A. General accounting principles and new accounting rules

Reading instructions

General accounting principles AP and new accounting rules are presented below. Other accounting principles considered material by SCA are presented in conjunction with the respective notes. The same principles are usually applied in both the Parent Company and the Group. In some cases, the Parent Company applies principles other than those used by the Group and, in such cases, these principles are specified under the respective note in the section about the Parent Company.

Key assessments and assumptions KAA are presented under the respective notes; see application of assessments below.

Amounts that are reconcilable to the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and the operating cash flow statement are marked with the following symbols:

BS Balance sheet
IS Income statement
CF Cash flow statement
OCF Operating cash flow statement
Tx:x Reference to table in note


The SCA Group’s financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Annual Accounts Act and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)/International Accounting Standards (IAS), as adopted within the EU, and the Swedish Financial Reporting Board, Recommendation RFR 1 Supplementary Accounting Rules for Groups.

The Parent Company’s financial statements are prepared in accordance with the Swedish Financial Reporting Board’s recommendation RFR 2, Reporting by Legal Entities, and the Annual Accounts Act. The accounts for both the Group and the Parent Company pertain to the fiscal year that ended on December 31, 2015. SCA applies the historical cost method for measurement of assets and liabilities except for biological assets (standing timber), available-for-sale financial assets and financial assets and liabilities, including derivative instruments, measured at fair value through profit or loss, which are measured at fair value either in profit or loss or in other comprehensive income. In the Parent Company, biological assets or financial assets and liabilities are not measured at fair value.

New or amended accounting standards 2015

No new standards or amendments to regulatory frameworks that had a material impact on SCA’s earnings and financial position were implemented in 2015.

New or amended accounting standards after 2015

No new standards will be implemented in 2016. However, a number amendments to existing standards will be introduced. See below:

  • Amendments to IAS 1 Disclosure Initiative
  • Annual Improvements to IFRSs 2012–2014 Cycle
  • Amendments to IAS 27 Equity Method in Separate Financial Statements
  • Amendments to IAS 16 and IAS 38 Clarification of Acceptable Methods of Depreciation and Amortization
  • Amendments to IFRS 11 Accounting for Acquisitions of Interests in Joint Operations

These amendments are not expected to have a material impact on the Group.

The new standards below will be applied from their effective date. No prospective application is planned.

IFRS 9 Financial instruments

IFRS 9 Financial Instruments was issued in July 2014 and is a new standard that will replace IAS 39. The standard is divided into three areas: Classification and measurement of financial assets and liabilities, impairment and hedging. The standard become mandatory effect on January 1, 2018 with prospective application permitted.

The company’s business model for managing the asset and the nature of the asset’s contractual cash flows comprise the basis for classification and measurement, in which the financial assets are classified in one of the following three categories: 1) financial assets measured at amortized cost 2) financial assets measured at fair value through other comprehensive income and 3) financial assets measured at fair value through profit or loss. The new standard entails essentially unchanged recognition of financial liabilities.

The standard introduces a new model for impairment of financial assets based on expected losses and not as previously under IAS 39 until the loss event has already occurred. Under the model, provisions are established for credit losses that may arise within the next 12 months for assets with low credit risk. In other cases where the credit risk has increased significantly since initial recognition and where the credit risk is not low, provisions are established for credit losses that are expected to occur during the full lifetime of the asset.

A simplified model has been developed for trade receivables and lease receivables, whereby anticipated losses are recognized over the estimated remaining term of the receivable.

The new standard focuses to a great extent on reflecting the company’s risk management strategies in hedge accounting and allowing more hedging strategies to qualify for hedge accounting.

SCA has not fully evaluated the effects of IFRS 9 but expects the new rules for hedge accounting to increase SCA’s possibilities for hedge accounting and facilitate the documentation of hedge accounting. With respect to impairment, trade receivables are the main item affected for SCA and the quantitative effects are deemed relatively small. SCA has not yet decided whether it will apply IFRS 9 prospectively.

IFRS 15 Revenue from contracts with customers

IFRS 15 Revenue from contracts with customers establishes a new regulatory framework for the manner in which a company should recognize revenue. The new standard will replace IAS 11 Construction Contracts, IAS 18 Revenue, IFRIC (International Financial Reporting Interpretations Committee) 13 Customer Loyalty Programmes, IFRIC 15 Agreements for the Construction of Real Estate, IFRIC 18 Transfers of Assets from Customers and SIC (Standing Interpretation Committee of the IASC, predecessor to the IFRIC) 31 Revenue – Barter Transactions Involving Advertising Services. The date on which the standard will gain legal force has been postponed a year to January 1, 2018 if it is adopted by the EU. The main reason for this is the work pursued by the Revenue Transition Resource Group (TRG) to clarify IFRS 15. The amendments mainly affect licenses, the identification of distinct performance obligations and issues related to principal versus agent considerations. These clarifications are included in the exposure draft (ED) to IFRS 15. The new standard is designed according to a control-based five-step model framework.

The standard regulates commercial agreements (contracts) with customers in which delivery of goods/services is divided into separately identifiable performance obligations that are recognized independently. In certain cases, the good/service can be integrated with other obligations in the contract, whereby a package of goods/services comprises a joint obligation. The standard establishes rules for calculating the transaction price for delivery of goods and services and the manner in which this can be allocated among the various performance obligations. Revenue is recognized when control has passed to the customer by the customer being able to use or benefit from the good/service, at which point it is deemed to have been transferred. Control may be passed on a given point in time, which is usually the case for sales. In other cases, a performance obligation may be satisfied over time, which is common for services. Three different criteria have been established for determining whether a performance obligation is satisfied over time. Either the customer receives and consumes all of the benefits as the obligation is performed; the company’s performance enhances an asset that the customer controls; or the company’s performance does not create an asset with an alternative use to the company and the company has an enforceable right to payment for performance completed to date.

The new standard is not expected to have a material impact on revenue recognition for SCA’s type of business, meaning primarily the sale of products. There may be some changes for a limited number of service contracts.

IFRS 16 Leases

In January 2016, the IASB published a new leases standard that will replace IAS 17 Leasing agreements and associated interpretations IFRIC 4, SIC–15 and SIC–27. The standard requires that all assets and liabilities attributable to all lease agreements, with a few exceptions, be recognized in the balance sheet. This type of recognition is based on the approach that the lessee is entitled to use an asset over a specific period and simultaneously has an obligation to pay for this entitlement. Recognition for the lessor will remain essentially unchanged. The standard is applicable to fiscal years beginning on January 1, 2019 or later. Earlier application is permitted. The standard has not yet been adopted by the EU. The Group has not yet evaluated the effects of IFRS 16.


The preparation of financial statements in conformity with IFRS and generally accepted Swedish accounting principles requires assessments and assumptions to be made that affect recognized asset and liability items and income and expense items, respectively, as well as other information disclosed.

These assumptions and estimates are often based on historical experience, but also on other factors, including expectations of future events. With other assumptions and estimates, the result may be different and the actual result will seldom fully concur with the estimated result.

In SCA’s opinion, the areas that are impacted the most by assumptions and estimates are:
Biological assets, D3
Goodwill, D1
Pensions, C5
Taxes, B4

SCA’s assessments and assumptions are presented in the respective notes.


The consolidated accounts are prepared in accordance with the Group’s accounting principles and include the accounts of the Parent Company and all Group companies in accordance with the definitions below. Group companies are consolidated from the date the Group exercises control or influence over the company according to the definitions provided under the respective category of Group company below. Divested Group companies are included in the consolidated accounts until the date the Group ceases to control or exercise influence over the companies. Intra-Group transactions have been eliminated.

Parent Company:

The Parent Company recognizes all holdings in Group companies at cost after deduction for any accumulated impairment losses.


All companies over which the Group has control are consolidated as subsidiaries. The definition of control is that SCA has the ability to control the subsidiary, is entitled to a return and has the power to influence the activities that impact return. The consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with the purchase method.

Joint arrangements

SCA classifies its joint arrangements as joint ventures or joint operations. A joint venture entitles the joint owners to the net assets of the investment and is therefore recognized according to the equity method. In joint operations, parties to the agreement have rights to the assets and an obligation for the liabilities associated with the investment, meaning that the operator must account for its share of the assets, liabilities, revenues and costs according to the proportional method.


Associates are companies in which the Group exercises a significant influence without the partly owned company being a subsidiary or a joint arrangement. Normally, this means that the Group owns between 20% and 50% of the votes. Accounting for associates is carried out according to the equity method and they are initially measured at cost.

For further information, see Note F3.


Functional currency and translation of foreign Group companies to the presentation currency

SCA’s Parent Company has Swedish kronor (SEK) as its functional currency. The functional currency of each SCA Group company is determined on the basis of the primary economic environment in which it operates. The financial statements of Group companies are translated to the Group’s presentation currency, which is SEK in the case of SCA. Assets and liabilities are translated at the closing rate, while income and expenses are translated at the average rate for the respective period. Translation differences on net assets are recognized as translation differences in other comprehensive income, which is a component of equity (translation reserve).

Exchange rate effects arising from financial instruments used to hedge foreign subsidiaries’ net assets are recognized in the same manner in other comprehensive income, which is a component of equity (translation reserve). On divestment, the translation difference on the foreign subsidiary and exchange rate effects on the financial instrument used to currency hedge the net assets in the company are recognized as part of the gain or loss on disposal.

Goodwill and surplus value adjustments arising in connection with the acquisition of a foreign subsidiary are to be translated, in a manner corresponding to the net assets in the company, from their functional currency to the presentation currency.


Transactions in foreign currency are translated to a functional currency using the rate prevailing on the transaction date. At accounting year-end, monetary assets and liabilities are translated at the closing day rate and any exchange rate effects are recognized in profit or loss. In cases where the exchange rate effect is related to the operations, the effect is recognized net in operating profit. Exchange rate effects pertaining to borrowing and financial investments are recognized as other financial items. Non-monetary assets and liabilities recognized at historical cost are translated at the exchange rate prevailing on the transaction date.

If hedge accounting has been applied, for example, for cash flow hedges or hedging of net investments, the exchange rate effect is recognized in total equity under other comprehensive income.

If a financial instrument has been classified as available-for-sale financial assets, the portion of the value change pertaining to currency is recognized in profit or loss, while any other unrealized change is recognized in equity under other comprehensive income.


Sales revenue, which is synonymous with net sales, refers to the consideration received or receivable for goods and services sold within the Group’s ordinary activities. Revenue is recognized when delivery to the customer has taken place according to the terms of the sale. Other income includes compensation for sales that are not included in the Group’s ordinary activities and includes income from SCA’s transport activities and rental revenue, which is recognized in the period covered by the rental contract, as well as royalties and similar items, which are recognized in accordance with the implied financial effect of the contract. Interest income is recognized in accordance with the effective interest method. Dividends received are recognized when the right to receive a dividend has been established.


Government grants are measured at fair value when there is reasonable assurance the grants will be received and that the Group will comply with the conditions attached to them. Government grants related to acquisition of assets are recognized in the balance sheet by the grant reducing the carrying amount of the asset. Government grants received as compensation for costs are accrued and recognized in profit or loss during the same period as the costs. If the government grant or assistance is neither related to the acquisition of assets nor to compensation for costs, the grant is recognized as other income.