6.26 Financial risks and risk management

General

In the normal course of business, Heijmans is exposed to various financial risks, including credit, liquidity, market, price and interest-rate risks.

This section describes the degree to which these risks manifest themselves, the objectives set regarding the risks and the policy and procedures for measuring and managing them, as well as the management of capital.

The risk policy is focused on the identification and analysis of the risks to which the Group is exposed and the setting of acceptable limits.

The risk policy and systems are assessed on a regular basis and then modified if necessary for changes in market conditions and the operations of the Group. The objective is to create a disciplined and constructive approach to risk management, with the aid of training, standards and procedures whereby all employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities.

The Audit and Risk Committee periodically reviews the risk management policy and procedures. In addition, the Committee reviews the risk policy used in the light of the risks to which the Group is exposed.

Credit risk

Credit risk is the risk that the Group will be exposed to financial loss if a party against which Heijmans has a claim fails to meet its contractual obligations. Credit risks arise primarily from receivables due from customers and consortium partners. The creditworthiness of suppliers is also assessed, focusing primarily on the risk to security of supply.

The credit risk associated with residential property development is limited, as future residents can only take possession of the new home once they have met all their obligations and there is pre-financing during the construction stage. Creditworthiness is assessed in transactions involving the development of commercial property, construction contracts and infrastructure projects, with additional collateral possibly being requested. Additional forms of security are particularly important in the case of turnkey projects (paid for on completion), although normally there is pre-financing of transactions in the 'business to business' segment as well. Especially within Infra and non-residential construction, Heijmans carries out many assignments for public authorities, for which the credit risk is considered extremely limited. In these areas of the business, Heijmans will be part of consortiums working on various large-scale, integrated projects. The more specific the expertise of a consortium partner, the greater the importance that is attached to the creditworthiness of that partner. In such cases, a poor credit rating is grounds for not entering into partnership, since financial guarantees are not worth anything if essential know-how is lost.

The assessment of creditworthiness is part of the standard procedure, and involves using company-specific reports produced by rating agencies. Credit risk is mitigated by pre-financing arrangements and payments in instalments. Risks are insured with a credit insurer if considered necessary.

The large number of clients, a substantial proportion of which are private individuals and public authorities, means there is no concentration of credit risk.

The cash and cash equivalents are held at different banks that are assessed as regards creditworthiness. The credit risk is further mitigated by concentrating the cash as far as possible in cash pools, the cumulative balance of which is predominantly negative over the year.

The carrying amount of the financial assets exposed to credit risk can be analysed as follows:

x € 1,000

31 December 2022

31 December 2021

Loans granted to joint ventures

9,764

21,392

Cash and cash equivalents

237,012

209,567

Work in progress assets

95,645

74,492

Trade and other receivables

239,367

178,566

Total

581,788

484,017

Loans granted are mainly loans granted by the Group to joint arrangements in which it participates.

Ageing accounts receivable and provision

An appraisal has been made of the expected credit losses. The ageing of unimpaired outstanding receivables after the due date of the invoice was as follows:

x € 1,000

31 December 2022

31 December 2021

< 30 days

18,104

3,992

30-60 days

1,758

659

60-90 days

1,543

226

> 90 days -≤ 1 year

528

242

> 1 years

2,658

4,100

Total

24,591

9,219

Including accounts not yet due and accounts for which an impairment has been recognised, the balance of trade receivables at year-end 2022 was €201 million (2021: €137 million).

The due dates of the other financial assets have not been exceeded.

Accounts receivable provision

Trade receivables are reported after deduction of impairment losses relating to doubtful receivables. The movement in the provision was as follows:

x € 1,000

2022

2021

Balance at 1 January

4,121

4,227

Additions

117

64

Withdrawals

-244

0

Release

-3,382

-170

Balance at 31 December

612

4,121

Liquidity risk

Liquidity risk is the risk that the Group cannot meet its financial obligations at the time it is required to do so. See also note 6.22, Interest-bearing loans. The liquidity-risk management assumption is that sufficient liquidity levels will be maintained to meet current and future financial obligations, in both normal and exceptional circumstances, without incurring unacceptable risks and without endangering the reputation of the Group.

Weekly 3-month rolling and annual 12-month rolling liquidity forecasts are among the tools used to determine whether the Group has sufficient liquidity available. In addition, the availability of credit, including in the form of headroom available from credit insurers or providers of guarantees, is continuously monitored by regularly making projections of the score in relation to financial covenants and engaging in an active dialogue with all financial stakeholders. Based on this forecast, the Group considers that sufficient liquidity is available to conduct operations.

To secure the availability of financial resources for both the long term and the short term at the end of 2021, Heijmans has access to the following facilities:

  • €117.5 million committed syndicated bank financing, €20 million of which is in the form of a committed overdraft facility linked to a cash pool;

  • project financing for property developments; and

  • leases of vehicles and equipment.

In order to satisfy clients’ requirements for bank guarantees, Heijmans has access to guarantee facilities with various institutions. These facilities are uncommitted. Every month, a projection is made of the use of the available bank guarantee facilities, based on current tenders and expectations regarding the discharge of existing bank guarantees. Based on these projections, Heijmans believes that the present size of the facilities is adequate.

At year-end 2022, the bank guarantee facilities totalled €273 million (2021: €243 million) provided by a total of 9 parties. The overall amount of the facilities was increased somewhat in 2022 since its use had risen to €118 million at year-end 2022. Almost €1 million was for guarantees relating to the international activities that were disposed of in 2017, with the rest exclusively concerning guarantees for projects associated with operations in the Netherlands.

The contractual maturity dates of the financial obligations, including interest payments, are as follows:

31 December 2022

Carrying amount

Contractual cash flow

< 6 months

6-12 months

1-2 years

2-5 years

> 5 years

Syndicated bank financing

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Project financing

-11,739

-12,528

-73

-73

-146

-6,214

-6,022

Other non-current liabilities

-2,221

-2,441

-54

-154

-183

-1,774

-276

Current account overdrafts with credit institutions

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Trade and other payables

-365,172

-365,172

-365,172

0

0

0

0

Total

-379,132

-380,141

-365,299

-227

-329

-7,988

-6,298

x € 1,000

31 December 2021

Carrying amount

Contractual cash flow

< 6 months

6-12 months

1-2 years

2-5 years

> 5 years

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Cumulative financing preference shares B

-30,748

-37,657

-2,475

-

-2,217

-2,217

-30,748

Syndicated bank financing

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Project financing

-11,563

-11,598

-3

-3

-6

-5,083

-6,503

Other non-current liabilities

-2,880

-3,226

-72

-

-72

-3,082

-

Current account overdrafts with credit institutions

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Trade and other payables

-308,679

-308,679

-308,679

-

-

-

-

Total

-353,870

-361,160

-311,229

-3

-2,295

-10,382

-37,251

Market risk

Market risk is the risk that the income of the Group or the value of financial instruments is adversely affected by changes in market prices, for example, due to movements in exchange rates, interest rates and share prices. The objective of managing market risk is to keep the market risk position within acceptable limits while achieving optimum returns.

To manage market risk, derivatives may be bought and sold, and financial commitments may be undertaken. Transactions of this nature are carried out within established guidelines. As at year-end 2022, the Group’s subsidiaries and joint arrangements had not contracted any derivative instruments (2021: none).

Price risk

Price risk associated with the purchase of raw materials and consumables as well as with outsourced work, is mitigated by making price indexation agreements with clients, or where possible by making price agreements with suppliers at an early stage. If necessary, derivatives may be used occasionally to hedge the price risk of procuring raw materials. As Heijmans has been focusing less in recent years on large, integrated projects, the structure of the order book has become somewhat more short-cyclical. This is mitigating the risk from inflation.

Interest-rate risk

The interest rate policy at Heijmans is directed towards limiting the impact of changes in interest rates on the Group’s results. The interest rate on the cumulative financing preference shares B is reviewed every 5 years and fixed for 5 years. For the majority of the project financing arrangements, fixed interest rates are preferred, giving greater certainty with respect to results on the various projects. Where the syndicated loan is used, financing is at a floating rate. Since this involves financing of working capital, which is generally not required at the end of the year, Heijmans currently sees no benefits for fixing interest rates for longer periods. The present negative Euribor rate is another factor here. This policy is subject to constant evaluation.

If the interest rate for 2022 had been 2 percentage points higher on average, the result before tax based on the average level of debt (including the credit balance at the bank) would have been approximately €4.4 million higher (2021: approximately €3.9 million higher). The effect of a 2 percentage point difference in interest rates on the Group’s equity (assuming all other variables remained constant) would have been €3.3 million higher (2021: €2.9 million higher).

The table below shows the periods in which interest rates for interest-bearing financial assets and financial liabilities are reviewed:

x € 1,000

31 December 2022

0-6

6-12

1-2

2-5

> 5

Note

Total

months

months

years

years

years

Loans granted

6.14

9,764

2,020

0

0

1,358

6,386

Cash and cash equivalents

6.19

237,012

237,012

-

-

-

-

Syndicated bank financing

6.22

-

-

-

-

-

-

Project financing

6.22

-11,739

-5,777

0

0

0

-5,962

Other non-current liabilities

6.22

-2,221

0

0

0

-1,280

-941

Current account overdrafts with credit institutions

6.22

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total

232,816

233,255

0

0

78

-517

31 December 2021

0-6

6-12

1-2

2-5

> 5

Note

Total

months

months

years

years

years

Loans granted

6.14

21,392

11,285

600

-

-

9,507

Cash and cash equivalents

6.19

209,567

209,567

-

-

-

-

Cumulative financing preference shares B

6.22

-30,748

-

-

-

-30,748

-

Syndicated bank financing

6.22

-

-

-

-

-

-

Project financing

6.22

-11,563

-5,065

-

-

-

-6,498

Other non-current liabilities

6.22

-2,880

-

-

-

-2,880

-

Current account overdrafts with credit institutions

6.22

-

-

-

-

-

-

Total

185,768

215,787

600

0

-33,628

3,009

As at the closing date, 57% (2021: 86%) of the interest-bearing debt had been negotiated at a fixed rate of interest, and 43% (2021: 14%) at a floating rate. Due to seasonal effects, the average debt during the year is higher than the debt at the reporting date. The portion of the gross debt subject to a floating interest rate is also higher during the year. The gross floating rate interest debt is offset by items such as cash and cash equivalents which are also subject to floating rate interest, which was negative throughout the reporting period.

The average weighted term to maturity of the project financing is 3.3 years (2021: 4.5 years).

The interest-bearing loans that were granted and drawn are measured at amortised cost rather than at fair value. The carrying amount of the loans is therefore not affected by changes in interest rates.

Currency risk

The currency risk on sales, purchases and loans is extremely limited for Heijmans, since by far the greater part of the cash flows within the Group are in euros.

Fair values

The table below shows the fair values and the carrying amounts of the financial instruments. The fair values are allocated to different levels of the fair-value hierarchy, depending on the inputs used to determine the measurement methods. The levels are defined as follows:

Level 1: quoted (unadjusted) market prices available to the Group on the measurement date, in active markets for identical assets or liabilities.

Level 2: input that is not a quoted market price at level 1 but is obtainable for the asset or liability concerned, either directly (as a price) or indirectly (derived from a price).

Level 3: input for the asset or liability not based on data available in a market (unobservable input).

Heijmans has no financial assets or liabilities measured at fair value.

Loans and receivables

x € 1,000

31 December 2022

31 December 2021

Carrying

Fair

Carrying

Fair

Note

Level

amount

value

amount

value

Loans granted

6.14

2

9,764

9,393

21,392

22,463

Trade and other receivables

6.18

*

239,367

239,367

178,566

178,566

Cash and cash equivalents

6.19

*

237,012

237,012

209,567

209,567

Current account overdrafts with credit institutions

6.22

*

0

0

-

-

Cumulative financing preference shares B

6.22

2

0

0

-30,748

-33,403

Syndicated bank financing

6.22

2

0

0

-

-

Project financing

6.22

2

-11,739

-11,104

-11,563

-11,390

Other non-current liabilities

6.22

2

-2,221

-2,096

-2,880

-3,088

Trade and other payables

6.25

*

-365,172

-365,172

-308,679

-308,679

Net loans and receivables

107,011

107,400

55,655

54,036

  • ** The carrying amount is a reasonable approximation of the fair value.

The above values are based on the present value of future cash flows. The loans with a fixed interest rate are discounted using the yield curve for 31 December 2022, plus the relevant risk markup.

All loans with a variable interest rate are assumed to have a fair value equal to their carrying amount. Credit risk has no significant effect on the carrying amount of these loans.

Capital management

The policy has been designed to achieve a sound capital position with sufficient availability of credit to be able to ensure continuity for stakeholders. A sound long-term capital structure is based on operating with sufficient headroom within the limits of the covenants. This concerns the leverage ratio, being net interest-bearing debt after deduction of non-recourse finance divided by EBITDA not exceeding 3 and an interest cover ratio of at least 5 and a solvency ratio of at least 21% (see also note 6.22 for a description of the financial ratios in the conditions agreed with the banks).

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