Duration of independent auditors' engagement and tenure of lead audit partner

Ernst & Young AG (EY), Berne, have been the independent auditors of COMET Holding AG since 1999. Since fiscal year 2010, Bernadette Koch has been the lead audit partner responsible for the engagement. The independent audit firm is elected by the Shareholder Meeting for one fiscal year at a time.

Audit fees

EY received the following compensation for services in connection with auditing the consolidated financial statements and as the independent audit firm for most Group companies:

In thousands of CHF 2015 2014
Audit fees 296 305

Including the other audit firms, the total audit fees in the year under review amounted to CHF 366 thousand (prior year: CHF 356 thousand). The audit fees are set annually upon discussion with the Audit Committee and are based on the audit scope at the individual Group companies, any special in-depth audits, and the auditing of protection against specifically identified risks.

Other fees

In the fiscal year, EY received the following compensation for consulting services in connection with accounting and tax matters:

In thousands of CHF 2015 2014
Audit-related consulting services 22 17
Tax consulting services 18 10
Total consulting services 40 27

Monitoring of the independent auditors by the Board of Directors

The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors annually reviews the performance, compensation and independence of the audit firm. The Committee also examines the scope of the independent audit, reviews action plans developed to resolve any issues identified in the audit, and recommends candidate independent auditors to the Board to propose for election by the Shareholder Meeting. The Board has not specified a fixed cycle of rotation. In selecting the external auditors, particular importance is attached to independence and documented experience.

After the first six months of the year, the Audit Committee at its meeting discusses the unaudited half-year results with the independent auditors. In addition, the annual financial statements are planned and the auditing costs for the fiscal year are approved. After the audit of the annual financial statements, the Audit Committee convenes for a meeting at which it discusses the audited annual report for the fiscal year with the independent auditors. The audit firm reports its findings on the basis of a comprehensive report to the Board of Directors and through the reports of the independent auditors to the Shareholder Meeting. The CEO, CFO and internal auditor take part in these meetings.