3. Accounting Principles

Basis of preparation

The consolidated financial statements of Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG (Lindt & Sprüngli Group) were prepared in accordance with the IFRS Accounting Standards (from now on referred to as “IFRS”).

With the exception of the marketable securities, financial assets and the derivative financial instruments, which are recognized at fair value, the consolidated financial statements are based on historical costs.

When preparing the financial statements, Management makes estimates and assumptions that have an impact on the assets and liabilities presented in the annual report, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities and the disclosure of income and expenses in the reporting period. The actual results may differ from these estimates.

New IFRS Accounting Standards and Interpretations

New and amended IFRS Accounting Standards and Interpretations (effective as of January 1, 2023)

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group has implemented all new or amended accounting standards and interpretations to the IFRS, which must be applied for the reporting period beginning January 1, 2023.



Effective Date


Effective Application

OECD Pillar 2 – Changes to IAS 12


January 1, 2023


Reporting year 2023

Deferred taxes – Amendments to IAS 12


January 1, 2023


Reporting year 2023

Accounting estimates and errors, definition of materiality – Amendments to IAS 1 and IAS 8


January 1, 2023


Reporting year 2023

None of these new or amended accounting standards and clarifications resulted in any significant changes to the accounting policies of the Lindt & Sprüngli Group. Neither did these have a significant impact on the recognition or measurement in the consolidated financial statements.

OECD Pillar 2 – Changes to IAS 12

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group is in scope of the OECD Pillar 2 model rules. Pillar 2 legislation was enacted in Switzerland, the jurisdiction in which Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG is incorporated and has come into effect from January 1, 2024. The Lindt & Sprüngli Group applies the exception to recognising and disclosing information about deferred tax assets and liabilities related to Pillar 2 income taxes, as provided in the amendments to IAS 12 issued in May 2023. The Lindt & Sprüngli Group is in the process of assessing its exposure to the Pillar 2 legislation. Due to the complexity in applying the legislation, the quantitative impact of the legislation cannot be reasonably estimated as of this point in time.

Deferred taxes – Amendments to IAS 12

The amendment to IAS 12 for deferred taxes had no impact on the Lindt & Sprüngli Group.

Accounting estimates and errors, definition of materiality – Amendments to IAS 1 and IAS 8

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group applies the amendment for the reporting period 2023, however this change does not trigger any change in our reporting or disclosures.

New and amended IFRS Accounting Standards and Interpretations that are to be applied in future periods

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group does not expect any material impact on recognition and measurement due to the new standards that have already been published and are to be applied in future periods.



Effective date


Planned application

Reverse factoring – Amendments to IAS 7 and IFRS 7


January 1, 2024


Reporting year 2024

Classification of liabilities as current or non-current – Amendments to IAS 1


January 1, 2024


Reporting year 2024

Clarification sale and lease back transactions – IFRS 16


January 1, 2024


Reporting year 2024

Consolidation method

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the parent company and all the entities it controls (subsidiaries) up to December 31 of each year. The Lindt & Sprüngli Group controls an entity when it is exposed to, or has the rights to variable returns from its investment in the entity, and has the ability to direct these returns through its influence over the entity.

Non-controlling interests are shown as a component of equity on the balance sheet and the share of the profit at­tributable to non-controlling interests is shown as a component of profit for the year in the income statement.

Newly acquired companies are consolidated from the effective date of control using the acquisition method. Identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities acquired are recognized in the balance sheet at fair value. Acquisition costs exceeding the Lindt & Sprüngli Group’s share of the fair value of the identifiable net assets are allocated to goodwill. Transaction costs are shown as an expense in the period in which they are incurred.

Foreign currency translation

The consolidated financial statements are presented in Swiss francs, which is the parent company’s functional and reporting currency. In order to hedge against currency risks, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group engages in currency forwards and options trading. The methods of recognizing and measuring these derivative financial instruments in the balance sheet are explained in the paragraph “Accounting for derivative financial instruments and hedging activities”.

Foreign exchange differences arising from the translation of loans that are held as net investments in a foreign operation are recognized separately in other comprehensive income. The repayment of these loans is not considered as a divestment (neither partial nor full). As a consequence, the respective accumulated currency translation differences are not recycled from other comprehensive income to the income statement.

Foreign exchange rates

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group applies the following exchange rates:





Balance sheet year-end rates


Income statement average rates












Euro zone






















United Kingdom



































100 PLN











100 MXN











100 SEK









Czech Republic


100 CZK











100 JPY









South Africa


100 ZAR









Hong Kong


100 HKD











100 CNY











100 RUB











100 BRL









Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment are valued at historical cost less accumulated depreciation. The assets are depreciated using the straight-line method over the period of their expected useful life. Assets are linearly depreciated to reduce the carrying amount to the expected residual value over the following useful lives:

  • Buildings (incl. installations) 5–40 years
  • Machinery 10–15 years
  • Other fixed assets 3–8 years

Land is not depreciated. Profits and losses from disposals are recorded in the income statement.

Intangible assets

Intangible assets are linearly amortized to reduce the carrying amount to the expected residual value over the following useful lives:

  • Goodwill Indefinite
  • Brands and intellectual property rights Indefinite
  • EDP-Software 3–7 years
  • Customer relationships 10–20 years


Goodwill is the excess of the acquisition costs over the Lindt & Sprüngli Group’s interest in the fair value of the net assets acquired. Goodwill is not amortized, but tested for impairment at least in the fourth quarter of each reporting period. In case of the prevalence of impairment indicators, goodwill is tested for impairment before year-end.

Other intangible assets

“EDP Software” and “customer relationships” are recognized at cost and amortized on a straight line basis over their economic life. The economic life of the intangible asset is regularly reviewed.

“Brands and intellectual property rights” are not amortized but have an indefinite life, as they can be renewed without significant costs, are supported by ongoing marketing and selling activities and there is no foreseeable limit to the cash-flows they generate. The useful life and the recoverability of their value is tested at least at each balance sheet date. All identifiable intangible assets (such as “brands and intellectual property rights” and “customer relationships”) acquired in the course of a business merger are initially recognized at fair value.


The Lindt & Sprüngli Group records the difference between the recoverable amount and the book value of fixed assets, goodwill or intan­gible assets as impairment. The valuation is made for an individual asset or, if this is not possible, on a group of assets that generates separable cash flows. In order to establish the future benefits, the expected future cash flows are discounted. Assets with indefinite useful life as for example goodwill or intangible assets, which are not in use yet, are not amortized and are subject to a yearly impairment test. Amortizable assets are tested for their recoverability, if there are indicators that the book value is no longer realizable.


Under IFRS 16, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group assesses whether a contract contains a lease at inception of a contract and recognizes a right-of-use asset and a corresponding lease liability for all arrangements in which it is a lessee, except for short-term leases with terms of 12 months or less and low value leases. For these leases, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group recognizes the lease payments as an operating expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term. Expenses from short-term leases, which at the same time are of low value are shown within the position expenses from short-term leases.

Lease liabilities are initially measured at the present value of the future lease payments not yet made at the commencement date of the lease. The lease payments are discounted using the interest rate implicit in the lease. If this rate cannot be readily determined, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group uses an incremental borrowing rate specific to the term and currency of the contract. Lease payments can include fixed payments, variable payments that depend on an index or rate known at the commencement date as well as extension or purchase options payments, if the Lindt & Sprüngli Group is reasonably certain to exercise. The lease liability is subsequently measured at amortized cost using the effective interest rate method and re-measured with a corresponding adjustment to the related right-of-use asset, when there is a change in future lease payments in case of renegotiation, changes of an index or rate, or in case the likelihood to execute options changes upon reassessment.

The right-of-use assets are initially recognized on the balance sheet at cost, which comprises the amount of the initial measurement of the corresponding lease liability, adjusted for any lease payments made at or prior to the commencement date of the lease (“initial direct costs”), plus expected asset retirement obligations, less any lease incentives granted by the lessors. Right-of-use assets are depreciated on a straight-line basis from the commencement date of the lease over the shorter of the useful life of the right-of-use asset or the end of the lease term.

Right-of-use assets are linearly depreciated to reduce the carrying amount to the expected residual value over the following usual periods in time:

  • Buildings 2–15 years
  • Vehicles 2–5 years
  • Other fixed assets 2–5 years

Right-of-use assets are assessed for impairment whenever there is an indication that the balance sheet carrying amount may not be recoverable.


Inventories are valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value. Costs include all direct material and production costs, as well as overhead costs, which are incurred in order to bring inventories to their current location and condition. Costs are calculated using the FIFO method. Net realizable value equals the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business less estimated costs to complete the goods and applicable variable selling and distribution expenses.

Cash and cash equivalents

Cash and cash equivalents include cash on hand, cash in banks, and other short-term investments with an original maturity period less than 90 days.

Financial assets

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group recognizes, measures, impairs (if required), presents and discloses financial assets as required by IFRS 9 “Financial Instruments”, IAS 32 “Financial Instruments: Presentation” and IFRS 7 “Financial Instruments: Disclosures”. According to IFRS 9, financial assets are divided into three categories: financial assets at “fair value through profit and loss (FVTPL)”, “fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI)” and subsequent measurement at “amortized cost”. The category of a certain financial asset is defined by the contractual cash flow characteristics as well as the business model for managing them. The business model determines whether cash flows will result from collecting contractual cash flows, selling the financial assets, or both.

Financial assets are initially measured at their fair value. In case financial assets are not measured at FVTPL, transaction costs increase the book value at initial recognition. All financial assets not designated as amortized cost or FVOCI are measured at FVTPL. On initial recognition, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group may designate a financial asset that otherwise meets the criteria to be measured at amortized cost or FVOCI as measured at FVTPL if doing so eliminates, or significantly reduces, an accounting mismatch that would otherwise arise. An equity instrument not held for trading may be classified as FVOCI with subsequent changes in fair value in OCI. The classification is irrevocable.

For financial assets valued at amortized cost or FVOCI, the expected loss is calculated and provided for, if there is an impairment risk for the position.

The fair value of listed investments is defined by using the current paid or, if not available, bid price. If the market for a financial asset is not active and/or the security is unlisted, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group can determine the fair value by using valuation procedures. These are based on recent arm’s length transactions, reference to similar financial instruments, the discounting of the future cash flows and the application of the option pricing models.

Interest is reported as interest income or in the case of negative interest as expense, both being part of the financial result. Moreover, interest is shown within the operating cash flow.


Provisions are recognized when the Lindt & Sprüngli Group has a legal or constructive obligation arising from a past event, where it is likely that there will be an outflow of resources and a reasonable estimate can be made thereof.

Allowance for accounts receivable

The allowance for accounts receivable is based on the “Expected Credit Loss” model required by IFRS 9. According to IFRS 9, it is no longer necessary for a loss event to occur before an impairment loss is recognized. For trade receivables, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group applies the simplified approach and recognizes lifetime expected credit losses. For the recognition of the allowance for accounts receivable, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group considers both historical default rates, which are predominantly used to derive the individual allowances, as well as forward looking information, which is mainly used to determine the general allowance for the whole portfolio of accounts receivables. In doing so, receivables are broken down by customer sector, which then is connected with the corresponding credit rating, the corresponding risk premium and the corresponding probability of default.


In accordance with Swiss law and the Articles of Association, dividends are treated as an appropriation of profit in the year in which they are approved by the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting and subsequently paid.

Financial liabilities

Financial liabilities are recognized initially when the Lindt & Sprüngli Group commits to a contract and records the amount of the proceeds (net of transaction costs) received. Borrowings are then valued at amortized cost using the effective interest method. The amortized costs consist of a financial obligation at its initial recording, minus repayment, plus or minus accumulated amortization (the potential difference between the original amount and the amount due at maturity). Interest is reported as interest expense, forming part of the financial result. Moreover, interest is shown within the operating cash flow. Gains or losses are recognized in the income statement as a result of amortization or when a borrowing is derecognized. A borrowing is derecognized when it is repaid, offset or when it expires.

Employee benefits

The expense and defined benefit obligations for the significant defined benefit plans and other long-term employee benefits in accordance with IAS 19 are determined using the “Projected Unit Credit Method”, with independent actuarial valuations being carried out at the end of each reporting period. This method takes into account years of service up to the reporting period and requires the Lindt & Sprüngli Group to make estimates about demographic variables (such as mortality or turnover) and financial variables (such as future salary increase and the long-term interest rate on pension assets) that will affect the final cost of the benefits. The valuation of the pension asset is carried out yearly and recognized at its fair market value.

The cost of defined benefit plans has three components:

  • service cost recognized in profit and loss;
  • net interest expense or income recognized in profit and loss; and
  • remeasurement recognized in other comprehensive income.

Service cost includes current service cost, past service cost and gains or losses on settlements. Past service cost is recognized in the period the plan amendment occurs. Curtailment gains and losses are accounted for as past service cost. Contributions from plan participants’ or a third party reduce the service cost and are therefore deducted if they are based on the formal terms of the plan or arise from a constructive obligation.

Net interest cost is equal to the discount rate multiplied by the net defined benefit liability or asset. Cash flows and changes during the year are taken into account on a weighted basis.

Remeasurements of the net defined benefit liability (asset) include actuarial gains and losses on the defined benefit obligation from:

  • changes in assumptions and experience based adjustments;
  • return on plan assets excluding the interest income on the plan assets that is included in net interest; and
  • changes in the effect of the asset ceiling (if applicable) excluding amounts included in net interest.

Remeasurements are recorded in other comprehensive income and are not recycled. The Lindt & Sprüngli Group presents both components of the defined benefit costs in the line item “Personnel Expenses” in its consolidated income statement.

The retirement benefit obligation recognized in the consolidated financial statements represents the actual deficit or surplus in the Lindt & Sprüngli Group’s defined benefit plans. Any surplus resulting from this calculation is limited to the present value of any economic benefits available in the form of refunds from the plans or reductions in future contributions to the plans. Payments to defined contribution plans are reported in personnel expenses when employees have rendered services entitling them to the contributions. Obligations arising from termination of employments are recognized at the earlier of when the entity can no longer withdraw from the termination obligation or when the entity recognizes any related restructuring costs.

For other long-term employee benefits the present value of the defined benefit obligation is recognized at the balance sheet date. Changes of the present value are recorded as personnel expenses in the income statement.

Revenue recognition

Revenue is recognized in accordance with the requirements of IFRS 15 “Revenue from Contracts with Customers” and the five-step model described therein. Revenue consists of the expected considerations in exchange for the delivery of Lindt & Sprüngli products, which are sold in the normal course of business. In addition to sales or value-added tax, contractually agreed obligations with the trade, such as price or promotional discounts, end-of-year discounts or returns of goods, are deducted from revenue, except the considerations for distinct and clearly identifiable services rendered by trade partners, which could also be rendered by third parties at comparable costs. Adequate trade accruals are recognized for contractually agreed performance obligations.

Revenue is recognized at the point in time when goods are transferred to customers in the amount of the consideration that the Lindt & Sprüngli Group can reasonably expect in return for the transfer of these goods. Estimates are made based on historical experience and take the specific contractual characteristics into consideration.

Revenue from trade partners is recognized net of expected deductions, allowances and provisions upon transfer of control over the goods sold. The transfer of control depends on the individual contract terms. Predominantly it will be fulfilled upon arrival of the goods.

Revenue from Global Retail is recognized at the point of sale in the amount of the price paid net expected returns. Customers possess a limited right to return, which depends on local laws and regulations.

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group neither has contracts with material financing components, since the contracts stipulate trade common payment terms, nor contracts resulting in performance obligations, which are not satisfied within one year. Unfulfilled performance obligations, which will be satisfied within one year, are not disclosed separately.

“Other income” mainly includes license fees, reimbursement of freight charges as well as the gain on sale of assets and of internally invested property, plant and equipment. All income is recognized after the fulfillment of the obligation.

Operating expenses

Operating expenses include marketing, distribution and administrative expenses.

Borrowing costs

Interest expenses incurred from borrowings used to finance the construction of fixed assets are capitalized for the period needed to build the asset for its intended purpose. All other borrowing costs are immediately expensed in the income statement.


Taxes are based on the annual profit and include non-refundable taxes at source levied on the amounts received or paid for dividends, interests and license fees. These taxes are levied according to country regulations.

Uncertain tax positions are considered individually or aggregated depending on whether their resolution is interfered or not. Information potentially available to the tax authorities is taken into consideration. To measure the uncertainty either the expected value or the most likely amount is derived. Changes in facts and conditions trigger a re-evaluation of the uncertainty.

Deferred taxes are accounted for using the “Balance-Sheet-Liability Method” and arise on temporary differences between the tax and IFRS bases of assets and liabilities. In order to calculate the deferred taxes, the legal tax rate in use at the time or the future tax rate announced is applied. Deferred tax assets are recorded to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profit is likely to be achieved against which the temporary differences can be offset.

Deferred taxes also arise due to temporary differences from investments in subsidiaries and associated companies. Deferred taxes for such investments are not recognized if the following two conditions are met: (1) the parent company is able to manage the timing of the release of temporary differences and, (2) it is probable that the temporary differences are not going to be reversed in the near future.

Deferred tax assets are recognized for tax loss carry-forwards to the extent that the realization of the related tax benefit through future taxable profits is probable.

Deferred tax assets and liabilities are offset when there is a legally enforceable right to offset current tax assets against current tax liabilities and when the deferred taxes relate to the same fiscal authority.

Research and development costs

Development costs for new products are capitalized if the relevant criteria for capitalization are met. Currently there are no capitalized development costs in the consolidated financial statements.

Share-based payments

The Lindt & Sprüngli Group grants options on officially listed participation certificates to several employees. These options have a blocking period of three to five years and a maximum maturity of seven years. The options expire once the employee leaves the company. Cash settlements are not allowed. The disbursement of these equity instruments is valued at fair value at grant date. The fair value determined at grant date is recorded on a straight-line method over the vesting period. This is based on the estimated number of participation certificates, which entitles a holder to additional benefits. The fair value was derived by using the binomial model for the determination of option prices. The anticipated maturity period included the conditions of the employee option plan, such as the blocking period and the non-transferability.

Accounting for derivative financial instruments and hedging activities

Derivative financial instruments are recorded when the contract is entered into and valued at fair value. The treatment of recognizing the resulting profit or loss depends on whether the derivative is designated as a hedging instrument, and if so, the nature of the item being hedged. The Lindt & Sprüngli Group designates certain derivative financial instruments as hedges of a particular risk associated with a recognized asset or liability or a highly probable forecasted transaction (securing the cash flow).

At the beginning of the business transaction, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group documents the relationship between the hedge and the hedged items, as well as its risk management targets and strategies for undertaking the various hedging trans­actions. Furthermore, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group also documents its assessment, both at hedge inception and on an ongoing basis, whether the derivatives that are used in hedging transactions are effective in offsetting changes in fair values or cash flows of hedged items, and how the hedge ratio is determined.

The effective portion of the derivatives’ change in fair value, which are designated as cash flow hedges and comply with the requirements to apply hedge accounting, is accounted for in other comprehensive income. Profit and loss from the ineffective portion of the change in fair value are recognized immediately in the income statement. Changes in fair value of the financial instrument are accumulated in other comprehensive income and released to the income statement in the same reporting period when the hedged item affects profit and loss. However, if the hedged transaction subsequently results in the recognition of a non-financial item such as inventories, the amount is released from the cash flow hedge reserve and included in the initial cost of the non-financial asset or liability.

Value changes of derivative financial instruments not designated as hedging instrument are shown within the financial result.

Critical accounting estimates and judgments

When preparing the consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS, management is required to make estimates and assumptions. The estimates and assumptions are based on historical experience and various other factors that are deemed likely under the given circumstances. Actual values may differ from these estimates. Estimates and assumptions significantly affect the following areas:

  • Pension plans: the calculation of the recognized assets and liabilities from defined benefit plans is based on statistical and actuarial calculations performed by actuaries. The present value of defined benefit liabilities in particular is heavily dependent on assumptions such as the discount rate used to calculate the present value of future pension liabilities, future salary increases and changes in employee benefits. In addition, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group’s independent actuaries use statistical data such as probability of withdrawals of members from the plan and life expectancy in their assumptions.
  • When testing goodwill and other intangible assets with indefinite useful lives for potential impairment, parameters such as future discounted cash flows, underlying discount and growth rates, as well as the EBIT-margin development are based on estimates and assumptions.
  • The Lindt & Sprüngli Group operates in and is subject to taxes in numerous jurisdictions. Potential changes in local tax laws and their interpretations result in various uncertainties. Thus, significant judgment is required in determining deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities or other tax positions. Uncertainties exist in determining the applicable tax rate and the resulting expected tax assets or liabilities.
  • The below disclosed potential consolidation requirement for the both non-profit funds.

In the course of restructuring the pension fund schemes within the Lindt & Sprüngli Group in 2013, two non-profit foundations were founded:

  • Lindt Chocolate Competence Foundation
  • Lindt Cocoa Foundation

These foundations are both independent and the Lindt & Sprüngli Group holds no shares in them.

Both of these foundations are not required to be consolidated according to IFRS 10 “Consolidated Financial Statements”. On one hand the Lindt & Sprüngli Group does not have the opportunity to dictate the significant decision, since the foundation board is not elected by Lindt & Sprüngli Group, and only the minority of the foundation board consists of Lindt & Sprüngli Group members. On the other hand, the Lindt & Sprüngli Group is not exposed to variable returns, since transactions are conducted under the same conditions being used for transactions with other third parties as well.