We report our financial results in U.S. dollars. Due to our global operations, a significant amount of our revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities are denominated in other currencies. As a consequence, movements in exchange rates between currencies may affect: (i) our profitability, (ii) the comparability of our results between periods, and (iii) the reported carrying value of our assets and liabilities.
We translate non-USD denominated results of operations, assets and liabilities to USD in our Consolidated Financial Statements. Balance sheet items are translated to USD using year-end currency exchange rates. Income statement and cash flow items are translated to USD using the relevant monthly average currency exchange rate.
Increases and decreases in the value of the USD against other currencies will affect the reported results of operations in our Consolidated Income Statements and the value of certain of our assets and liabilities in our Consolidated Balance Sheets, even if our results of operations or the value of those assets and liabilities have not changed in their original currency. As foreign exchange rates impact our reported results of operations and the reported value of our assets and liabilities, changes in foreign exchange rates could significantly affect the comparability of our reported results of operations between periods and result in significant changes to the reported value of our assets, liabilities and stockholders’ equity.
While we operate globally and report our financial results in USD, exchange rate movements between the USD and both the EUR and the CHF are of particular importance to us due to (i) the location of our significant operations and (ii) our corporate headquarters being in Switzerland.
The exchange rates between the USD and the EUR and the USD and the CHF at December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, were as follows:
The average exchange rates between the USD and the EUR and the USD and the CHF for the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, were as follows:
When we incur expenses that are not denominated in the same currency as the related revenues, foreign exchange rate fluctuations could affect our profitability. To mitigate the impact of exchange rate movements on our profitability, it is our policy to enter into forward foreign exchange contracts to manage the foreign exchange transaction risk of our operations.
In 2018, approximately 76 percent of our consolidated revenues were reported in currencies other than the USD. The following percentages of consolidated revenues were reported in the following currencies:
- Euro, approximately 23 percent, and
- Chinese renminbi, approximately 14 percent.
In 2018, approximately 73 percent of our cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expenses were reported in currencies other than the USD. The following percentages of consolidated cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expenses were reported in the following currencies:
- Euro, approximately 22 percent, and
- Chinese renminbi, approximately 12 percent
We also incur expenses other than cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expenses in various currencies.
The results of operations and financial position of many of our subsidiaries outside of the United States are reported in the currencies of the countries in which those subsidiaries are located. We refer to these currencies as “local currencies”. Local currency financial information is then translated into USD at applicable exchange rates for inclusion in our Consolidated Financial Statements.
The discussion of our results of operations below provides certain information with respect to orders, revenues, income from operations and other measures as reported in USD (as well as in local currencies). We measure period-to-period variations in local currency results by using a constant foreign exchange rate for all periods under comparison. Differences in our results of operations in local currencies as compared to our results of operations in USD are caused exclusively by changes in currency exchange rates.
While we consider our results of operations as measured in local currencies to be a significant indicator of business performance, local currency information should not be relied upon to the exclusion of U.S. GAAP financial measures. Instead, local currencies reflect an additional measure of comparability and provide a means of viewing aspects of our operations that, when viewed together with the U.S. GAAP results, provide a more complete understanding of factors and trends affecting the business. As local currency information is not standardized, it may not be possible to compare our local currency information to other companies’ financial measures that have the same or a similar title. We encourage investors to review our financial statements and publicly filed reports in their entirety and not to rely on any single financial measure.