Sample Disclosure – Impairment of Assets (27 November 2008)

Impairment of assets

The carrying amounts of assets, other than investment properties, inventories, deferred tax assets and non-current assets (or disposal groups) held for sale, are reviewed at each balance sheet date to determine whether there is any indication of impairment. If any such indication exists, the asset’s recoverable amount is estimated to determine the amount of impairment loss.

For goodwill, intangible assets that have an indefinite useful life and intangible assets that are not yet available for use, the recoverable amount is estimated at each balance sheet date or more frequently when indicators of impairment are identified.

For the purpose of impairment testing of these assets, recoverable amount is determined on an individual asset basis unless the asset does not generate cash flows that are largely independent of those from other assets. If this is the case, recoverable amount is determined for the cash-generating unit (CGU) to which the asset belongs to. Goodwill acquired in a business combination is, from the acquisition date, allocated to each of the Group’s CGUs, or groups of CGUs, that are expected to benefit from the synergies of the combination, irrespective of whether other assets or liabilities of the Group are assigned to those units or groups of units.

An asset’s recoverable amount is the higher of an asset’s or CGU’s fair value less costs to sell and its value in use. In assessing value in use, the estimated future cash flows are discounted to their present value using a pre-tax discount rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the asset. Where the carrying amount of an asset exceeds its recoverable amount, the asset is considered impaired and is written down to its recoverable amount. Impairment losses recognised in respect of a CGU or groups of CGUs are allocated first to reduce the carrying amount of any goodwill allocated to those units or groups of units and then, to reduce the carrying amount of the other assets in the unit or groups of units on a pro-rata basis.

An impairment loss is recognised in profit or loss in the period in which it arises.

Impairment loss on goodwill is not reversed in a subsequent financial period. An impairment loss for an asset other than goodwill is reversed if, and only if, there has been a change in the estimates used to determine the asset’s recoverable amount since the last impairment loss was recognised. The carrying amount of an asset other than goodwill is increased to its revised recoverable amount, provided that this amount does not exceed the carrying amount that would have been determined (net of amortisation or depreciation) had no impairment loss been recognised for the asset in prior years. A reversal of impairment loss for an asset other than goodwill is recognised in profit or loss.