6.17 Work in progress

x € 1,000

31 December 2022

31 December 2021

Performance obligations fulfilled and transferred to clients (in practical terms, this item comprises realised revenue based on percentage of completion)



less: Invoiced instalments



Balance of work in progress



Work in progress assets (positive balance of work in progress)



Work in progress liabilities (negative balance of work in progress)



Balance of work in progress



A periodical assessment of the carrying amount of work in progress is made for each project by the project owner and the management of the unit concerned. This assessment is essentially performed on the basis of the figures in the project files, the project accounts and the knowledge and experience of those involved. Inherent in this process and the project-related activities is that estimates have to be made and that the Group is involved in negotiations and discussions concerning the financial progress of projects, such as contract savings or extras, claims, incentives and penalties, completion dates and the quality standard of the work. It may turn out at a later stage that actual results differ from the estimates. This will be so particularly for long-term projects that include considerable customisation. It can also occur if there are unsettled claims or discussions with clients about additional work that are still continuing on the reporting date. For further details on a number of specific projects, refer to note 6.30 Management estimates and judgements.

The degree of uncertainty surrounding these estimates becomes greater the more, for example:

  • types of contract and associated specific agreements involve increased risks for the Group. In a DC (Design and Construct) contract, for example, the Group assumes the design risk (as well as construction). DBMO (Design, Build, Maintain, Operate) contracts also include responsibility for maintenance and operation;

  • projects are still at the design stage. It is possible for substantial changes to occur in the process of turning a provisional design into the final design, leading to adjustments both up and down compared with the initial projection.

Projects are also fraught with opportunities and risks during execution. For example, there may be extra work, claims or unforeseen circumstances with a potential cost to the Group.

Variable consideration is only recognised if it is highly probable that a significant revenue reversal will not occur:

  • Revenue from additional work is included in the overall contract revenue if the client has accepted the sum involved in any way.

  • Claims and incentives are recognised in the amount for work in progress where they derive from enforceable rights, it is highly probable that they will lead to revenue and can be reliably measured.

  • Unless it is highly unlikely that a penalty will be applied, the amount of any penalties will be deducted from the revenue.

Bonuses are recognised as revenue from work in progress if the project is far enough advanced and it is highly probable that the performance indicators specified will be met (and it is highly probable that no significant reversal will occur), and the bonus amount can be reliably determined. If the bonus can only be received after expiry of a predetermined period following completion of the project, then that bonus is only recognised when it is highly probable that the bonus will be received (and it is highly probable that no significant reversal will occur).

Work in progress assets concern the right to consideration in respect of work on projects carried out and transferred to the client. As at year-end 2022, this item amounted to €96 million (2021: €74 million). No material amounts in respect of expected credit losses have been deducted.

Work in progress liabilities concerns the obligation to carry out work on projects for clients for which the Group has received a consideration from the client (or the client owes that amount). This means that in practice the invoiced instalments run ahead of the project revenue, so on balance the work is funded in advance by the client. As at year-end 2022, this item amounted to €221 million (2021: €185 million).

Work in progress assets and liabilities generally have a term of less than 12 months.

Work in progress assets and liabilities do not include any items of a material nature relating to marginal costs for securing or fulfilling a contract.

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