The General Meeting first appointed Pricewaterhouse­Coopers AG, Zurich, as its statutory auditor in April 2002. According to the Articles of Association of the company, the auditors must be newly appointed or confirmed each year at the General Meeting. The 2016 reporting year is the fourth year for Bruno Häfliger, lead auditor. Pursuant to the provisions of the Swiss Code of Obligations, the responsible lead auditor may not hold office for more than seven years. Bruno Häfliger will therefore not be allowed to serve as the responsible lead auditor after the end of the financial year 2019 at the latest.

Audit fee

The total audit fees billed by the auditing company in the reporting year 2016 were CHF 1.4 mio.

Additional fees

The total sum of additional fees – mainly related to tax and EDP consulting – billed by the audit company in the reporting year 2016 totaled CHF 0.1 mio.

Supervisory and controlling bodies

Supervision and control of auditors’ performance is exercised by the whole Board of Directors. The Audit Committee supports the entire Board of Directors in this task. The committee also ensures that ongoing communication with the auditors is intact, regularly discussing results of audit activities in the areas of control and accounting activities, as well as suitability of the internal control systems with their representatives. Before the interim audit, auditors prepare an audit plan, which is then submitted to Audit Committee members. Based on an analysis of current business and audit risks, the main points to be audited are proposed in this plan. The audit plan is approved by the Audit Committee and then also by the Board of Directors. The appropriateness of the audit fee, as well as possible additional fees for “non-audit” services, are also reviewed on this occasion. The report on the final audit for the annual financial statement is dispatched to all members of the Board of Directors. It is first discussed in the Audit Committee with the auditors, then approved by the whole Board of Directors at the meeting called to adopt the annual report, in a circular resolution. In 2016, the auditors attended one meeting of the Audit Committee. Auditors’ direct access to the Audit Committee is guaranteed at all times. Information about the organization and scope of duties can be found here.