Risk management

Like opportunities management, risk management is a continuous process. Identifying, controlling, and managing risks are key tools of solid corporate governance. Fresenius risk management system is closely linked to corporate strategy. Its main part is our control system, with which we can identify significant risks at an early stage and counteract them individually.

Responsibilities for the processes and monitoring risks in the individual business segments have been assigned as follows:

  • Using standardized processes, risk situations are evaluated regularly and compared with specified requirements. If negative developments emerge, responses can be initiated at an early stage.
  • The managers responsible are required to report without delay any relevant changes in the risk profile to the Management Board.
  • Markets are kept under constant observation and close contacts maintained with customers, suppliers, and institutions. These policies allow us to swiftly identify and react to changes in our business environment.

The risk management system is supported both at Group level and in the individual business segments by our risk controlling measures and our management information system. Detailed monthly and quarterly reports are used to identify and analyze deviations of the actual compared to the planned business development. In addition, the risk management system comprises a control system that oversees organizational processes and measures, as well as internal controls and audits. Our risk management system is regularly evaluated and, if necessary, adjusted to allow prompt reaction to changes in the markets. This system has proved effective to date.

The functionality and effectiveness of the risk management system is reviewed as part of the audit of the annual financial statements, and regularly by the Management Board and the internal auditing department. Conclusions arising from the audits are taken into account in the ongoing refinement of our risk management system. The control system is also reviewed regularly by the Management Board and the internal auditing department.

Fresenius has ensured that the scope and focus of the organizational structure and systems for identifying and evaluating risks, and for developing counter-measures and for the avoidance of risks, are aligned suitably with the companyspecific requirements and that they are properly functional. However, there can be no absolute certainty that this will enable all risks to be fully identified and controlled.


Correctness and reliability of accounting processes and financial reporting, and thus preparation of annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements, and management reports in compliance with applicable rules, is assured by numerous measures and internal controls. Our four-tier reporting process especially promotes intensive discussion and ensures controls of the financial results. At each reporting level

  • local entity
  • region
  • business segment
  • Group

financial data and key figures are reported, discussed, and compared on a regular monthly and quarterly basis with the prior-year figures, budget, and latest forecast. In addition, all parameters, assumptions, and estimates that are of relevance for the externally reported Group and segment results are discussed intensively with the department responsible for preparing the Group’s consolidated financial statements. These matters are also reviewed and discussed quarterly in the Supervisory Board’s Audit Committee.

Control mechanisms, such as automated and manual reconciliation procedures, are further precautions in place to assure that financial reporting is reliable and that transactions are correctly accounted for. To prevent abuse, we take care to maintain a strict separation of functions. Management control and evaluations also help to ensure that risks having a direct impact on financial reporting are identified and that controls are in place to minimize them. Moreover, changes in accounting rules are monitored and employees involved in financial reporting are instructed regularly and comprehensively.

Fresenius Medical Care, an important Group company, is additionally subject to the controls of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

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