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Accounting Principles

Audited information

Investis Holding SA (“the Company”) is based in Zurich, Switzerland. Its shares have been traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 30 June 2016 (IREN). The consolidated financial statements, prepared as at 31 December 2020, include Investis Holding SA and all its direct or indirect subsidiaries and joint ventures (Investis Group) as well as its shareholdings in associated companies.

The business activity of the Investis Group includes the long-term holding of residential and commercial properties as well as comprehensive real estate services in the areas of property management and facility services.

Basis of accounting

The consolidated financial statements of Investis Holding SA have been prepared in accordance with Swiss GAAP FER as a whole and with the special provisions for real estate companies specified in article 17 of the SIX Swiss Exchange’s Directive on Financial Reporting. They give a true and fair view of the assets, liabilities, cash flows and earnings of Investis Group.

The consolidated financial statements have been prepared applying the principle of historical cost accounting or fair value. Please refer to the “Key accounting and valuation principles” in this chapter for the valuation principles of individual balance sheet items. The income statement is presented by nature. The financial statements have been drawn up on the basis of going-concern values.

Assets realised or consumed in the ordinary course of business within twelve months or held for sale purposes are classified as current assets. All other assets are included in non-current assets. Liabilities to be settled in the ordinary course of business or falling due within twelve months from the balance sheet date are classified as current liabilities. All other liabilities are classified as non-current liabilities.

application of new Swiss GAAP FER standards

In the year under review the Swiss GAAP FER accounting principles have not been changed.

Consolidation principles

The consolidated financial statements are based on the individual financial statements of the Group companies, which were prepared as at 31 December 2020 and drawn up according to uniform accounting principles. The relevant accounting principles are described below. The consolidated financial statements are presented in Swiss francs (CHF). Unless otherwise stated, all amounts are stated in thousands of Swiss francs (CHF 1,000). Due to rounding, parts of an item that has been broken down may add up to more or less than 100% of the total item.

The consolidated financial statements include all subsidiaries that are directly or indirectly controlled by Investis Holding SA. The Investis Group controls a subsidiary if it is exposed to the fluctuating returns of the investment or if it holds rights to these returns and has the ability to influence these returns given its power over the subsidiary. This is the case where the Investis Group holds more than 50% of the voting rights of an entity or where the Investis Group has been granted management of an entity contractually or is exercising control by other means. These entities are fully consolidated; assets, liabilities, income and expenses are incorporated in the consolidated accounts and all intercompany balances are eliminated.

Joint ventures are entities which the Investis Group jointly controls with one or more joint venture partners, and whereby the Investis Group is heavily involved in the management. Joint ventures are consolidated proportionally.

Associates are all companies on which the Investis Group exerts significant influence but does not have control. This is generally evidenced when the Investis Group holds voting rights and share capital ownership of between 20% and 50% of a company. Investments in associated companies are recognised using the equity method. Ownership of shares in organisations where Investis has voting rights of less than 20% of the total is recognised as financial assets at acquisition cost, less any necessary write-downs.

Capital consolidation is based on the purchase method. Companies acquired by the Investis Group are included in the consolidated financial statements from the date of obtaining control. The net assets previously recognised by the acquired subsidiary are revalued at acquisition date using uniform Group accounting principles and then consolidated. Any difference between the higher purchase price and the net assets acquired (goodwill) is offset against retained earnings. Where an offset takes place with retained earnings, the impact of this theoretical capitalisation and amortisation over the estimated useful life of five years is disclosed separately in the notes. In a business acquisition achieved in stages (including transactions with minorities) the goodwill is determined on each separate transaction and offset against retained earnings. Goodwill arising from acquisitions of associates remains recognised as part of the investment.

Companies sold are excluded from the scope of consolidation as of the date on which the Group ceases to have control, with any gain or loss (after goodwill recycling) recognised in the operating result. Non-controlling interests in equity and profit are presented separately in the consolidated balance sheet and the consolidated income statement.

Changes in the scope of consolidated companies are disclosed in Note 1.

Translation of foreign currencies

All Group companies prepare their financial statements in CHF.


Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand, current accounts with banks, as well as fixed-term deposits with a maturity of less than three months and are shown at nominal value. Positions in foreign currencies are translated at the spot rate on the balance sheet date.

Trade receivables and other receivables

Trade receivables and other receivables are stated at nominal value. Provisions for doubtful debts are made in cases where the Group faces a risk of not collecting the outstanding amount. Changes in provisions are recognised in the income statement as part of revenue.

Properties held for sale

Investment properties leased out but intended for sale are classified under current assets as properties held for sale and valued at cost.

Development properties (projects) intended for sale are accounted for at the lower of cost (incl. interest incurred during the construction phase) or fair value and are recognised under current assets. The costs include the plot of land as well as the directly attributable construction costs in line with the construction progress. Discounts are recorded as a reduction in construction costs. 

Properties reclassed from investment properties under construction (non-current assets, valued at fair value) are subsequently valued at the lower of this value (including construction costs after reclassification) or fair value.

Investment properties

The portfolio consists of the following categories:
– Residential properties
– Commercial properties
– Properties under construction
– Undeveloped plots of land

Investment properties are held for long-term investment purposes with the aim of realising revenues from the letting of properties. Investment properties are accounted for at fair value and as such are not subject to depreciation. The fair values are updated and calculated using the discounted cash flow (DCF) method on an annual basis by an independent property appraiser based on the individual risk profile per property. Single-family houses and condominiums are valued by the independent property appraiser using a sales comparison approach. In accordance with the provisions of Swiss GAAP FER, increases and decreases in fair value are recognised in the income statement in the period in which they occur. Investment properties under construction and undeveloped plots of land are recorded at fair value from the date on which their fair value can be reliably determined. Investis has defined the existence of a final construction permit, plus a definite construction project in which costs and revenues can be determined reliably, as mandatory requirements for a reliable market valuation. If the conditions for a reliable assessment of market value are not yet present, investment properties under construction and undeveloped plots of land are accounted for at cost. Provided they do not lead to an increase in market value, investments and refurbishments are recorded as an expense in the period in which they are incurred.

Borrowing costs for the dedicated financing of properties under construction and undeveloped plots of land are capitalised. Other borrowing costs are charged to financial expenses.

Tangible fixed assets

Tangible fixed assets are stated at cost less depreciation and impairment. The depreciation is recognised on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives: three to ten years for office and other equipment.

Intangible assets

Acquired intangible assets are stated at cost less amortisation and impairment. The amortisation is recognised on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives: three to five years for intangible assets. No internally generated intangible assets were capitalised.

Financial assets

These items include investments in associates, long-term loans and other long-term receivables that are stated at nominal value. Investments in associates are ownership interests of more than 20% in companies in which the Investis Group has no control. They are valued and accounted for using the equity method.

Deferred tax assets

Deferred tax assets are recognised to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profit will be available against which temporary differences or unused tax losses can be utilised.

Impairment of assets

If there is any indication of impairment, an impairment test is performed immediately. If the carrying amount exceeds the recoverable amount, an impairment loss is recognised in the income statement. As the goodwill is already charged against equity at the date of the acquisition, an impairment of the goodwill does not affect the income statement but leads to a disclosure in the respective note.

Trade payables and other liabilities

Trade payables and other liabilities are recognised at their nominal values. They are recognised under current liabilities unless a broader economic perspective requires them to be assigned to non-current liabilities.

Current and non-current financial liabilities

Mortgages and fixed advances that are not repaid within twelve months, but are renewed, are regarded financially as long-term borrowings and disclosed as such in the balance sheet. Financial liabilities are stated at nominal value.

Bond issuance costs, reduced by the amount of the premium, are charged in full to the income statement upon issue of the bond.


Provisions are recognised only if the company has a present obligation to a third party as a result of a past event, it is probable that an outflow of resources will be required to settle the obligation, and the obligation can be sufficiently reliably estimated. Provisions are presented as being either short- or long-term in accordance with their expected due dates.

Deferred tax liabilities

Deferred taxes are calculated by applying the balance sheet liability method for any temporary difference between the carrying amount according to Swiss GAAP FER and the tax basis of assets and liabilities. They include deferred taxes on revaluation of investment properties.

The current income tax rates are applied in cantons with a two-tier system. In cantons with a single-tier system there is a separate property gains tax with speculation surcharges or deductions for the period of ownership, depending on the holding period. For properties that are intended for sale, the actual holding period will apply. For the remaining properties, a holding period of 20 years or the effective holding period will apply, provided it is more than 20 years. Liabilities for deferred taxes are not discounted.

The tax rates applied in the financial year and preceding years lie between 14% and 24%.

Pension liabilities

All companies in the Investis Group are members of independent collective pension plan foundations with defined contribution plans. The capitalisation of possible economic benefits (stemming from a surplus in the pension institution) is neither intended nor do the conditions for this exist. A financial obligation is carried as a liability if the conditions for the establishment of a provision are met.


Treasury shares (own equity instruments held by the Investis Group) are accounted for as a reduction of equity at acquisition cost and are not subsequently remeasured. When shares are used or sold out of treasury shares, the resulting profit or loss is recognised in the capital reserves, net of tax.

Share-based compensation

Share-based compensation is stated at fair value and recognised in personnel expenses in the period in which the service is performed. Detailed information on share-based compensation to members of the Board of Directors and the Executive Board is disclosed in chapters 4.2 (for the Board of Directors) and chapter 4.3.3 (for the Executive Board) of the Compensation Report.

Income from disposal of properties

The result from property sales is recognised in income from disposal of properties and also includes the result of disposals of consolidated real estate companies.

Financial result

This item includes interest income and expenses, exchange rate differences, gains and losses on securities and other financial income and expenses.

Derivative financial instruments

Investis has no derivative financial instruments outstanding at the balance sheet date.

Transactions with related parties

Related parties include natural or legal persons who could exert a significant direct or indirect influence on financial and operating decisions affecting Investis Holding SA. Organisations that are directly or indirectly controlled by a related party are also classified as related parties. Major transactions with related parties are disclosed in Note 22.

Segment information

The following operating and reporting segments have been identified based on the management structure as well as the reporting to the Executive Board and the Board of Directors:
– Properties: invests primarily in Swiss residential properties
– Real Estate Services: provides comprehensive real estate services in Switzerland

Segment reporting is prepared to operating profit (EBIT) level since this key figure is used for management purposes. All operating assets and liabilities that can be assigned to the segments, either directly or on a reasonable basis, are reported in the respective segment. There are no differences between the accounting and valuation principles used for segment reporting and those used for the preparation of the consolidated financial statements.

The position “segment elimination” contains transactions between segments.

Contingent liabilities and other obligations

Contingent liabilities as well as other obligations for which a provision has not been recorded are assessed at each balance sheet date and are disclosed in the notes to the financial statements. If an outflow of funds without a useable inflow of funds, services and/or goods is probable and can be estimated, a provision is recorded.


The preparation of financial statements requires judgement and assumptions to be made. This will affect the reported asset values, liabilities and contingent liabilities at the balance sheet date, as well as income and expenses during the reporting period. If assumptions that were made at the date of the financial statements to the best of management’s knowledge and belief differ from the actual circumstances, the original assessments and assumptions will be adjusted in the reporting year in which the circumstances change.

Risk management

The Investis Group has a risk management programme. Every year a risk analysis is carried out to compile and document all business risks in accordance with uniform criteria. The identified risks are then assessed according to their probability of occurrence and their potential scope. Financial implications as well as general effects are taken into account when determining the potential impact on the Investis Group. Such risks are then either borne, avoided, reduced or passed on by the measures decided upon by the Board of Directors.

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