnel comprises management personnel who have the power and direct or indirect responsibility for the planning, management and control of the activities of the Company. They include directors.

Subsidiaries

Subsidiaries are all entities over which the Group has control. The Group controls an entity, regardless of the nature of the formal relationship between them, when it is exposed, or has rights, to variable returns deriving from its involvement and has the ability, through the exercise of its power over the investee, to affect its returns.

The figures of the subsidiaries are consolidated on a full line-by-line basis as from the date control is acquired until such control ceases.

Consolidation procedures

The financial statements of subsidiaries used to prepare the consolidated financial statements were prepared at December 31, 2020 in accordance with the accounting policies adopted by the Group.

If a subsidiary uses different accounting policies from those adopted in preparing the consolidated financial statements for similar transactions and facts in similar circumstances, appropriate adjustments are made to ensure conformity with Group accounting policies.

Assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses of a subsidiary acquired or disposed of during the year are included in or excluded from the consolidated financial statements, respectively, from the date the Group gains control or until the date the Group ceases to control the subsidiary.

Profit or loss for the year and the other comprehensive income are attributed to the owners of the Parent and non-controlling interests, even if this results in a loss for non-controlling interests.

All intercompany assets and liabilities, equity item, revenue, expenses and cash flows relating to transactions between entities of the Group are eliminated in full.

Changes in ownership interest in subsidiaries that do not result in loss of control are accounted for as equity transactions, with the carrying amounts of the controlling and non-controlling interests adjusted to reflect changes in their interests in the subsidiary. Any difference between the amount to which non-controlling interests are adjusted and the fair value of the consideration paid or received is recognized in consolidated equity.

When the Group ceases to have control over a subsidiary, any interest retained in the entity is remeasured to its fair value, recognized through profit or loss, at the date when control is lost, recognizing any gain or loss from the loss of control through profit or loss. In addition, any amounts previously recognized in other comprehensive income in respect of the former subsidiary are accounted for as if the Group had directly disposed of the related assets or liabilities.

Investments in associates and joint ventures

An associate is an entity over which the Group has significant influence. Significant influence is the power to participate in decisions concerning the financial and operating policies of the investee without having control or joint control over the investee.

A joint venture is a joint arrangement over which the Group exercises joint control and has rights to the net assets of the arrangement. Joint control is the sharing of control of an arrangement, whereby decisions about the relevant activities require unanimous consent of the parties sharing control.

The Group’s investments in associates and joint ventures are accounted for using the equity method.

Under the equity method, these investments are initially recognized at cost and any goodwill arising from the difference between the cost of the investment and the Group’s share of the net fair value of the investee’s identifiable assets and liabilities at the acquisition date is included in the carrying amount of the investment. Goodwill is not individually tested for impairment.

After the acquisition date, their carrying amount is adjusted to recognize changes in the Group’s share of profit or loss of the associate or joint venture in Group profit or loss. Adjustments to the carrying amount may also be necessary following changes in the Group’s share in the associate or joint venture as a result of changes in the other comprehensive income of the investee. The Group’s share of these changes is recognized in the Group’s other comprehensive income.

Distributions received from joint venture and associates reduce the carrying amount of the investments.

Gains and losses resulting from transactions between the Group and the associates or joint ventures are eliminated to the extent of the interest in the associate or joint venture.

The financial statements of the associates or joint ventures are prepared for the same reporting period as the Group. When necessary, adjustments are made to bring the accounting policies in line with those of the Group.

After application of the equity method, the Group determines whether it is necessary to recognize an impairment loss on its investment in an associate or joint venture. If there is objective evidence of a loss of value, the assets undergo impairment testing pursuant to IAS 36. For more information on impairment, please see the section “Impairment of non-financial assets” in note 2.1 “Use of estimates and management judgment”.

If the investment ceases to be an associate or a joint venture, the Group recognizes any retained investment at its fair value, through profit or loss. Any amounts previously recognized in other comprehensive income in respect of the former associate or joint venture are accounted for as if the Group had directly disposed of the related assets or liabilities.

If the ownership interest in an associate or a joint venture is reduced, but the Group continues to exercise a significant influence or joint control, the Group continues to apply the equity method and the share of the gain or loss that had previously been recognized in other comprehensive income relating to that reduction is accounted for as if the Group had directly disposed of the related assets or liabilities.

When a portion of an investment in an associate or joint venture meets the criteria to be classified as held for sale, any retained portion of an investment in the associate or joint venture that has not been classified as held for sale is accounted for using the equity method until disposal of the portion classified as held for sale takes place.

Joint operations are joint arrangements whereby the Group, which holds joint control, has rights to the assets and obligations for the liabilities relating to the arrangement. For each joint operation, the Group recognized assets, liabilities, costs and revenue on the basis of the provisions of the arrangement rather than the interest held.

Where there is an increase in the interest in a joint arrangement that meets the definition of a business:

  • if the Group acquires control, and had rights over the assets and obligations for the liabilities of the joint arrangement immediately before the acquisition date, then the transaction represents a business combination achieved in stages. Consequently, the Group applies the requirements for a business combination achieved in stages, including the remeasurement of the interest it held previously in the joint operation at its fair value at the acquisition date;
  • if the Group obtains joint control (i.e., it already had an interest in a joint operation without holding joint control), the interest previously held in the joint operation shall not be remeasured.

For more information on the Group’s investments in associates and joint ventures, please see note 24 “Equity-accounted investments”.

Translation of foreign currency items

Transactions in currencies other than the functional currency are initially recognized at the spot exchange rate prevailing on the date of the transaction.

Monetary assets and liabilities denominated in a foreign currency other than the functional currency are subsequently translated using the closing exchange rate (i.e. the spot exchange rate prevailing at the reporting date).

Non-monetary assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currency that are recognized at historical cost are translated using the exchange rate at the date of the transaction. Non-monetary assets and liabilities in foreign currency measured at fair value are translated using the exchange rate at the date the fair value was determined.

Any exchange differences are recognized through profit or loss.

In determining the spot exchange rate to use on initial recognition of the related asset, expense or income (or part of it) on the derecognition of a non-monetary asset or non-monetary liability relating to advance consideration in foreign currency paid or received, the date of the transaction is the date on which the Group initially recognizes the non-monetary asset or non-monetary liability associated with the advance consideration.

If there are multiple advance payments or receipts, the Group determines the transaction date for each payment or receipt of advance consideration.

Translation of financial statements denominated in a foreign currency

For the purposes of the consolidated financial statements, all revenue, expenses, assets and liabilities are stated in euro, which is the presentation currency of the Parent, Enel SpA.

In order to prepare the consolidated financial statements, the financial statements of consolidated companies with functional currencies other than the presentation currency used in the consolidated financial statements are translated into euros by applying the closing exchange rate to the assets and liabilities, including goodwill and consolidation adjustments, and the average exchange rate for the period to the income statement items on the condition it approximates the exchange rates prevailing at the date of the respective transactions.

Any resulting exchange gains or losses are recognized as a separate component of equity in a special reserve. The gains and losses are recognized proportionately in the income statement on the disposal (partial or total) of the subsidiary.

When the functional currency of a consolidated company is the currency of a hyperinflationary economy, the Group restates the financial statements in accordance with IAS 29 before applying the specific conversion method set out below.

In order to consider the impact of hyperinflation on the local currency exchange rate, the financial position and performance (i.e. assets, liabilities, equity items, revenue and expenses) of a company whose functional currency is the currency of a hyperinflationary economy are translated into the Group’s presentation currency (the euro) using the exchange rate prevailing at the reporting date, except for comparative amounts presented in the previous year’s financial statements which are not adjusted for subsequent changes in the price level or subsequent changes in exchange rates.

Business combinations

Business combinations initiated before January 1, 2010 and completed within that financial year are recognized on the basis of IFRS 3 (2004).

Such business combinations were recognized using the purchase method, where the purchase cost is equal to the fair value at the date of the exchange of the assets acquired and the liabilities incurred or assumed, plus costs directly attributable to the acquisition. This cost was allocated by recognizing the assets, liabilities and identifiable contingent liabilities of the acquired company at their fair values. Any positive difference between the cost of the acquisition and the fair value of the net assets acquired attributable to the owners of the Parent was recognized as goodwill. If the difference is negative, it is recognized through profit or loss.

The carrying amount of non-controlling interests was determined in proportion to the interest held by non-controlling shareholders in the net assets. In the case of business combinations achieved in stages, at the date of acquisition any adjustment to the fair value of the net assets acquired previously was recognized in equity; the amount of goodwill was determined for each transaction separately based on the fair values of the acquiree’s net assets at the date of each exchange transaction.

Business combinations carried out as from January 1, 2010 are recognized on the basis of IFRS 3 (2008), which is referred to as IFRS 3 (Revised) hereafter.

More specifically, business combinations are recognized using the acquisition method, where the purchase cost (the consideration transferred) is equal to the fair value at the purchase date of the assets acquired and the liabilities incurred or assumed, as well as any equity instruments issued by the purchaser. The consideration transferred includes the fair value of any asset or liability resulting from a contingent consideration arrangement.

Costs directly attributable to the acquisition are recognized through profit or loss.

The consideration transferred is allocated by recognizing the assets, liabilities and identifiable contingent liabilities of the acquired company at their fair values as at the acquisition date. The excess of the consideration transferred, measured at fair value as at the acquisition date, the amount of any non-controlling interest in the acquiree plus the fair value of any equity interest in the acquiree previously held by the Group (in a business combination achieved in stages) over the net amount of the identifiable assets acquired and the liabilities incurred or assumed measured at fair value is recognized as goodwill. If the difference is negative, the Group verifies whether it has correctly identified all the assets acquired and liabilities assumed and reviews the procedures used to determine the amounts to recognize at the acquisition date. If after this assessment the fair value of the net assets acquired still exceeds the total consideration transferred, this excess represents the profit on a bargain purchase and is recognized through profit or loss.

The carrying amount of non-controlling interests is determined either in proportion to the interest held by non-controlling shareholders in the net identifiable assets of the acquiree or at their fair value as at the acquisition date.

In the case of business combinations achieved in stages, at the date of acquisition of control the previously held equity interest in the acquiree is remeasured to fair value and any positive or negative difference is recognized in profit or loss.

Any contingent consideration is recognized at fair value at the acquisition date. Subsequent changes to the fair value of the contingent consideration classified as an asset or a liability, or as a financial instrument within the scope of IFRS 9, are recognized in profit or loss. If the contingent consideration is not within the scope of IFRS 9, it is measured in accordance with the appropriate IFRS-EU. Contingent consideration that is classified as equity is not re-measured, and its subsequent settlement is accounted for within equity.

If the fair values of the assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities can only be calculated on a provisional basis, the business combination is recognized using such provisional values. Any adjustments resulting from the completion of the measurement process are recognized within 12 months of the date of acquisition, restating comparative figures.

Fair value measurement

For all fair value measurements and disclosures of fair value, that are either required or permitted by IFRS, the Group applies IFRS 13.

Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability, in an orderly transaction, between market participants, at the measurement date (i.e. an exit price).

The fair value measurement assumes that the transaction to sell an asset or transfer a liability takes place in the principal market, i.e. the market with the greatest volume and level of activity for the asset or liability. In the absence of a principal market, it is assumed that the transaction takes place in the most advantageous market to which the Group has access, i.e. the market that maximizes the amount that would be received to sell the asset or minimizes the amount that would be paid to transfer the liability.

The fair value of an asset or a liability is measured using the assumptions that market participants would use when pricing the asset or liability, assuming that market participants act in their economic best interest. Market participants are independent, knowledgeable sellers and buyers who are able to enter into a transaction for the asset or the liability and who are motivated but not forced or otherwise compelled to do so.

When measuring fair value, the Group takes into account the characteristics of the asset or liability, in particular:

  • for a non-financial asset, a fair value measurement takes into account a market participant’s ability to generate economic benefits by using the asset in its highest and best use or by selling it to another market participant that would use the asset in its highest and best use;
  • for liabilities and own equity instruments, the fair value reflects the effect of non-performance risk, i.e. the risk that an entity will not fulfill an obligation, including among others the credit risk of the Group itself;
  • in the case of groups of financial assets and financial liabilities with offsetting positions in market risk or credit risk, managed on the basis of an entity’s net exposure to such risks, it is permitted to measure fair value on a net basis.

In measuring the fair value of assets and liabilities, the Group uses valuation techniques that are appropriate in the circumstances and for which sufficient data are available, maximizing the use of relevant observable inputs and minimizing the use of unobservable inputs.

Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment is stated at cost, net of accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses, if any. Such cost includes expenses directly attributable to bringing the asset to the location and condition necessary for its intended use.

The cost is also increased by the present value of the estimate of the costs of decommissioning and restoring the site on which the asset is located where there is a legal or constructive obligation to do so. The corresponding liability is recognized under provisions for risks and charges. The accounting treatment of changes in the estimate of these costs, the passage of time and the discount rate is discussed under “Provisions for risks and charges”.

Property, plant and equipment transferred from customers to connect them to the electricity distribution network and/or to provide them with other related services is initially recognized at its fair value at the date on which control is obtained.

Borrowing costs that are directly attributable to the acquisition, construction or production of a qualifying asset, i.e. an asset that takes a substantial period of time to get ready for its intended use or sale, are capitalized as part of the cost of the assets themselves. Borrowing costs associated with the purchase/construction of assets that do not meet such requirement are expensed in the period in which they are incurred.

Certain assets that were revalued at the IFRS-EU transition date or in previous periods are recognized at their fair value, which is considered to be their deemed cost at the revaluation date.

Where individual items of major components of property, plant and equipment have different useful lives, the components are recognized and depreciated separately.

Subsequent costs are recognized as an increase in the carrying amount of the asset when it is probable that future economic benefits associated with the cost incurred to replace a part of the asset will flow to the Group and the cost of the item can be measured reliably. All other costs are recognized in profit or loss as incurred.

The cost of replacing part or all of an asset is recognized as an increase in the carrying amount of the asset and is depreciated over its useful life; the carrying amount of the replaced unit is derecognized through profit or loss.

Property, plant and equipment, net of its residual value, is depreciated on a straight-line basis over its estimated useful life, which is reviewed annually. Any changes in depreciation criteria shall be applied prospectively. Depreciation begins when the asset is available for use.

The estimated useful life of the main items of property, plant and equipment is as follows:

   
Civil buildings 10-70 years
Buildings and civil works incorporated in plants 10-100 years
Hydroelectric power plants:  
- penstock 7-85 years
- mechanical and electrical machinery 5-60 years
- other fixed hydraulic works 5-100 years
Thermal power plants:  
- boilers and auxiliary components 3-59 years
- gas turbine components 3-59 years
- mechanical and electrical machinery 3-59 years
- other fixed hydraulic works 3-62 years
Nuclear power plants 50 years
Geothermal power plants:  
- cooling towers 20-25 years
- turbines and generators 25-30 years
- turbine parts in contact with fluid 10-25 years
- mechanical and electrical machinery 20-40 years
Wind power plants:  
- towers 20-30 years
- turbines and generators 20-30 years
- mechanical and electrical machinery 15-30 years
Solar power plants:  
- mechanical and electrical machinery 20-30 years
Public and artistic lighting:  
- public lighting installations 10-20 years
- artistic lighting installations 20 years
Transport lines 12-50 years
Transformer stations 20-55 years
Distribution plants:  
- high-voltage lines 10-60 years
- primary transformer stations 5-55 years
- low and medium-voltage lines 5-50 years
Meters:  
- electromechanical meters 3-34 years
- electricity balance measurement equipment 3-30 years
- electronic meters 6-35 years

 

The useful life of leasehold improvements is determined on the basis of the term of the lease or, if shorter, on the duration of the benefits produced by the improvements themselves.

Land is not depreciated as it has an indefinite useful life.

Assets recognized under property, plant and equipment are derecognized either upon their disposal (i.e., at the date the recipient obtains control) or when no future economic benefit is expected from their use or disposal. Any gain or loss, recognized through profit or loss, is calculated as the difference between the net disposal proceeds, determined in accordance with the transaction price requirements of IFRS 15, and the carrying amount of the derecognized assets.

Assets to be relinquished free of charge

The Group’s plants include assets to be relinquished free of charge at the end of the concessions. These mainly regard major water diversion works and the public lands used for the operation of the thermal power plants.

Within the Italian regulatory framework in force until 2011, if the concessions are not renewed, at those dates all intake and governing works, penstocks, outflow channels and other assets on public lands were to be relinquished free of charge to the State in good operating condition. Accordingly, depreciation on assets to be relinquished was calculated over the shorter of the term of the concession and the remaining useful life of the assets.

In the wake of the legislative changes introduced with Law 134 of August 7, 2012, the assets previously classified as assets “to be relinquished free of charge” connected with the hydroelectric water diversion concessions are now considered in the same manner as other categories of “property, plant and equipment” and are therefore depreciated over the useful life of the asset (where this exceeds the term of the concession), as discussed in the section above on the “Depreciable amount of certain elements of Italian hydroelectric plants subsequent to enactment of Law 134/2012”, which you are invited to consult for more details.

In accordance with Spanish laws 29/1985 and 46/1999, hydroelectric power stations in Spanish territory operate under administrative concessions at the end of which the plants will be returned to the government in good operating condition. The terms of the concessions extend up to 2067.

A number of generation companies that operate in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico hold administrative concessions with similar conditions to those applied under the Spanish concession system. These concessions will expire in 2088.

Infrastructure serving a concession not within the scope of “IFRIC 12 - Service concession arrangements”

As regards the distribution of electricity, the Group is a concession holder in Italy for this service. The concession, granted by the Ministry for Economic Development, was issued free of charge and terminates on December 31, 2030. If the concession is not renewed upon expiry, the grantor is required to pay an indemnity. The amount of the indemnity will be determined by agreement of the parties using appropriate valuation methods, based on both the carrying amount of the assets themselves and their profitability.

In determining the indemnity, such profitability will be represented by the present value of future cash flows. The infrastructure serving the concession is owned and available to the concession holder. It is recognized under “Property, plant and equipment” and is depreciated over the useful lives of the assets.

Enel also operates under administrative concessions for the distribution of electricity in other countries (including Spain and Romania). These concessions give the right to build and operate distribution networks for an indefinite period of time.

Infrastructure within the scope of “IFRIC 12 - Service concession arrangements”

Under a “public-to-private” service concession arrangement within the scope of “IFRIC 12 - Service concession arrangements” the operator acts as a service provider and, in accordance with the terms specified in the contract, it constructs/upgrades infrastructure used to provide a public service and/or operates and maintains that infrastructure for the years of the concession.

The Group, as operator, does not account for the infrastructure within the scope of IFRIC 12 as property, plant and equipment and it recognizes and measures revenue in accordance with IFRS 15 for the services it performs. In particular, when the Group provides construction or upgrade services, depending on the characteristics of the service concession arrangement, it recognizes:

  • a financial asset, if the Group has an unconditional contractual right to receive cash or another financial asset from the grantor (or from a third party at the direction of the grantor), that is the grantor has little discretion to avoid payment. In this case, the grantor contractually guarantees to pay to the operator specified or determinable amounts or the shortfall between the amounts received from the users of the public service and specified or determinable amounts (defined by the contract), and such payments are not dependent on the usage of the infrastructure; and/or
  • an intangible asset, if the Group receives the right (a license) to charge users of the public service provided. In such a case, the operator does not have an unconditional right to receive cash because the amounts are contingent on the extent that the public uses the service.

If the Group (as operator) has a contractual right to receive an intangible asset (a right to charge users of public service), borrowing costs are capitalized using the criteria specified in the paragraph “Property, plant and equipment”.

However, for construction/upgrade services, both types of consideration are generally classified as a contract asset during the construction/upgrade period.

For more details about such consideration, please see note 9.a “Revenue from sales and services”.

Leases

The Group holds property, plant and equipment for its various activities under lease contracts. At inception of a contract, the Group assesses whether a contract is, or contains, a lease.

For contracts entered into or changed on or after January 1, 2019, the Group has applied the definition of a lease under IFRS 16, that is met if the contract conveys the right to control the use of an identified asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration.

Conversely, for contracts entered into before January 1, 2019, the Group determined whether the arrangement was or contained a lease under IFRIC 4.

Group as a lessee

At commencement or on modification of a contract that contains a lease component and one or more additional lease or non-lease components, the Group allocates the consideration in the contract to each lease component on the basis of its relative stand-alone price.

The Group recognizes a right-of-use asset and a lease liability at the commencement date of the lease (i.e., the date the underlying asset is available for use).

The right-of-use asset represents a lessee’s right to use an underlying asset for the lease term; it is initially measured at cost, which includes the initial amount of lease liability adjusted for any lease payments made at or before the commencement date less any lease incentives received, plus any initial direct costs incurred and an estimate of costs to dismantle and remove the underlying asset and to restore the underlying asset or the site on which it is located.

Right-of-use assets are subsequently depreciated on a straight-line basis over the shorter of the lease term and the estimated useful lives of the right-of-use assets, as follows:

  Average residual life (years)
Buildings 7
Ground rights of renewable energy plants 30
Vehicles and other means of transport 5

 

If the lease transfers ownership of the underlying asset to the Group at the end of the lease term or if the cost of the right-of-use asset reflects the fact that the Group will exercise a purchase option, depreciation is calculated using the estimated useful life of the underlying asset.

In addition, the right-of-use assets are subject to impairment and adjusted for any remeasurement of lease liabilities.

The lease liability is initially measured at the present value of lease payments to be made over the lease term. In calculating the present value of lease payments, the Group uses the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate at the lease commencement date when the interest rate implicit in the lease is not readily determinable.

Variable lease payments that do not depend on an index or a rate are recognized as expenses in the period in which the event or condition that triggers the payment occurs.

After the commencement date, the lease liability is measured at amortized cost using the effective interest method and is remeasured upon the occurrence of certain events.

The Group applies the short-term lease recognition exemption to its lease contracts that have a lease term of 12 months or less from the commencement date. It also applies the low-value assets recognition exemption to lease contracts for which the underlying asset is of low-value whose amount is estimated not material. For example, the Group has leases of certain office equipment (i.e., personal computers, printing and photocopying machines) that are considered of low-value. Lease payments on short-term leases and leases of low-value assets are recognized as expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term.

The Group presents right-of-use assets that do not meet the definition of investment property in “Property, plant and equipment” and lease liabilities in “Borrowings”.

Consistent with the requirement of the standard, the Group presents separately the interest expense on lease liabilities under “Other financial expense” and the depreciation charge on the right-of-use assets under “Depreciation, amortization and impairment losses”.

Group as a lessor

When the Group acts as a lessor, it determines at the lease inception date whether each lease is a finance lease or an operating lease.

Leases in which the Group essentially transfers all the risks and rewards associated with ownership of the underlying asset are classified as finance leases; otherwise, they are classified as operating leases. To make this assessment, the Group considers the indicators provided by IFRS 16. If a contract contains lease and non-lease components, the Group allocates the consideration in the contract applying IFRS 15.

The Group accounts for rental income arising from operating leases on a straight-line basis over the lease terms and it recognizes it as other revenue.

Investment property

Investment property consists of the Group’s real estate held to earn rentals and/or for capital appreciation rather than for use in the production or supply of goods and services.

Investment property is measured at acquisition cost less any accumulated depreciation and any accumulated impairment losses.

Investment property, excluding land, is depreciated on a straight-line basis over the useful lives of the related assets.

Impairment losses are determined on the basis of the criteria following described.

The breakdown of the fair value of investment property is detailed in note 48 “Assets and liabilities measured at fair value”.

Investment property is derecognized either when it has been transferred (i.e., at the date the recipient obtains control) or when it is permanently withdrawn from use and no future economic benefit is expected from its disposal. Any gain or loss, recognized through profit or loss, is calculated as the difference between the net disposal proceeds, determined in accordance with the transaction price requirements of IFRS 15, and the carrying amount of the derecognized assets.

Transfers are made to (or from) investment property only when there is a change in use.

Intangible assets

Intangible assets are identifiable assets without physical substance controlled by the Group and capable of generating future economic benefits. They are measured at purchase or internal development cost when it is probable that the use of such assets will generate future economic benefits and the related cost can be reliably determined.

The cost includes any directly attributable expenses necessary to make the assets ready for their intended use.

Development expenditure is recognized as an intangible asset only when Group can demonstrate the technical feasibility of completing the asset, its intention and ability to complete development and to use or sell the asset and the availability of resources to complete the asset.

Research costs are recognized as expenses.

Intangible assets with a finite useful life are recognized net of accumulated amortization and any impairment losses.

Amortization is calculated on a straight-line basis over the item’s estimated useful life, which is reassessed at least annually; any changes in amortization policies are reflected on a prospective basis. Amortization commences when the asset is ready for use. Consequently, intangible assets not yet available for use are not amortized, but are tested for impairment at least annually.

The Group’s intangible assets have a finite useful life, with the exception of a number of concessions and goodwill.

Intangible assets with indefinite useful lives are not amortized, but are tested for impairment annually.

The assessment of indefinite useful life is reviewed annually to determine whether the indefinite useful life continues to be supportable. If not, the change in useful life from indefinite to finite is accounted for as a change in accounting estimate.

Intangible assets are derecognized either at the time of their disposal (at the date when the recipient obtains control) or when no future economic benefit is expected from their use or disposal. Any gain or loss, recognized through profit or loss, is calculated as the difference between the net consideration received in the disposal, determined in accordance with the provisions of IFRS 15 concerning the transaction price, and the carrying amount of the derecognized assets.

The estimated useful life of the main intangible assets, distinguishing between internally generated and acquired assets, is as follows:

   
Development expenditure:  
- internally generated 2-26 years
- acquired 3-26 years
Industrial patents and intellectual property rights:  
- internally generated 3-10 years
- acquired 2-50 years
Concessions, licenses, trademarks and similar rights:  
- internally generated 20 years
- acquired 1-40 years
Intangible assets from service concession arrangements:  
- internally generated -
- acquired 5 years
Other:  
- internally generated 2-28 years
- acquired 1-28 years

The Group also presents costs to obtain a contract with a customer capitalized in accordance with IFRS 15 as intangible assets.

The Group recognized such costs as an asset only if:

  • the costs are incremental, that is they are directly attributable to an identified contract and the Group would not have incurred them if the contract had not been obtained;
  • the Group expects to recover them, through reimbursements (direct recoverability) or the margin (indirect recoverability).

In particular, the Group generally capitalizes trade fees and commissions paid to agents for such contracts if the capitalization criteria are met.

Capitalized customer contract costs are amortized on a systematic basis, consistent with the pattern of the transfer of the goods or services to which they relate, and undergo impairment testing to identify any impairment losses to the extent that the carrying amount of the asset recognized exceeds the recoverable amount.

The Group amortizes the capitalized customer contract costs on a straight-line basis over the expected period of benefit from the contract (i.e., the average term of the customer relationship); any changes in amortization policies are reflected on a prospective basis.

Goodwill

Goodwill represents the future economic benefits arising from other assets acquired in a business combination that are not individually identified and separately recognized. For further details, please see the section of the accounting policies “Business combinations”.

Goodwill arising on the acquisition of subsidiaries is recognized separately. After initial recognition, goodwill is not amortized, but is tested for impairment at least annually as part of the CGU to which it pertains.

For the purpose of impairment testing, goodwill is allocated, from the acquisition date, to each CGU that is expected to benefit from the synergies of the combination.

Goodwill relating to equity investments in associates and joint venture is included in their carrying amount.

Impairment of non-financial assets

At each reporting date, property, plant and equipment, investment property, intangible assets, right-of-use assets, goodwill and equity investments in associates/joint ventures are reviewed to determine whether there is evidence of impairment.

CGUs to which goodwill, intangible assets with an indefinite useful life and intangible assets not yet available for use are allocated are tested for recoverability annually or more frequently if there is evidence suggesting that the assets can be impaired.

If such evidence exists, the recoverable amount of any involved asset is estimated on the basis of the use of the asset and its future disposal, in accordance with the Group’s most recent Business Plan. For the estimate of the recoverable amount, please see note 2.1 “Use of estimates and management judgment”.

The recoverable amount is determined for an individual asset, unless the asset do not generate cash inflows that are largely independent of those from other assets or groups of assets and therefore it is determined for the CGU to which the asset belongs.

If the carrying amount of an asset or of a CGU to which it is allocated is greater than its recoverable amount, an impairment loss is recognized in profit or loss and presented under “Depreciation, amortization and other impairment losses”.

Impairment losses of CGUs are firstly charged against the carrying amount of any goodwill attributed to it and then against the other assets, in proportion to their carrying amount.

If the reasons for a previously recognized impairment loss no longer apply, the carrying amount of the asset is restored through profit or loss, under “Depreciation, amortization and other impairment losses”, in an amount that shall not exceed the carrying amount that the asset would have had if the impairment loss had not been recognized. The original amount of goodwill is not restored even if in subsequent years the reasons for the impairment no longer apply.

If certain specific identified assets owned by the Group are impacted by adverse economic or operating conditions that undermine their capacity to contribute to the generation of cash flows, they can be isolated from the rest of the assets of the CGU, undergo separate analysis of their recoverability and be impaired where necessary.

Inventories

Inventories are measured at the lower of cost and net realizable value except for inventories involved in trading activities, which are measured at fair value with recognition through profit or loss. Cost is determined on the basis of average weighted cost, which includes related ancillary charges. Net estimated realizable value is the estimated normal selling price net of estimated costs to sell or, where applicable, replacement cost.

For the portion of inventories held to discharge sales that have already been made, the net realizable value is determined on the basis of the amount established in the contract of sale.

Inventories include environmental certificates (for example, green certificates, energy efficiency certificates and European CO2 emissions allowances) that were not utilized for compliance in the reporting period. As regards CO2 emissions allowances, inventories are allocated between the trading portfolio and the compliance portfolio, i.e. those used for compliance with greenhouse gas emissions requirements. Within the latter, CO2 emissions allowances are allocated to sub-portfolios on the basis of the compliance year to which they have been assigned.

Inventories also include nuclear fuel stocks, use of which is determined on the basis of the electricity generated.

Materials and other consumables (including energy commodities) held for use in production are not written down if it is expected that the final product in which they will be incorporated will be sold at a price sufficient to enable recovery of the cost incurred.

Financial instruments

Financial instruments are any contract that gives rise to a financial asset of one entity and a financial liability or equity instrument of another entity; they are recognized and measured in accordance with IAS 32 and IFRS 9.

A financial asset or liability is recognized in the consolidated financial statements when, and only when, the Group becomes party to the contractual provision of the instrument (i.e. the trade date).

Trade receivables arising from contracts with customers, in the scope of IFRS 15, are initially measured at their transaction price (as defined in IFRS 15) if such receivables do not contain a significant financing component or when the Group applies the practical expedient allowed by IFRS 15.

Conversely, the Group initially measures financial assets other than the above-mentioned receivables at their fair value plus, in the case of a financial asset not measured at fair value through profit or loss, transaction costs.

Financial assets are classified, at initial recognition, as financial assets at amortized cost, at fair value through other comprehensive income and at fair value through profit or loss, on the basis of both the Group’s business model and the contractual cash-flow characteristics of the instrument.

For this purpose, the assessment to determine whether the instrument gives rise to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest (SPPI) on the principal amount outstanding is referred to as the SPPI test and is performed at an instrument level.

The Group’s business model for managing financial assets refers to how it manages its financial assets in order to generate cash flows. The business model determines whether cash flows will result from collecting contractual cash flows, selling the financial assets, or both.

For purposes of subsequent measurement, financial assets are classified in four categories:

  • financial assets measured at amortized cost (debt instruments);
  • financial assets at fair value through OCI with reclassification of cumulative gains and losses (debt instruments);
  • financial assets designated at fair value through OCI with no reclassification of cumulative gains and losses upon derecognition (equity instruments); and
  • financial assets at fair value through profit or loss.

Financial assets measured at amortized cost

This category mainly includes trade receivables, other financial assets and loan assets.

Financial assets at amortized cost are held within a business model whose objective is to hold financial assets in order to collect contractual cash flows and whose contractual terms give rise, on specified dates, to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding.

Such assets are initially recognized at fair value, adjusted for any transaction costs, and subsequently measured at amortized cost using the effective interest method and are subject to impairment.

Gains and losses are recognized in profit or loss when the asset is derecognized, modified or impaired.

Financial assets at fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI) - Debt instruments

This category mainly includes listed debt securities held by the Group reinsurance company and not classified as held for trading.

Financial assets at fair value through other comprehensive income are assets held within a business model whose objective is achieved by both collecting contractual cash flows and selling financial assets and whose contractual cash flows give rise, on specified dates, to cash flows that are solely payments of principal and interest on the principal amount outstanding.

Changes in fair value for these financial assets are recognized in other comprehensive income as well as loss allowances that do not reduce the carrying amount of the financial assets.

When a financial asset is derecognized (e.g. at the time of sale), the cumulative gains and losses previously recognized in equity (except impairment and foreign exchange gains and losses to be recognized in profit or loss) are reversed to profit or loss.

Financial assets at fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI) - Equity instruments

This category includes mainly equity investments in unlisted entities irrevocably designated as such upon initial recognition.

Gains and losses on these financial assets are never reclassified to profit or loss. The Group may transfer the cumulative gain or loss within equity.

Equity instruments designated at fair value through OCI are not subject to impairment testing.

Dividends on such investments are recognized in profit or loss unless they clearly represents a recovery of a part of the cost of the investment.

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss

This category mainly includes: securities, equity investments in other companies, financial investments in fund held for trading and financial assets designated as at fair value through profit or loss at initial recognition.

Financial assets at fair value through profit or loss are:

  • financial assets with cash flows that are not solely payments of principal and interest, irrespective of the business model;
  • financial assets held for trading because acquired or incurred principally for the purpose of selling or repurchasing in short term;
  • debt instruments designated upon initial recognition, under the option allowed by IFRS 9 (fair value option), if doing so eliminates, or significantly reduces, an accounting mismatch;
  • derivatives, including separated embedded derivatives, held for trading or not designated as effective hedging instruments.

Such financial assets are initially recognized at fair value with subsequent gains and losses from changes in their fair value recognized through profit or loss.

This category also includes listed equity investments which the Group had not irrevocably elected to classify at fair value through OCI. Dividends on listed equity investments are also recognized as other income in the income statement when the right of payment has been established.

Financial assets that qualify as contingent consideration are also measured at fair value through profit or loss.

Impairment of financial assets

At each reporting date, the Group recognizes a loss allowance for expected credit losses on trade receivables and other financial assets measured at amortized cost, debt instruments measured at fair value through other comprehensive income, contract assets and all other assets in scope.

In compliance with IFRS 9, as from January 1, 2018, the Group adopted a new impairment model based on the determination of expected credit losses (ECL) using a forward-looking approach. In essence, the model provides for:

  • the application of a single framework for all financial assets;
  • the recognition of expected credit losses on an ongoing basis and the updating of the amount of such losses at the end of each reporting period, reflecting changes in the credit risk of the financial instrument;
  • the measurement of expected losses on the basis of reasonable information, obtainable without undue cost, about past events, current conditions and forecasts of future conditions.

For trade receivables, contract assets and lease receivables, including those with a significant financial component, the Group adopts the simplified approach, determining expected credit losses over a period corresponding to the entire life of the receivable, generally equal to 12 months.

For all financial assets other than trade receivables, contract assets and lease receivables, the Group applies the general approach under IFRS 9, based on the assessment of a significant increase in credit risk since initial recognition. Under such approach, a loss allowance on financial assets is recognized at an amount equal to the lifetime expected credit losses, if the credit risk on those financial assets has increased significantly, since initial recognition, considering all reasonable and supportable information, including also forward-looking inputs.

If at the reporting date the credit risk on financial assets has not increased significantly since initial recognition, the Group measures the loss allowance for those financial assets at an amount equal to 12-month expected credit losses.

For financial assets on which a loss allowance equal to lifetime expected credit losses has been recognized in the previous reporting period, the Group measures the loss allowance at an amount equal to 12-month expected credit losses when the condition regarding a significant increase in credit risk is no longer met.

The Group recognizes in profit or loss, as an impairment gain or loss, the amount of expected credit losses (or reversal) that is required to adjust the loss allowance at the reporting date to the amount that is required to be recognized in accordance with IFRS 9.

The Group applies the low credit risk exemption, avoiding the recognition of loss allowances at an amount equal to lifetime expected credit losses due to a significant increase in credit risk of debt securities at fair value through OCI, whose counterparty has a strong financial capacity to meet its contractual cash-flow obligations (e.g. investment grade).

For more information on the impairment of financial assets, please see note 44 “Financial instruments by category”.

Cash and cash equivalents

This category includes deposits that are available on demand or at very short term, as well as highly liquid short-term financial investments that are readily convertible into a known amount of cash and which are subject to insignificant risk of changes in value.

In addition, for the purpose of the consolidated statement of cash flows, cash and cash equivalents do not include bank overdrafts at period-end.

Financial liabilities at amortized cost

This category mainly includes borrowings, trade payables, lease liabilities and debt instruments.

Financial liabilities, other than derivatives, are recognized when the Group becomes a party to the contractual clauses of the instrument and are initially measured at fair value adjusted for directly attributable transaction costs. Financial liabilities are subsequently measured at amortized cost using the effective interest rate method.

Financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss

Financial liabilities at fair value through profit or loss include financial liabilities held for trading and financial liabilities designated upon initial recognition as at fair value through profit or loss.

Financial liabilities are classified as held for trading if they are incurred for the purpose of repurchasing in the near term. This category also includes derivative financial instruments entered into by the Group that are not designated as hedging instruments in hedge relationships as defined by IFRS 9. Separated embedded derivatives are also classified as at fair value through profit or loss unless they are designated as effective hedging instruments.

Gains or losses on liabilities at fair value through profit or loss are recognized through profit or loss.

Financial liabilities designated upon initial recognition at fair value through profit or loss are designated at the initial date of recognition, only if the criteria in IFRS 9 are satisfied.

In this case, the portion of the change in fair value attributable to own credit risk is recognized in other comprehensive income.

The Group has not designated any financial liability as at fair value through profit or loss, upon initial recognition.

Financial liabilities that qualify as contingent consideration are also measured at fair value through profit or loss.

Derecognition of financial assets and liabilities

Financial assets are derecognized whenever one of the following conditions is met:

  • the contractual right to receive the cash flows associated with the asset expires;
  • the Group has transferred substantially all the risks and rewards associated with the asset, transferring its rights to receive the cash flows of the asset or assuming a contractual obligation to pay such cash flows to one or more beneficiaries under a contract that meets the requirements provided by IFRS 9 (the “pass through test”);
  • the Group has not transferred or retained substantially all the risks and rewards associated with the asset but has transferred control over the asset.

Financial liabilities are derecognized when they are extinguished, i.e. when the contractual obligation has been discharged, cancelled or expired.

When an existing financial liability is replaced by another from the same lender on substantially different terms, or the terms of an existing liability are substantially modified, such an exchange or modification is treated as the derecognition of the original liability and the recognition of a new liability. The difference in the respective carrying amounts is recognized in profit or loss.

Derivative financial instruments

A derivative is a financial instrument or another contract:

  • whose value changes in response to the changes in an underlying variable such as an interest rate, commodity or security price, foreign exchange rate, a price or rate index, a credit rating or other variable;
  • that requires no initial net investment, or one that is smaller than would be required for a contract with similar response to changes in market factors;
  • that is settled at a future date.

Derivative instruments are classified as financial assets or liabilities depending on the positive or negative fair value and they are classified as “held for trading” within “Other business models” and measured at fair value through profit or loss, except for those designated as effective hedging instruments.

For more details about hedge accounting, please refer to the note 47 “Derivatives and hedge accounting”.

All derivatives held for trading are classified as current assets or liabilities.

Derivatives not held for trading purposes, but measured at fair value through profit or loss since they do not qualify for hedge accounting, and derivatives designated as effective hedging instruments are classified as current or not current on the basis of their maturity date and the Group intention to hold the financial instrument till maturity or not.

Embedded derivatives

An embedded derivative is a derivative included in a “combined” contract (the so-called “hybrid instrument”) that contains another non-derivative contract (the so-called host contract) and gives rise to some or all of the combined contract’s cash flows.

The main Group contracts that may contain embedded derivatives are contracts to buy or sell non-financial items with clauses or options that affect the contract price, volume or maturity.

A derivative embedded in a hybrid contract containing a financial asset host is not accounted for separately. The financial asset host together with the embedded derivative is required to be classified in its entirety as a financial asset at fair value through profit or loss.

Contracts that do not represent financial instruments to be measured at fair value are analyzed in order to identify any embedded derivatives, which are to be separated and measured at fair value. This analysis is performed when the Group becomes party to the contract or when the contract is renegotiated in a manner that significantly changes the original associated cash flows.

Embedded derivatives are separated from the host contract and accounted for as derivatives when:

  • the host contract is not a financial instrument measured at fair value through profit or loss;
  • the economic risks and characteristics of the embedded derivative are not closely related to those of the host contract;
  • a separate contract with the same terms as the embedded derivative would meet the definition of a derivative.

Embedded derivatives that are separated from the host contract are recognized in the consolidated financial statements at fair value with changes recognized in profit or loss (except when the embedded derivative is part of a designated hedging relationship).

Contracts to buy or sell non-financial items

In general, contracts to buy or sell non-financial items that are entered into and continue to be held for receipt or delivery in accordance with the Group’s normal expected purchase, sale or usage requirements are out of the scope of IFRS 9 and then recognized as executory contracts, according to the “own use exemption”.

A contract to buy or sell non-financial items is classified as “normal purchase or sale” if it is entered into:

  • for the purpose of the physical settlement;
  • in accordance with the entity’s expected purchase, sale or usage requirements.

Moreover, contracts to buy or sell non-financial items with physical settlement (for example, fixed-price forward contracts on energy commodities) do not qualify for the own use exemption and are recognized as derivatives measured at fair value through profit or loss only if:

  • they can be settled net in cash; and
  • they are not entered into in accordance with the Group’s expected purchase, sale or usage requirements.

Consequently, starting from the trade date, these contracts are recognized at FVTPL or as “Other revenue” in the case of contracts for the sale of non-financial items (see the note “Revenue”) or as “Electricity, gas and fuel” or “Services and other materials” in the case of contracts for the purchase of non-financial items (please see, respectively, note 10.a “Electricity, gas and fuel” and note 10.b “Services and other materials”).

The Group analyzes all contracts to buy or sell non-financial assets on an ongoing basis, with a specific focus on forward purchases and sales of electricity and energy commodities, in order to determine if they shall be classified and treated in accordance with IFRS 9 or if they have been entered into for “own use”.

Offsetting financial assets and liabilities

The Group offsets financial assets and liabilities when:

  • there is a legally enforceable right to set off the recognized amounts; and
  • there is the intention of settling on a net basis or realizing the asset and settling the liability simultaneously.

Hyperinflation

In a hyperinflationary economy, the Group adjusts non-monetary items, equity and items deriving from index-linked contracts up to the limit of recoverable amount, using a price index that reflects changes in general purchasing power.

The effects of initial application are recognized in equity net of tax effects. Conversely, during the hyperinflationary period (until it ceases), the gain or loss resulting from adjustments is recognized in profit or loss and disclosed separately in financial income and expense.

Starting from 2018, this standard applies to the Group’s transactions in Argentina, whose economy has been declared hyperinflationary from July 1, 2018.

Non-current assets (or disposal groups) classified as held for sale and discontinued operations

Non-current assets (or disposal groups) are classified as held for sale if their carrying amount will be recovered principally through a sale transaction, rather than through continuing use.

This classification criterion is applicable only when non-current assets (or disposal groups) are available in their present condition for immediate sale and the sale is highly probable.

If the Group is committed to a sale plan involving loss of control of a subsidiary and the requirements provided for under IFRS 5 are met, all the assets and liabilities of that subsidiary are classified as held for sale when the classification criteria are met, regardless of whether the Group will retain a non-controlling interest in its former subsidiary after the sale.

The Group applies these classification criteria as envisaged in IFRS 5 to an investment, or a portion of an investment, in an associate or a joint venture. Any retained portion of an investment in an associate or a joint venture that has not been classified as held for sale is accounted for using the equity method until disposal of the portion that is classified as held for sale takes place.

Non-current assets (or disposal groups) and liabilities of disposal groups classified as held for sale are presented separately from other assets and liabilities in the statement of financial position.

The amounts presented for non-current assets or for the assets and liabilities of disposal groups classified as held for sale are not reclassified or re-presented for prior periods presented.

Immediately before the initial classification of non-current assets (or disposal groups) as held for sale, the carrying amounts of such assets (or disposal groups) are measured in accordance with the accounting standard applicable to those assets or liabilities. Non-current assets (or disposal groups) classified as held for sale are measured at the lower of their carrying amount and fair value less costs to sell. Impairment losses for any initial or subsequent write-down of the assets (or disposal groups) to fair value less costs to sell and gains for their reversals are recognized in profit or loss from continuing operations.

Non-current assets are not depreciated (or amortized) while they are classified as held for sale or while they are part of a disposal group classified as held for sale.

If the classification criteria are no longer met, the Group ceases to classify the non-current assets (or disposal group) as held for sale. In this case they are measured at the lower of:

  • the carrying amount before the asset (or disposal group) was classified as held for sale, adjusted for any depreciation, amortization or reversals of impairment losses that would have been recognized if the asset (or disposal group) had not been classified as held for sale; and
  • the recoverable amount, which is equal to the greater of its fair value net of costs to sell and its value in use, as calculated at the date of the subsequent decision not to sell.

Any adjustment to the carrying amount of a non-current asset that ceases to be classified as held for sale is included in profit or loss from continuing operations.

A discontinued operation is a component of the Group that either has been disposed of, or is classified as held for sale, and:

  • represents a separate major business line or geographical segment;
  • is part of a single coordinated plan to dispose of a separate major business line or geographical segment; or
  • is a subsidiary acquired exclusively with a view to resale.

The Group presents, in a separate line item of the income statement, a single amount comprising the total of:

  • the post-tax profit or loss of discontinued operations; and
  • the post-tax gain or loss recognized on the measurement at fair value less costs to sell or on the disposal of the assets or disposal groups constituting the discontinued operation.

The corresponding amount is restated in the income statement for prior periods presented in the financial statements, so that the disclosures relate to all operations that are discontinued by the end of the current reporting period. If the Group ceases to classify a component as held for sale, the results of the component previously presented in discontinued operations are reclassified and included in profit or loss from continuing operations for all periods presented.

Environmental certificates

Some Group companies are affected by national regulations governing green certificates and energy efficiency certificates (so-called white certificates), as well as the European “Emissions Trading System”.

Green certificates accrued in proportion to electricity generated by renewable energy plants and energy efficiency certificates accrued in proportion to energy savings achieved that have been certified by the competent authority are treated as non-monetary government operating grants and are recognized at fair value, under other operating profit, with recognition of an asset under other non-financial assets, if the certificates are not yet credited to the ownership account, or under inventories, if the certificates have already been credited to that account.

At the time the certificates are credited to the ownership account, they are reclassified from other assets to inventories.

Revenue from the sale of such certificates is recognized under revenue from contracts with customers, with a corresponding decrease in inventories.

For the purposes of accounting for charges arising from regulatory requirements concerning green certificates, energy efficiency certificates and COemissions allowances, the Group uses the “net liability approach”.

Under this accounting policy, environmental certificates received free of charge and those self-produced as a result of Group’s operations that will be used for compliance purposes are recognized at nominal value (nil). In addition, charges incurred for obtaining (in the market or in some other transaction for consideration) any missing certificates to fulfil compliance requirements for the reporting period are recognized through profit or loss on an accruals basis under other operating costs, as they represent “system charges” consequent to compliance with a regulatory requirement.

Employee benefits

Liabilities related to employee benefits paid upon or after ceasing employment in connection with defined benefit plans or other long-term benefits accrued during the employment period are determined separately for each plan, using actuarial assumptions to estimate the amount of the future benefits that employees have accrued at the reporting date (using the projected unit credit method). More specifically, the present value of the defined benefit obligation is calculated by using a discount rate determined on the basis of market yields at the end of the reporting period on high-quality corporate bonds. If there is no deep market for high-quality corporate bonds in the currency in which the bond is denominated, the corresponding yield of government securities is used.

The liability, net of any plan assets, is recognized on an accruals basis over the vesting period of the related rights. These appraisals are performed by independent actuaries.

If the plan assets exceed the present value of the related defined benefit obligation, the surplus (up to the limit of any cap) is recognized as an asset.

As regards the liabilities/(assets) of defined benefit plans, the cumulative actuarial gains and losses from the actuarial measurement of the liabilities, the return on the plan assets (net of the associated interest income) and the effect of the asset ceiling (net of the associated interest) are recognized in other comprehensive income when they occur. For other long-term benefits, the related actuarial gains and losses are recognized through profit or loss.

In the event of a change being made to an existing defined benefit plan or the introduction of a new plan, any past service cost is recognized immediately in profit or loss.

In addition, the Group is involved in defined contribution plans under which it pays fixed contributions to a separate entity (a fund) and has no legal or constructive obligation to pay further contributions if the fund does not hold sufficient assets to pay all employee benefits relating to employee service in the current and prior periods. Such plans are usually aimed to supplement pension benefits due to employees post-employment. The related costs are recognized through profit or loss on the basis of the amount of contributions paid in the period.

Termination benefits

Liabilities for benefits due to employees for the early termination of employee service arise out of the Group’s decision to terminate an employee’s employment before the normal retirement date or an employee’s decision to accept an offer of benefits in exchange for the termination of employment. The event that gives rise to an obligation is the termination of employment rather than employee service. Termination benefits are recognized at the earlier of the following dates:

  • when the entity can no longer withdraw its offer of benefits; and
  • when the entity recognizes a cost for a restructuring that is within the scope of IAS 37 and involves the payment of termination benefits.

The liabilities are measured on the basis of the nature of the employee benefits. More specifically, when the benefits represent an enhancement of other post-employment benefits, the associated liability is measured in accordance with the rules governing that type of benefits. Otherwise, if the termination benefits due to employees are expected to be settled wholly before 12 months after the end of the reporting period, the entity measures the liability in accordance with the requirements for short-term employee benefits; if they are not expected to be settled wholly before 12 months after the end of the reporting period, the entity measures the liability in accordance with the requirements for other long-term employee benefits.

Share-based payments

The Group undertakes share-based payment transactions settled with equity instruments as part of the remuneration policy adopted for the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager and for key management personnel.

The most recent long-term incentive plans provide for the grant to recipients of an incentive represented by an equity component and a monetary component.

In order to settle the equity component through the bonus award of Enel shares, a program for the purchase of treasury shares to support these plans was approved. For more details on share-based incentive plans, please see note 49 “Share-based payments”.

The Group recognizes the services rendered by employees as personnel expenses and indirectly estimates their value, and the corresponding increase in equity, on the basis of the fair value of the equity instruments (i.e., Enel shares) at the grant date.

This fair value is based on the observable market price of Enel shares (on the Milan stock exchange), taking account of the terms and conditions under which the shares were granted (with the exception of vesting conditions excluded from the measurement of fair value).

The cost of these share-based payment transactions is recognized through profit or loss, with a corresponding entry in a specific equity item, over the period in which the service and return performance conditions are met (vesting period).

The overall expense recognized is adjusted at each reporting date until the vesting date to reflect the best estimate available to the Group of the number of equity instruments for which the service and performance conditions other than market conditions will be satisfied, so that the amount recognized at the end is based on the effective number of equity instruments that satisfy the service and performance conditions other than market conditions at the vesting date.

No expense is recognized for awards which ultimately do not vest because the performance conditions other than market conditions and/or the service conditions have not been satisfied. Conversely, the transactions are considered to have vested irrespective of whether the market or non-vesting conditions are satisfied, provided that all the other performance and/or service conditions are satisfied.

Provisions for risks and charges

Provisions are recognized where there is a legal or constructive obligation as a result of a past event at the end of the reporting period, the settlement of which is expected to result in an outflow of resources whose amount can be reliably estimated. Where the impact is significant, the accruals are determined by discounting expected future cash flows using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects the current market assessment of the time value of money and, if applicable, the risks specific to the liability.

If the provision is discounted, the periodic adjustment of the present value for the time factor is recognized as a financial expense.

When the Group expects some or all charges to be reimbursed, the reimbursement is recognized as a separate asset, but only when the reimbursement is virtually certain.

Where the liability relates to decommissioning and/or site restoration in respect of property, plant and equipment, the initial recognition of the provision is made against the related asset and the expense is then recognized in profit or loss through the depreciation of the asset involved.

Where the liability regards the treatment and storage of nuclear waste and other radioactive materials, the provision is recognized against the related operating costs.

A liability for restructuring refers to a program planned and controlled by management that materially changes the scope of a business undertaken by the Group or the manner in which the business is conducted. Such a liability is recognized when a constructive obligation is established, i.e. when the Group has approved a detailed formal restructuring plan and has started to implement the plan or has announced its main features to those affected by it.

Provisions do not include liabilities in respect of uncertain income tax treatments that are recognized as tax liabilities.

The Group could provide a warranty in connection with the sale of a product (whether a good or service) from contracts with customers in the scope of IFRS 15, in accordance with the contract, the law or its customary business practices. In this case, the Group assesses whether the warranty provides the customer with assurance that the related product will function as the parties intended because it complies with agreed-upon specifications or whether the warranty provides the customer with a service in addition to the assurance that the product complies with agreed-upon specifications.

After the assessment, if the Group establishes that an assurance warranty is provided, it recognizes a separate warranty liability and corresponding expense when transferring the product to the customer, as additional costs of providing goods or services, without attributing any of the transaction price (and therefore revenue) to the warranty. The liability is measured and presented as a provision.

Otherwise, if the Group determines that a service warranty is provided, it accounts for the promised warranty as a performance obligation in accordance with IFRS 15, recognizing the contract liability as revenue over the period the warranty service is provided and the costs associated as they are incurred.

Finally, if the warranty includes both an assurance element and a service element and the Group cannot reasonably account for them separately, then it accounts for both of the warranties together as a single performance obligation.

In the case of contracts in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the obligations under the contract exceed the economic benefits expected to be received under it (onerous contracts), the Group recognizes a provision as the lower of the excess of unavoidable costs of meeting the obligations under the contract over the economic benefits expected to be received under it and any compensation or penalty arising from failure to fulfil it.

Changes in estimates of accruals to the provisions addressed here are recognized through profit or loss in the period in which the changes occur, with the exception of those in the costs of decommissioning, dismantling and/or restoration resulting from changes in the timetable and costs necessary to extinguish the obligation or from a change in the discount rate. These changes increase or decrease the carrying amount of the related assets and are taken to profit or loss through depreciation. Where they increase the carrying amount of the assets, it is also determined whether the new carrying amount of the assets is fully recoverable. If this is not the case, a loss equal to the unrecoverable amount is recognized through profit or loss.

Decreases in estimates are recognized up to the carrying amount of the assets. Any excess is recognized immediately in profit or loss.

For more information on the estimation criteria adopted in determining provisions for dismantling and/or restoration of property, plant and equipment, especially those associated with decommissioning nuclear power plants and storage of waste fuel and other radioactive materials, please see note 2.1 “Use of estimates and management judgment”.

Revenue from contracts with customers

The Group recognizes revenue from contracts with customers in order to represent the transfer of promised goods or services to the customers at an amount that reflects the consideration at which the Group expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services.

The Group applies this core principle using a five-step model:

  • identify the contract with the customer (step 1).
    The Group applies IFRS 15 to contracts with customers in the scope of the standard when the contract is legally enforceable and all the criteria envisaged for step 1 are met. If the criteria are not met, any consideration received from the customer is generally recognized as an advance;
  • identify the performance obligations in the contract (step 2).
    The Group identifies all goods or services promised in the contract, separating them into performance obligations to account for separately if they are both: capable of being distinct and distinct within the context of the contract. As an exception, the Group accounts for as a single performance obligation a series of distinct goods or services that are substantially the same and that have the same pattern of transfer to the customer over time.
    In assessing the existence and the nature of the performance obligations, the Group considers all of the contract’s features as mentioned in step 1.
    For each distinct good or service identified, the Group determines whether it acts as a principal or agent, respectively if it controls or not the specified good or service that is promised to the customer before its control is transferred to the customer. When the Group acts as agent, it recognizes revenue on a net basis, corresponding to any fee or commission to which it expects to be entitled;
  • determine the transaction price (step 3).
    The transaction price represents the amount of consideration to which the Group expects to be entitled in exchange for transferring goods or services to a customer, excluding amounts collected on behalf of third parties (e.g., some sale taxes and value-added taxes).
    The Group determines the transaction price at inception of the contract and updates it each reporting period for any changes in circumstances.
    When the Group determines the transaction price, it considers whether the transaction price includes variable consideration, non-cash consideration received from a customer, consideration payable to a customer and a significant financing component;
  • allocate the transaction price (step 4).
    The Group allocates the transaction price at contract inception to each separate performance obligation to depict the amount of consideration to which the Group expects to be entitled in exchange for transferring the promised goods or services.
    When the contract includes a customer option to acquire additional goods or services that represents a material right, the Group allocates the transaction price to this performance obligation (i.e. the option) and defers the relative revenue until those future goods or services are transferred or the option expires.
    The Group generally allocates the transaction price on the basis of the relative stand-alone selling price of each distinct good or service promised in the contract (that is, the price at which the Group would sell that good or service separately to the customer);
  • recognize revenue (step 5).
    The Group recognizes revenue when (or as) each performance obligation is satisfied by transferring the promised good or service to the customer, which is when the customer obtains control of the good or service.
    To this end, the Group first determines if one of the over-time criteria is met.
    For each performance obligation satisfied over time, the Group recognizes revenue over time by measuring progress toward the complete satisfaction of that performance obligation using an output method or an input method and applies a single method of measuring progress from contract inception until full satisfaction and to similar performance obligations and in similar circumstances.
    When the Group cannot reasonably measure the progress, it recognizes revenue only to the extent of the costs incurred that are considered recoverable.
    If the performance obligation is not satisfied over time, the Group determines the point in time at which the customer obtains the control, considering whether the indicators of the transfer of control collectively indicate that the customer has obtained control.
    Depending on the type of transaction, the broad criteria used under IFRS 15 are summarized below:
    • revenue from the sale of goods is recognized at the point in time at which the customer obtains the control of goods if the Group considers that the sale of goods is satisfied at a point in time;
    • revenue from providing services is recognized on the basis of the progress towards complete satisfaction of the performance obligation measured with an appropriate method that better depicts this progress if the Group considers that the performance obligation is satisfied over time. The cost incurred method (cost-to-cost method) is considered appropriate for measuring progress, except when specific contract analyses suggest the use of an alternative method, which better depicts the Group’s performance obligation fulfilled at the reporting date.

The Group does not disclose the information about the remaining performance obligations in existing contracts if the performance obligation is part of a contract that has an original expected duration of one year or less and if the Group recognizes revenue in the amount to which it has a right to invoice the customer.

More information on the application of this revenue recognition model is provided in note 2.1 “Use of estimates and management judgment” and in note 9.a “Revenue from sales and services”.

If the Group performs by transferring goods or services to a customer before the customer pays consideration or before payment is due, it recognizes a contract asset relating to the right to consideration in exchange for goods or services transferred to the customer.

If a customer pays consideration before the Group transfers goods or services to the customer, the Group recognizes a contract liability when the payment is made (or the payment is due) that is recognized as revenue when the Group performs under the contract.

Other revenue

The Group recognizes revenue other than that deriving from contracts with customers mainly referring to:

  • revenue from the sale of energy commodities based on contracts with physical settlement, which do not qualify for the own use exemption and therefore is recognized at FVTPL in accordance with IFRS 9;
  • changes in the fair value of contracts to sell energy commodities with physical settlement, which do not qualify for the own use exemption and therefore are recognized at FVTPL in accordance with IFRS 9;
  • operating lease revenue accounted for on an accrual basis in accordance with the substance of the relevant lease agreement.

Other operating profit

Other operating profit primarily includes gains on disposal of assets that are not an output of the Group’s ordinary activities and government grants.

Government grants, including non-monetary grants at fair value, are recognized where there is reasonable assurance that they will be received and that the Group will comply with all conditions attaching to them as set by the government, government agencies and similar bodies whether local, national or international.

When loans are provided by governments at a below-market rate of interest, the benefit is regarded as a government grant. The loan is initially recognized and measured at fair value and the government grant is measured as the difference between the initial carrying amount of the loan and the funds received. The loan is subsequently measured in accordance with the requirements for financial liabilities.

Government grants are recognized in profit or loss on a systematic basis over the periods in which the Group recognizes as expenses the costs that the grants are intended to compensate.

Where the Group receives government grants in the form of a transfer of a non-monetary asset for the use of the Group, it accounts for both the grant and the asset at the fair value of the non-monetary asset received at the date of the transfer.

Capital grants, including non-monetary grants at fair value, i.e. those received to purchase, build or otherwise acquire non-current assets (for example, an item of property, plant and equipment or an intangible asset), are deducted from the carrying amount of the asset and are recognized in profit or loss over the depreciable/amortizable life of the asset as a reduction in the depreciation/amortization charge.

Financial income and expense from derivatives

Financial income and expense from derivatives includes:

  • income and expense from derivatives measured at fair value through profit or loss on interest rate and currency risk;
  • income and expense from fair value hedge derivatives on interest rate risk;
  • income and expense from cash flow hedge derivatives on interest rate and currency risks.

Other financial income and expense

For all financial assets and liabilities measured at amortized cost and interest-bearing financial assets classified as at fair value through other comprehensive income, interest income and expense is recognized using the effective interest rate method. The effective interest rate is the rate that exactly discounts the estimated future cash payments or receipts over the expected life of the financial instrument or a shorter period, where appropriate, to the carrying amount of the financial asset or liability.

Interest income is recognized to the extent that it is probable that the economic benefits will flow to the Group and the amount can be reliably measured.

Other financial income and expense include also changes in the fair value of financial instruments other than derivatives.

Dividends

Dividends are recognized when the unconditional right to receive payment is established.

Dividends and interim dividends payable to the Parent’s shareholders are recognized as changes in equity in the period in which they are approved by the Shareholders’ Meeting and the Board of Directors, respectively.

Income taxes

Current income taxes

Current income taxes for the year, which are recognized under “income tax liabilities” net of payments on account, or under “tax assets” where there is a credit balance, are determined using an estimate of taxable income and in conformity with the applicable regulations.

In particular, such liabilities and assets are determined using the tax rates and tax laws that are enacted or substantively enacted by the end of the reporting period in the countries where taxable income has been generated.

Current income taxes are recognized in profit or loss with the exception of current income taxes related to items recognized outside profit or loss that are recognized in equity.

Deferred tax

Deferred tax liabilities and assets are calculated on the temporary differences between the carrying amounts of liabilities and assets in the financial statements and their corresponding amounts recognized for tax purposes on the basis of tax rates in effect on the date the temporary difference will reverse, which is determined on the basis of tax rates that are enacted or substantively enacted as at the end of the reporting period.

Deferred tax liabilities are recognized for all taxable temporary differences, except when such liability arises from the initial recognition of goodwill or in respect of taxable temporary differences associated with investments in subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, when the Group can control the timing of the reversal of the temporary differences and it is probable that the temporary differences will not reverse in the foreseeable future.

Deferred tax assets are recognized for all deductible temporary differences, the carry forward of tax losses and any unused tax credits. For more information concerning the recoverability of such assets, please see the appropriate section of the discussion of estimates.

Deferred taxes and liabilities are recognized in profit or loss, with the exception of those in respect of items recognized outside profit or loss that are recognized in equity.

Deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities are offset only if there is a legally enforceable right to offset current tax assets with current tax liabilities and when they relate to income taxes levied by the same taxation authority on either the same taxable entity or different taxable entities which intend either to settle current tax liabilities and assets on a net basis, or to realize the assets and settle the liabilities simultaneously, in each future period in which significant amounts of deferred tax liabilities or assets are expected to be settled or recovered.

Uncertainty over income tax treatments

In defining ‘uncertainty’, it shall be considered whether a particular tax treatment will be accepted by the relevant taxation authority. If it is deemed probable that the tax treatment will be accepted (where the term ‘probable’ is defined as ‘more likely than not’), then the Group recognizes and measures its current/deferred tax asset or liabilities applying the requirements in IAS 12.

Conversely, when the Group feels that it is not likely that the taxation authority will accept the tax treatment for income tax purposes, the Group reflects the uncertainty in the manner that best predicts the resolution of the uncertain tax treatment. The Group determines whether to consider each uncertain tax treatment separately or together with one or more other uncertain tax treatments based on which approach provides better predictions of the resolution of the uncertainty. In assessing whether and how the uncertainty affects the tax treatment, the Group assumes that a taxation authority will accept or not an uncertain tax treatment supposing that the taxation authority will examine amounts it has a right to examine and have full knowledge of all related information when making those examinations. The Group reflects the effect of uncertainty in accounting for current and deferred tax using the expected value or the most likely amount, whichever method better predicts the resolution of the uncertainty.

Since uncertain income tax positions meet the definition of income taxes, the Group presents uncertain tax liabilities/assets as current tax liabilities/assets or deferred tax liabilities/assets.