Independent practitioner’s report on a limited assurance engagement on non-financial reporting
To HHLA AG, Hamburg
We have performed a limited assurance engagement on the combined separate non-financial report (hereinafter “non-financial report”) pursuant to Sections 289b (3) and 315b (3) HGB for the period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 of HHLA AG, Hamburg (hereinafter “the company”).
Responsibilities of the executive directors
The executive directors of the company are responsible for the preparation of the non-financial report in accordance with Sections 315c in conjunction with 289c to 289e HGB.
This responsibility of the company’s executive directors includes the selection and application of suitable methods of non-financial reporting, as well as making assumptions and estimates related to individual non-financial disclosures which are reasonable in the circumstances. Furthermore, the executive directors are responsible for such internal controls as they have considered necessary to enable the preparation of a non-financial report that is free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
Independence and quality control of the audit firm
We have complied with the German professional provisions regarding independence as well as other ethical requirements.
Our audit firm applies the national legal requirements and professional standards – in particular the Professional Code for German Public Auditors and Chartered Auditors (Berufssatzung fur Wirtschaftsprufer und vereidigte Buchprufer, BS WP/vBP) as well as the Standard on Quality Control 1 published by the Institute of Public Auditors in Germany (IDW): Requirements to quality control for audit firms (IDW Qualitatssicherungsstandard 1: Anforderungen an die Qualitatssicherung in der Wirtschaftspruferpraxis – IDW QS 1) – and accordingly maintains a comprehensive system of quality control including documented policies and procedures regarding compliance with ethical requirements, professional standards and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Our responsibility is to express a limited assurance conclusion on the non-financial report based on the assurance engagement we have performed.
Within the scope of our engagement, we did not perform an audit on external sources of information or expert opinions, referred to in the non-financial report.
We conducted our assurance engagement in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised): Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information, issued by the IAASB. This standard requires that we plan and perform the assurance engagement to allow us to conclude with limited assurance that nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the company’s non-financial report for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 has not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with Sections 315c in conjunction with 289c to 289e HGB.
In a limited assurance engagement, the assurance procedures are less in extent than for a reasonable assurance engagement, and therefore a substantially lower level of assurance is obtained. The assurance procedures selected depend on the practitioner’s judgment.
Within the scope of our assurance engagement, we performed amongst others the following assurance procedures and further activities:
- obtaining an understanding of the structure of the sustainability organisation and stakeholder engagement;
- inquiries of personnel involved in the preparation of the non-financial report regarding the preparation process, the internal control system relating to this process and selected disclosures in the non-financial report;
- identification of the likely risks of material misstatement of the non-financial report;
- analytical evaluation of selected disclosures in the non-financial report;
- comparison of selected disclosures with corresponding data in the consolidated financial statements and Group management report; and
- evaluation of the presentation of the non-financial information.
Based on the assurance procedures performed and assurance evidence obtained, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the company’s non-financial report for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019 has not been prepared, in all material aspects, in accordance with Sections 315c in conjunction with 289c to 289e HGB.
Intended use of the assurance report
We issue this report on the basis of the engagement agreed with the company. The assurance engagement has been performed for purposes of the company and the report is solely intended to inform the company about the results of the limited assurance engagement.
The report is not intended for any third parties to base any (financial) decision thereon. Our responsibility lies only with the company. We do not assume any responsibility towards third parties.
Frankfurt, 23 March 2020
Nicolette Behncke p.p. Meike Beenken