Use of estimates and judgement in preparation of the annual accounts
Preparing the annual accounts in accordance with IFRS as adopted by EU requires the management to use estimates and assumptions affecting the amounts reported in the accounts with notes. The management assumptions and valuations are based on past experience and on miscellaneous other factors assumed to be reasonable and appropriate. This applies in particular to impairment assessment of ships and lease classification assessment. Future events can entail a change in these estimates. Estimates and the underlying assumptions are evaluated on an ongoing basis.
Changes in accounting estimates are entered in the period when the changes occur. If the changes also apply to future periods, the effect is distributed over the current and future periods and appears in the current note.
SHIPS – IMPAIRMENT ASSESSMENT
The Group assess, at each reporting date, whether there are any indications that the ships may be impaired, or if previous recorded impairment charges should be reversed. Each ship is defined as a separate cash generating unit. The recoverable amount is based on the average of two independent broker estimates (charterfree), in addition to the net present value of the estimated fair value of the belonging charters for ships under contract with Canpotex.
In 2017, the market conditions for bulk ships have improved with increasing freight rates and underlying ships values. When the freight rates increase, the net present value of ships on long favorable charters decreases. The key assumptions used for impairment testing of the ships are described in note 7.
The impairment calculation demands some degree of estimation. Management makes estimates and judgement of the estimated fair value of the belonging charters and the discount rate. For the broker valuations, management compares the value with comparable external non-distressed transactions of bulk ships, adjusted for size, yard and construction year.
Further, management also assess external available sources for the expected development in the world wide fleet, parity between newbuilding prices versus second-hand transactions and assumptions regarding future freight rates and implied capital cost to assess if the broker valuations used as basis are reliable. The dry bulk sector has several sources for second-hand prices and assumptions regarding future market development (rates and estimated fleet growth). Changes to these estimates could have significant impact on impairment/reversal of impairments.
Remaining useful life is estimated on the date of the presentation of accounts. The useful life of the assets and the method of depreciation are evaluated yearly. See note 7 for additional details.
Operating versus financial lease agreements
Based on the content of a leasing agreement, the Company determines whether the agreement is considered as an operating or a financial lease agreement. In this determination, assumptions are made and if the same assumptions were judged differently, it could have an effect on the income statement and the statement of financial position. One of the most significant judgements is the forecasted future market value of the leased ship at the dates when the purchase option is expected to be declared.
Based on an assessment of the terms of the lease contracts, including the levels of purchase options, the Management assessed in 2015 and 2016 that the leaseback is a financial lease for both M/S Belforest and M/S Belisland.
Leased ships are at the inception of the lease measured at the lower of the fair value and the present value of minimum lease payments and expected timing of declaration of the purchase option. For the purpose of calculating the net present value, the interest rate implicit in the lease or the Company’s current incremental borrowing rate is used as a discount factor.