Auditors and independent real estate appraisers
1.1 Duration of the mandate and term of office of the lead auditor
1.1.1 Date of assumption of the existing mandate
Ernst & Young AG (EY), Zurich, has audited the Züblin Group and Züblin Immobilien Holding AG since 1998. The auditors are elected annually by the AGM. The audit mandate is periodically re-tendered. This was last done in May 2018.
1.1.2 Date on which the lead auditor took up office
Mr Edgar Christen is the lead auditor since the financial year 2019/20. His maximum term of office shall be seven years. The rotation cycle complies with the legal regulations.
2. Audit fees
The fees paid to EY in financial year 2019/20 were CHF 71ʼ000.
3. Additional fees
In financial year 2019/20, EY provided additional services related to a review of the semi-annual report as of 30 September 2019 in the amount of CHF 6ʼ000.
4. Informational instruments pertaining to the external audit
The Board of Directors is responsible for the supervision and control of the auditors and performs this task together with the Audit Committee (AC) as well as the Executive Management. Board of Directors/ACs and the Executive Management meet for this purpose at least once a year.
In addition to the experience gained from the long-lasting cooperation, ACʼs performance assessement of the auditors includes the duration and cooperation of the annual audit, their interaction with the responsible employees, the depth of the audit of individual business transactions as well as the content of the written report to the Board of Directors.
The AC maintains direct contact with the auditors and exchanges information with them on all matters within the ambit of the AC. The AC is also responsible for monitoring the performance of the external auditors and reviews their independence on an ongoing basis. In addition, the AC monitors whether, and how, Executive Management implements measures that have been adopted on the basis of findings by the external auditors. The AC can also task the statutory auditors with additional audit duties, particularly with regard to specified key risks.
The external auditors notify the AC of their findings with regard to the annual reports in the form of a management presentation and a respective report. The audit results are examined and discussed in detail with the external auditors. These results form the basis for improvements to internal procedures and auditing processes.
The AC reports to the Board of Directors on the discussions that the Committee has held with the external auditors and informs it of the most important findings and action taken.
During financial year 2019/20, representatives of the external auditors participated in the AC meeting at its invitation twice. These meetings were held together with the Executive Management. There were no indications that the independence of the external auditors is in any way compromised.
5. Independent real estate appraisers
The open market value of each property in the Züblin portfolio is calculated by external, independent specialists on 30 September (semi-annual report) and 31 March (annual report). This procedure complies with the regulations laid down in IAS 40 (Investment Property) and IFRS 13, which are applied by the Züblin Group. Since October 2014 JLL appraises the entire portfolio. JLL valued all of the properties as at 31 March 2020 and the results of these valuations were used in the financial statements. JLL uses the discounted cash flow method for its property valuations. In this method the current market value of each property is determined by calculating or estimating its future revenues and expenses and discounting these over the forecast horizon. In financial year 2019/20 the fees for the real estate appraisers amounted to CHF40ʼ000. No additional consulting services were provided.