4. Significant accounting policies
The accounting policies set out below have been applied consistently by the Group to all periods presented in these consolidated financial statements.
(a) Principles of consolidation
The consolidated financial statements comprise the financial statements of the companies comprising the Group and its subsidiaries.
Business combinations are accounted for using the acquisition method as at the acquisition date, which is the date on which control is transferred to the Group. Control exists when the Group has the power to govern the financial and operating policies of an entity so as to obtain benefits from its activities. In assessing control, the Group takes into consideration potential voting rights that currently are exercisable.
The consideration transferred does not include amounts related to the settlement of pre–existing relations. Such amounts are generally recognised in profit or loss.
Any contingent consideration payable is recognised at fair value at the acquisition date. If the contingent consideration is classified as equity, it is not remeasured and settlement is accounted for within equity. Otherwise, subsequent changes to the fair value of the contingent consideration are recognised in profit or loss.
Costs related to the acquisitions other than those associated with issue of debt or equity securities, that the Group incurs in connection with business combination are expensed as incurred.
Combination of entities under common control
Business combinations arising from transfers of interests in entities that are under the control of the shareholder that controls the Group are accounted for as if the acquisition had occurred at the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented or, if later, at the date that common control was established; for this purpose comparatives are revised. The assets and liabilities acquired are recognised at the carrying amounts recognised previously in the Group’s controlling shareholder’s consolidated financial statements. The components of equity of the acquired entities are added to the same components within Group equity except that any share capital of the acquired entities is recognised as part of share premium. Any cash paid for the acquisition is recognised directly in equity.
Acquisitions of non–controlling interests
Acquisitions of non–controlling interests are accounted for as transactions with owners in their capacity as owners and therefore no goodwill is recognised as a result. Acquisitions of non–controlling interests that do not result in a loss of control are accounted for as equity transactions.
Subsidiaries are entities that are directly or indirectly controlled by the Group. Subsidiaries are consolidated from the date on which control is transferred to the Group and are no longer consolidated from the date that control ceases.
The financial statements of the subsidiaries are prepared for the same reporting period as the Group, using consistent accounting policies.
All intra–group balances, income and expenses and unrealized gains and losses resulting from intra–group transactions are eliminated in full.
Losses are allocated to the parent and to non–controlling interest based on their respective interests.
Investments in associates (equity accounted investees)
Associates in which the Group has significant influence but not a controlling interest are accounted for using the equity method of accounting. Significant influence is usually demonstrated by the Group owning, directly or indirectly, between 20% and 50% of the voting ownership interest or by power to participate in the financial and operating policy decisions of associates. The Group’s share of the net income or losses of associates is included in profit or loss, the Group’s share of movement in reserves is recognized in equity and the Group's share of the net assets of associates is included in the consolidated statements of financial position.
An assessment of investments in associates for possible impairment or reversal of impairment recognized previously is performed when there is an indication that the asset has been impaired or the impairment losses recognized in prior years no longer exist. When the Group’s share of losses exceeds the carrying amount of the investment, the investment is reported at nil value and recognition of losses is discontinued except to the extent of the Group’s commitment to fund future losses. Unrealized profits and losses that arise from transactions between the Group and its associates are eliminated in the proportion to the Group’s share in such associates.
Non–controlling interest includes that part of the net results of operations and of net assets of subsidiaries attributable to interests which are not owned, directly or indirectly through subsidiaries, by the Group. Non–controlling interest at the reporting date represents the non–controlling shareholders’ portion of the fair values of identifiable assets and liabilities of the subsidiary at the acquisition date, and their portion of movements in net assets since the date of the combination.
The losses applicable to non–controlling interest, including negative other comprehensive income, are charged to non–controlling interest even if it causes non–controlling interest to have a deficit balance.
Goodwill on an acquisition of a subsidiary is included in intangible assets. Goodwill on an acquisition of an associate is included in the investment in associates.
The acquirer recognizes goodwill as of the acquisition date measured as the excess of (a) over (b) below:
(a) the aggregate of:
- the acquisition–date fair value of consideration transferred;
- non–controlling interest’s proportionate share of the acquiree’s identifiable net assets; and
- in a business combination achieved in stages, the acquisition–date fair value of the acquirer’s previously held equity interest in the acquiree.
(b) the net of the acquisition–date amounts of the identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed measured in accordance with IFRS 3.
Following initial recognition, goodwill is measured at cost less any accumulated impairment losses. Impairment losses for goodwill may not be reversed. If the impairment loss recognized for the cash–generating unit exceeds the carrying amount of the allocated goodwill, the additional amount of the impairment loss is recognized by allocating to other assets on pro rata basis, but not below their fair value.
Goodwill is not amortized. Instead, it is tested for impairment annually or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that it might be impaired.
Where goodwill forms part of a cash–generating unit and part of the operations within that unit are disposed of, the goodwill associated with the operation disposed of is included in the carrying amount of the operation when determining the gain or loss on disposal of the operation. Goodwill disposed of in this circumstance is measured based on the relative values of the operation disposed of and the portion of cash–generating unit retained.
In case of excess of the Group’s interest in the net fair value of the acquiree’s identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities over cost of business combination the Group:
- reassesses the identification and measurement of the acquiree’s identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities and the measurement of the cost of the combination;
- recognizes in profit or loss any excess remaining after that reassessment immediately.
- represents the lowest level within the Group at which the goodwill is monitored for internal management purposes; and
- is not larger than an operating segment determined in accordance with IFRS 8 Operating Segments.
- except where the deferred income tax liability arises from goodwill or the initial recognition of an asset or liability in a transaction that is not a business combination and, at the time of the transaction, affects neither the accounting profit nor taxable profit or loss; and
- in respect of taxable temporary differences associated with investments in subsidiaries, associates and interests in joint ventures, except where the timing of the reversal of the temporary difference can be controlled and it is probable that the temporary difference will not reverse in the foreseeable future.
- except where the deferred income tax asset relating to the deductible temporary difference arises from the initial recognition of an asset or liability in a transaction that is not a business combination and, at the time of the transaction, affects neither the accounting profit nor taxable profit or loss; and
- in respect of deductible temporary differences associated with investments in subsidiaries, associates and interests in joint ventures, deferred tax assets are only recognized to the extent that it is probable that the temporary differences will reverse in the foreseeable future and taxable profit will be available against which the temporary difference can be utilized.
- IAS 1 “Financial statement presentation”;
- IAS 19 “Employee Benefits” (comparative information was restated appropriately);
- IFRS 10 “Consolidated financial statement“;
- IFRS 12 “Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities”;
- IFRS 13 “Fair Value Measurement”.
- IFRS 9 Financial Instruments is to be issued in phases and is intended ultimately to replace International Financial Reporting Standard IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement. The first phase of IFRS 9 was issued in November 2009 and relates to the classification and measurement of financial assets. The second phase regarding classification and measurement of financial liabilities was published in October 2010. The third phase was issued in November 2013 and relates to general hedge accounting. The Group recognises that the new standard introduces many changes to the accounting for financial instruments and is likely to have a significant impact on Group’s consolidated financial statements. The impact of these changes will be analysed during the course of the project as further phases of the standard are issued. The Group does not intend to adopt this standard early.
- Investment Entities (Amendments to IFRS 10, IFRS 12 and IAS 27) will be effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2014. The amendments introduce a mandatory consolidation exception for certain qualifying investment entities. A qualifying investment entity is required to account for investments in controlled entities, as well as investments in associates and joint ventures, at fair value through profit or loss. The consolidation exception will not apply to subsidiaries that are considered an extension of the investment entity's investing activities. The amendments are to be applied retrospectively unless impracticable. The new amendments will not have any impact on the Group’s financial position or performance.
- Amendments to IAS 32 Financial Instruments: Presentation – Offsetting Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities specify that an entity currently has a legally enforceable right to set–off if that right is not contingent on a future event; and enforceable both in the normal course of business and in the event of default, insolvency or bankruptcy of the entity and all counterparties. The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2014, and are to be applied retrospectively. The amendments are likely to increase the Group’s trade and other receivables from and trade and other payables to certain counterparties because it is unlikely that the Group will meet the criteria for offsetting. In particular, the current bankruptcy legislation in Russia does not allow offsetting if this has impact on the succession of settlements determined by the law. However, the impact has not yet been quantified.
- Amendments to IAS 36 Recoverable Amount Disclosures for Non–Financial Assets. The IASB has issued amendments to reverse the unintended requirement in IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement to disclose the recoverable amount of every cash–generating unit to which significant goodwill or indefinite–lived intangible assets have been allocated. Under the amendments, the disclosure of information about the recoverable amount of impaired assets will be required only when the recoverable amount is based on fair value less costs of disposal. The amendments apply retrospectively for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2014. Early application is permitted, which means that the amendments can be adopted at the same time as IFRS 13. The new amendments will not have any impact on the Group’s financial position or performance.
- IFRIC 21 Levies provides guidance on accounting for levies in accordance with the requirements of IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets. The interpretation defines a levy as an outflow from an entity imposed by a government in accordance with legislation. Levies do not arise from executory contracts or other contractual arrangements. However, outflows within the scope of IAS 12 Income taxes, fines and penalties, and liabilities arising from emission trading schemes are explicitly excluded from the scope. The interpretation confirms that an entity recognises a liability for a levy when – and only when – the triggering event specified in the legislation occurs. An entity does not recognise a liability at an earlier date, even if it has no realistic opportunity to avoid the triggering event. The interpretation is effective for annual periods commencing on or after 1 January 2014. The interpretation is applied on a retrospective basis. Early adoption is permitted. The new amendments will not have any impact on the Group’s financial position or performance.
- Amendments to IAS 39 Novation of Derivatives and Continuation of Hedge Accounting add a limited exception to IAS 39, to provide relief from discontinuing an existing hedging relationship when a novation that was not contemplated in the original hedging documentation meets specific criteria. The amendments are effective for annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2014. Early application is permitted. The new amendments will not have any impact on the Group’s financial position or performance.
- Various Improvements to IFRSs have been dealt with on a standard–by–standard basis. All amendments, which result in accounting changes for presentation, recognition or measurement purposes, will come into effect for annual periods beginning on or after 1 July 2014. Entities are permitted to apply them earlier. The Group has not yet analysed the likely impact of the improvements on its financial position or performance.
(c) Property, plant and equipment
Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and accumulated impairment losses. Cost includes expenditure that is directly attributable to the acquisition of the asset. The cost of self–constructed assets includes the cost of materials and direct labour, any other costs directly attributable to bringing the asset to a working condition for their intended use, the costs of dismantling and removing the items and restoring the site on which they are located, and capitalised borrowing costs.
The cost of replacing part of an item of property, plant and equipment is recognised in the carrying amount of the item if it is probable that the future economic benefits embodied within the part will flow to the Group and its cost can be measured reliably. The carrying amount of the replaced part is derecognised. The costs of the day–to–day servicing of property, plant and equipment are recognised in profit or loss as incurred.
Items of property, plant and equipment that are retired or otherwise disposed of are eliminated from the statement of financial position along with the corresponding accumulated depreciation. Any difference between the net disposal proceeds and carrying amount of the item is reported as a gain or loss on derecognition. The gain or loss resulting from such retirement or disposal is included in the determination of net income.
Depreciation is calculated on property, plant and equipment on a straight–line basis from the time the assets are available for use, over their estimated useful lives as follows:
|Number of years|
|Buildings and site services||10 - 50|
|Cable and transmission devices:|
|· Cable||10 - 40|
|· Radio and fixed link transmission equipment||8 - 20|
|· Telephone exchanges||15|
|· Other||5 - 10|
The useful life of assets encompasses the entire time they are available for use, regardless of whether during that time they are in use or idle. Depreciation methods, useful lives and residual values are reviewed at each reporting date or more frequently if events occur that suggest a change is necessary and, if expectations differ from previous estimates, the changes are accounted for prospectively. Depreciation of an asset ceases at the earlier of the date the asset is classified as held for sale and the date the asset is derecognized.
Construction in progress represents properties under construction and is stated at cost. This includes cost of construction and other direct costs. Construction in progress is not depreciated until the constructed or installed asset is ready for its intended use.
Advances given to suppliers of property, plant and equipment are included in other non–current assets.
Interest costs on borrowings to finance the construction of property, plant and equipment are capitalized during the period of time that is required to complete and prepare the asset for its intended use.
Cost of machinery and plant and other items of property, plant and equipment related to core activities of the Group, which have been gratuitously transferred to the Group beyond the privatisation framework, is capitalised in property, plant and equipment at fair value at the date of such transfer. Such transfers of property, plant and equipment primarily relate to future provision of services by the Group to entities, which have transferred property, plant and equipment. In such instances, the Group records deferred income in the amount of the fair value of the received property, plant and equipment and recognises income in the income statement on the same basis that the equipment is depreciated.
Service contracts that do not take the legal form of a lease but convey rights to the Group to use an asset or a group of assets in return for a payment or a series of fixed payments are accounted for as leases. Determining whether an arrangement contains a lease is determined based on the facts and circumstances of each arrangement to determine whether fulfilment of the arrangement is dependent on the use of a specific asset or assets and whether the arrangement conveys a right to use that asset. Contracts meeting these criteria are then evaluated to determine whether they are either an operating lease or finance lease.
Finance leases, which transfer to the Group substantially all the risks and benefits incidental to ownership of the leased item, are capitalized at the commencement of the lease term at the fair value of the leased property or, if lower, at the present value of the minimum lease payments. Lease payments are apportioned between the finance charges and reduction of the lease liability so as to achieve a constant rate of interest on the remaining balance of the liability. Finance charges are charged directly to profit or loss. Capitalized leased assets are depreciated on a straight–line basis over the shorter of the estimated useful life of the asset or the lease term unless there is a reasonable certainty that the Group will obtain ownership by the end of the lease term, in which case the assets are depreciated over their estimated useful lives.
Indefeasible Rights of Use (IRU) leases represent the right to use a portion of asset granted for a fixed period. IRUs are recognized as an asset when the Group has the specific indefeasible right to use an identified portion of the underlying asset, generally optical fibers or dedicated wavelength bandwidth, and the duration of the right is for the major part of the underlying asset’s economic life. Such assets are included in property, plant and equipment in the consolidated statement of financial position. They are depreciated over the shorter of the expected period of use and the life of the contract.
Leases, including IRU leases, where the lessor retains substantially all the risks and benefits of ownership of the asset are classified as operating leases. Operating lease payments are recognized as an expense in profit or loss on a straight–line basis over the lease term.
(e) Investment property
Investment properties are properties held to earn rentals and/or for capital appreciation (including property under construction for such purposes). Investment properties are measured initially at cost, including transaction costs. The Group applies cost model to its investments properties and subsequent to initial recognition investment properties are measured in accordance with IAS 16’s requirements for that model.
An investment property is derecognised upon disposal or when the investment property is permanently withdrawn from use and no future economic benefits are expected from the disposal. Any gain or loss arising on derecognition of the property (calculated as the difference between the net disposal proceeds and the carrying amount of the asset) is included in profit or loss in the period in which the property is derecognised.
(f) Intangible assets
Intangible assets acquired separately are measured on initial recognition at cost. The cost of intangible assets acquired in a business combination is fair value as at the date of acquisition.
Development expenditures are capitalised if they meet criteria for an assets recognition. Expenditure on research phase are expensed as incurred.
Following initial recognition, intangible assets are carried at cost less any accumulated amortization and any accumulated impairment losses.
The useful lives of intangible assets are assessed to be either finite or indefinite.
Intangible assets with finite lives are amortized over the useful economic life and assessed for impairment when there is an indication that the intangible asset may be impaired. Useful lives of intangible assets with finite lives are determined on individual basis.
Amortization periods and methods for intangible assets with finite useful lives are reviewed at least at each financial year–end and, if expectations differ from previous estimates, the changes are accounted for as changes in accounting estimates. Changes in the expected useful life or the expected pattern of consumption of future economic benefits embodied in the asset are accounted for by changing the amortization period or method, as appropriate, and treated as changes in accounting estimates. The Group assesses whether there is any indication that a finite lived intangible asset may be impaired at each reporting date. The Group also performs annual impairment tests for finite lived assets not yet placed in use. The amortization expense on intangible assets with finite lives is included in depreciation and amortization expenses in profit or loss.
Intangible assets with indefinite useful lives are not amortized, but tested for impairment annually or more frequently when indicators of impairment exist, either individually or at the cash–generating unit level. The useful life of an intangible asset with an indefinite life is reviewed annually to determine whether indefinite life assessment continues to be supportable. If not, the change in the useful life assessment from indefinite to finite is made on a prospective basis.
(g) Impairment of property, plant and equipment and intangible assets
At each reporting date or more frequently if events occur that suggest a change is necessary, an assessment is made as to whether there is any indication that the Group’s assets may be impaired. If any such indication exists, an assessment is made to establish whether the recoverable amount of the assets has declined below the carrying amount of those assets as disclosed in the financial statements. In addition, annual impairment test is carried out for intangible assets with indefinite useful life or that are not yet available for use and goodwill. When such a decline has occurred, the carrying amount of the assets is reduced to the recoverable amount. The amount of any such reduction is recognized immediately as a loss. Any subsequent increase in the recoverable amount of the assets, except for goodwill, is reversed when the circumstances that led to the write–down or write–off cease to exist and there is persuasive evidence that the new circumstances and events will persist for the foreseeable future. Increase of the recoverable amount is limited to the lower of its recoverable amount and carrying amount that would have been determined had no impairment loss been recognized for the asset in prior years.
The recoverable amount is determined as the higher of the assets’ fair value less cost to sell, or value in use. If it is not possible to estimate the recoverable amount of the individual asset, the Group determines the recoverable amount of the cash–generating unit (further– CGU) to which the assets belong. The value in use of the asset is estimated based on forecast of future cash inflows and outflows to be derived from continued use of the asset and from the estimated net proceeds on disposal, discounted to present value using an appropriate discount rate.
For the purposes of impairment testing, goodwill acquired in a business combination is, from the acquisition date, allocated to each of the CGUs or groups of CGUs expected to benefit from the combination’s synergies, irrespective of whether other assets and liabilities of the Group are assigned to those units or group of units. Each unit or group of units to which goodwill is so allocated:
Inventory principally consists of cable, spare parts for the network and other supplies. Inventory is stated at the lower of cost incurred in bringing each item to its present location and condition and its net realizable value. Cost is calculated using weighted average cost formula, and includes expenditure incurred in acquiring the inventories, production or conversion costs, and other costs incurred in bringing them to their existing location and condition. Items used in the construction of new plant and equipment are capitalized as part of the related asset. Net realizable value is determined with respect to current market prices less expected costs to dispose. Inventory used in the maintenance of equipment is charged to operating costs as utilized and included in repair and maintenance and other costs in profit or loss.
(i) Accounts receivable
Trade and other accounts receivable are stated in the consolidated statement of financial position at original invoice amount less an allowance for any uncollectible amounts. The allowance is created based on the historical pattern of collections of accounts receivable and specific analysis of recoverability of significant accounts.
Bad debts are written off in the period in which they are identified.
(j) Financial instruments
Financial instruments carried in the consolidated statement of financial position include cash and cash equivalents, investments (other than in consolidated subsidiaries and equity method investees), non–hedge derivatives, accounts receivable, accounts payable and borrowings. The particular recognition methods adopted for financial instruments are disclosed in the individual policy statements associated with each item. The Group classifies financial assets and liabilities into the following categories: loans and receivables, financial assets and liabilities at fair value through profit or loss, held–to–maturity investments, available–for–sale financial assets, financial liabilities at amortized cost.
Loans and receivables are non–derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments that are not quoted in an active market and not originated with the intent to be sold immediately. Such assets are carried at amortized cost using the effective interest method less any allowance for impairment. The calculation takes into account any premium or discount on acquisition and includes transaction costs and fees that are an integral part of the effective interest rate. Gains and losses are recognized in profit or loss when the loans and receivables are derecognized or impaired, as well as through the amortization process.
Financial assets and liabilities at fair value through profit and loss are financial assets or liabilities, which are either classified as held for trading or derivatives or are designated by the Group as at fair value through profit or loss upon initial recognition. Financial assets are classified as held for trading if they are acquired for the purposes of selling in the near term. Gains and losses on investments held for trading are recognized in profit or loss.
Held–to–maturity investments are non–derivative financial assets with fixed or determinable payments and fixed maturity that the Group has the positive intention and ability to hold to maturity. Held–to–maturity investments are recognised initially at fair value plus any directly attributable transaction costs. Subsequent to initial recognition, held–to–maturity investments are measured at amortised cost using the effective interest method, less any impairment losses.
All other investments not classified in any of the three preceding categories are classified as available–for–sale. After initial recognition, available–for–sale investments are measured at fair value with gains and losses being recognized in other comprehensive income until the investment is derecognized at which time the cumulative gain or loss previously reported in equity is included in the determination of profit or loss.
All financial liabilities are carried at amortized cost using the effective interest method, except for derivative financial liabilities which are carried at their fair values.
Transactions with financial instruments are recognized using settlement date accounting. Assets are recognized on the day they are transferred to the Group and derecognized on the day that they are transferred by the Group.
At each reporting date or more frequently if events occur that suggest a change is necessary, an assessment is made as to whether there is any indication that the Group’s investments may be impaired. The fair value of investments that are actively traded in organized markets is determined by reference to the quoted market bid price at the close of business at the reporting day. For investments where there is no active market, fair value is determined using valuation techniques. Such techniques include using recent arm’s length transactions, references to the current market value of other instruments which is substantially the same, discounted cash flow analysis or other valuation models.
Investing and financial gains comprise interest income on funds invested (including available–for–sale financial assets), dividend income, gains on the disposal of available–for–sale financial assets, fair value gains on financial assets at fair value through profit or loss and gains on the remeasurement to fair value of any pre–existing interest in an acquiree. Interest income is recognised as it accrues in profit or loss, using the effective interest method. Dividend income is recognised in profit or loss on the date that the Group’s right to receive payment is established, which in the case of quoted securities is normally the ex–dividend date.
Finance costs comprise interest expense on borrowings (other than capitalised into the cost of qualifying assets), unwinding of the discount on provisions and contingent consideration, losses on disposal of available–for–sale financial assets, dividends on preference shares classified as liabilities, fair value losses on financial instruments at fair value through profit or loss and impairment losses recognised on financial assets (other than trade receivables).
Borrowings are initially recognized at fair value less directly attributable transaction costs, and have not been designated ‘as at fair value through profit or loss’. In subsequent periods, borrowings are measured at amortized cost using the effective interest method. Gains and losses are recognized in profit or loss when the liabilities are derecognized as well as through the amortization process.
Borrowing costs are expensed, except for those that would have been avoided if the expenditure to acquire the qualifying asset had not been made. To the extent that funds are borrowed generally and used for the purpose of obtaining a qualifying asset, the amount of borrowing costs eligible for capitalization is determined by applying a capitalization rate to the expenditures on that asset. The capitalization rate is the weighted average rate of the borrowing costs applicable to the borrowings of the enterprise that are outstanding during the period, unless borrowings were made specifically for the purpose of obtaining the qualifying asset wherein that rate is used. Qualifying borrowing costs are capitalized with the relevant qualifying asset from the date the activities to prepare the asset are in progress and expenditures and borrowing costs are being incurred until the related asset is substantially ready for its intended use. Capitalized borrowing costs are subsequently charged to profit or loss in the period over which the asset is depreciated.
(l) Foreign currency transactions
Transactions denominated in foreign currencies are translated into Roubles at the exchange rate as of the transaction date. Foreign currency monetary assets and liabilities are translated into Roubles at the exchange rate as of the reporting date. Exchange differences arising on the settlement of monetary items, or on reporting the Group's monetary items at rates different from those at which they were initially recorded in the period, or reported in previous financial statements, are recorded as foreign currency exchange gains or losses in the period in which they arise. Foreign currency gains and losses are reported on a net basis depending on whether foreign currency movements are in a net gain or net loss position.
As at December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011, the rates of exchange used for translating foreign currency balances were (in Russian Roubles for one unit of foreign currency):
|US Dollar (USD)||32.73||30.37||32.20|
|Japanese Yen (100)||31.06||35.15||41.50|
|Special Drawing Rights (SDR)||50.57||46.82||49.27|
Source: the Central Bank of Russia
(m) Cash and cash equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents consist of cash on hand, balances with banks, and highly liquid investments with original maturities of three months or less, with insignificant risks of diminution in value.
(n) Deferred income taxes
Deferred income tax is provided, using the liability method, on all temporary differences at the reporting date between the tax basis of assets and liabilities and their carrying amounts for financial reporting purposes.
Deferred income tax liabilities are recognized for all taxable temporary differences:
Deferred income tax assets are recognized for all deductible temporary differences, carry–forward of unused tax credits and unused tax losses, to the extent that it is probable that taxable profit will be available against which the deductible temporary differences, carry–forward of unused tax credits and unused tax losses can be utilized:
The carrying amount of deferred income tax assets is reviewed at each reporting date and reduced to the extent that it is no longer probable that sufficient taxable profit will be available to allow all or part of the deferred income tax asset to be utilized. Any such previously recognized reduction is reversed to the extent that it becomes probable that sufficient taxable profit will be available.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured at the tax rates that are expected to apply to the period when the asset will be realized or the liability settled. Tax rates are based on laws that have been enacted or substantively enacted at the reporting date.
Deferred tax assets and liabilities are offset if there is a legally enforceable right to offset current tax assets and liabilities, and they relate to income taxes levied by the same tax authority on the same taxable entity, or on different tax entities, but they intend to settle current tax liabilities and assets on a net basis or their tax assets and liabilities will be realised simultaneously.
In accordance with the tax legislation of the Russian Federation, tax losses and current tax assets of a company in the Group may not be set off against taxable profits and current tax liabilities of other Group companies except for cases when two or more entities form the Consolidated Group of Taxpayers for the purposes of unified income tax declaration submission. In addition, the tax base is determined separately for each of the Group’s main activities and, therefore, tax losses and taxable profits related to different activities cannot be offset except for the abovementioned Consolidated Group of Taxpayers formation.
(o) Revenue and operating costs recognition
Revenue and operating costs for all services supplied and received are recognized at the time the services are rendered. Revenue is recognized when it is probable that the economic benefits associated with the transaction will flow to the entity and the amount of revenue can be reliably measured. Revenues and expenses are reported net of respective value added tax.
Revenues from directly billed subscribers are recognized in the period where the services were provided based on the Group’s billing system’s data. Revenue from time calls and data transfer is measured primarily by the volume of traffic processed for the period. Revenues from subscribers billed via agents are recognized in the period where the services were provided based on agent reports.
The Group charges its subscribers throughout Russia for certain communication services based on pre–set tariffs regulated by the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and Federal Tariff Service.
The Group charges amounts to interconnected operators for incoming traffic and is charged by operators for termination. These revenues and costs are shown gross in the consolidated financial statements.
Amounts payable to and receivable from the same operators are shown net in the consolidated statements of financial position when, and only when, the Group has a legal right to offset the amounts and intends either to settle on a net basis or to realize the asset and settle liability simultaneously.
Revenues from the sale of transmission capacity on terrestrial and submarine cables, which relates to IRU under operating leases where the Group is a lessor, are recognized on a straight–line basis over the life of the contract.
Provisions are recognized when the Group has a present obligation (legal or constructive) as a result of a past event, it is probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation and a reliable estimate can be made of the amount of the obligation. The expense relating to any provision is charged in profit or loss or capitalized in an asset if it is required by IFRS.
Provisions are determined by discounting the expected future cash flows at a pre–tax rate that reflects current market assessments of the time value of money and the risks specific to the liability. The unwinding of the discount is recognised as finance cost.
(q) Government grants
Government grants are recognised initially as deferred income at fair value when there is reasonable assurance that they will be received and the Group will comply with the conditions associated with the grant, and are then recognised in profit or loss as other income on systematic basis over the useful life of the asset.
Grants that compensate the Group for expenses incurred are recognized in profit or loss as other income on systematic basis in the periods in which the expenses are recognised.
(r) Employee benefits
The Group operates a defined benefit pension scheme which requires one–off contributions, representing the net present value of future monthly payments to employees, to be made by the Group to a separately administered pension fund upon employees’ dismissal. The pension fund is liable for payments to the retired employees.
The Group uses the Project Unit Credit Method to determine the present value of its defined benefit obligations and the related current service cost and, where applicable, past service cost.
Actuarial gains and losses are recognized as other comprehensive income or expense immediately.
The Group also participates in a defined contribution plan. Contributions made by the Group on defined contribution plans are charged to expenses when incurred.
The Group accrues for the employees’ compensated absences (vacations) as the additional amount that the Group expects to pay as a result of the unused vacation that has accumulated at the reporting date.
(s) Share–based payments
The Group operates an equity–settled, share–based compensation plan, under which the Group receives services from employees as consideration for options for shares of the Company. The fair value of the employee services received in exchange for the grant of the options is recognised as an expense. The total amount to be expensed is determined by reference to the fair value of the options granted.
The total expense is recognised over the vesting period, which is the period over which all of the specified vesting conditions are to be satisfied. At the end of each reporting period, the entity revises its estimates of the number of options that are expected to vest based on the non–market vesting conditions. It recognises the impact of the revision to original estimates, if any, in the statement of comprehensive income, with a corresponding adjustment to equity.
Dividends are recognized when the shareholder's right to receive the payment is established. Dividends in respect of the period covered by the financial statements that are proposed or declared after the reporting date but before approval of the financial statements are not recognized as a liability at the reporting date in accordance with IAS 10 Events After the Reporting Period.
(u) Treasury shares
The cost of treasury shares purchased is debited to a separate category of equity. When treasury shares are sold or re–issued, the amount received for the instruments is credited to this category, and any surpluses or deficits on sales of treasury shares are shown as an adjustment to additional paid–in capital. The average cost method is used to determine the cost of treasury shares sold. However, if the entity is able to identify the specific items sold and their costs, the specific cost is applied.
(v) Earnings per share
IAS 33 requires the application of the “two–class method” to determine earnings applicable to ordinary shareholders, the amount of which is used as a numerator to calculate earnings per ordinary share. The application of the “two–class method” requires that the profit or loss after deducting preferred dividends is allocated to ordinary shares and other participating equity instruments to the extent that each instrument shares in earnings as if all of the profit or loss for the period had been distributed. The total profit or loss allocated to each class of equity instrument is determined by adding together the amount allocated for dividends and the amount allocated for a participation feature.
(w) Segment information
An operating segment is a component of the Group that engages in business activities from which it may earn revenues and incur expenses, including revenues and expenses that relate to transactions with any of the Group’s other components. All operating segments’ operating results are reviewed regularly by the Management Board to make decisions about resources to be allocated to the segment and assess its performance, and for which discrete financial information is available.
Segment results that are reported to the Management Board include items directly attributable to a segment as well as those that can be allocated on a reasonable basis.
Segment capital expenditure is the total cost incurred during the year to acquire property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets other than goodwill.
(x) Changes in accounting policies
The accounting policies adopted are consistent with those of the previous financial year except that the Group has adopted those new/revised standards and interpretations mandatory for financial years beginning on 1 January 2013. The changes in accounting policies result from adoption of the following new or revised standards and interpretations:
The adoption of amended Standards have no material impact on the Group’s results of operations, financial position and cash flows.
(y) IFRSs and IFRIC interpretations not yet effective
The following new Standards, amendments to Standards and Interpretations are not yet effective as at 31 December 2013, and have not been applied in preparing these consolidated financial statements. The Group plans to adopt these pronouncements when they become effective.