German Corporate Governance Code

7. Reporting and Audit of the Annual

7.1 Reporting

7.1.1 Shareholders and third parties are mainly informed by the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Group Management Report. During the financial year they are additionally informed by means of a half-year financial report and, in the first and second halves, by interim reports or quarterly financial reports. The Consolidated Financial Statements and the Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements in the half-year financial report and the quarterly financial report are prepared under observance of internationally recognised accounting principles.
7.1.2 All things being equal, the company shall treat all shareholders in the same way as regards information. All material new facts made known to financial analysts and similar addressees shall also be disclosed to the shareholders by the company without delay. In addition, the Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority are authorized to check that the Consolidated Financial Statements comply with the applicable accounting regulations (enforcement). The Consolidated Financial Statements shall be publicly accessible within 90 days of the end of the financial year; interim reports shall be publicly accessible within 45 days of the end of the reporting period.
7.1.3 The Corporate Governance Report shall contain information on stock option programmes and similar securities-based incentive systems of the company, unless this information is already provided in the Annual Financial Statements, the Consolidated Financial Statements or the compensation report.
7.1.4 Notes on the relationships with shareholders considered to be "related parties" pursuant to the applicable accounting regulations shall be provided in the Consolidated Financial Statements.
7.2 Audit of Annual Financial Statements

7.2.1 Prior to submitting a proposal for election, the Supervisory Board or, respectively, the Audit Committee shall obtain a statement from the proposed auditor stating whether, and where applicable, which business, financial, personal and other relationships exist between the auditor and its executive bodies and head auditors on the one hand, and the enterprise and the members of its executive bodies on the other hand, that could call its independence into question. This statement shall include the extent to which other services were performed for the enterprise in the past year, especially in the field of consultancy, or which are contracted for the following year.

The Supervisory Board shall agree with the auditor that the Chairman of the Supervisory Board or, respectively, the Audit Committee will be informed immediately of any grounds for disqualification or partiality occurring during the audit, unless such grounds are eliminated immediately.

7.2.2 The Supervisory Board commissions the auditor to carry out the audit and concludes an agreement on the latter's fee.
7.2.3 The Supervisory Board shall arrange for the auditor to report without delay on all facts and events of importance for the tasks of the Supervisory Board which arise during the performance of the audit.

The Supervisory Board shall arrange for the auditor to inform it and/or note in the Auditor's Report if, during the performance of the audit, the auditor comes across facts which show a misstatement by the Management Board and Supervisory Board on the Code.

7.2.4 The auditor takes part in the Supervisory Board's deliberations on the Annual Financial Statements and Consolidated Financial Statements and reports on the essential results of its audit.
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