Leases are classified as financial leases whenever the terms of the lease assume that substantially all the risks and benefits inherent in ownership of the leased asset are assumed by the lessee. All other leases are classified as operating leases.
The Group generally classifies all leases as operating leases. Under IAS 17, whether a lease is financial or operating depends on the economic background and nature of the transaction, rather than the mere form of the lease agreement.
The arguments used to classify the leases as operative are as follows:
- The ownership of the asset is transferred to the lessor at the end of the lease;
- There is no option to acquire the asset at the end of the lease;
- The term of the lease does not exceed the economic life of the asset
- The present value of the minimum lease payments does not substantially cover the market value of the underlying asset;
- The duration of leases is always much shorter than the economic useful life of the underlying asset;
- In the event that it is decided to extend the duration of the lease, the terms of the new lease should be renegotiated;
- The group can unilaterally terminate the lease without a penalty being imposed as a consequence;
- The increases or decreases in the residual value of the underlying asset are not borne by the Group, but by the lessor.
4.5.1 Operating leases
In operating lease transactions, ownership of the leased asset and substantially all the risks and rewards deriving from ownership of the asset remain with the lessor.
When the Group acts as the lessor, it recognises the income from operating leases using the straight-line method according to the terms of the agreements signed. These assets are recorded at the acquisition cost of the leased assets under “Property, plant and equipment” and are depreciated in accordance with the policies adopted for similar own-use tangible assets. When the Group acts as the lessee, the leasing costs are charged on a straight-line basis to its comprehensive consolidated income statement, the resulting asset or liability being recognised under “other non-current liabilities” and “other non-current assets” or “other current liabilities” and “other current assets”.
4.5.2 Finance leases
The Group recognises finance leases as assets and liabilities in the consolidated balance sheet at the start of lease term at the market value of the leased asset or at the present value of the minimum lease instalments, should the latter be lower. The interest rate established in the agreement is used to calculate the present value of the lease instalments.
The cost of assets acquired under finance leases is presented in the consolidated balance sheet, according to the nature of the leased asset being depreciated in accordance with the policies adopted for similar own-use tangible assets or, where these are shorter, during the relevant lease term.
The financial expenses are distributed over the period of the lease in accordance with a financial criterion. Contingent rent is recognised as an expense for the year in which it is incurred.