The Company provides for income taxes utilizing the asset and liability method. Under this method, deferred
income taxes are recorded to reflect the tax consequences in future years of differences between the tax bases of assets and liabilities and their financial reporting amounts at each balance sheet date, based on enacted tax laws and statutory tax
rates applicable to the periods in which the differences are expected to reverse or settle. If it is determined that it is more likely than not that future tax benefits associated with a deferred tax asset will not be realized, a valuation allowance
is provided. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in statutory tax rates is recognized in the consolidated statements of operations as an adjustment to income tax expense in the period that includes the enactment date.
Pension and Other Post-Retirement Benefit Plans
The Company sponsors various pension and other
post-retirement benefit plans covering its employees in several countries. The estimates of the obligations and related expense of these plans recorded in the financial statements are based on certain assumptions. The most significant assumptions
relate to discount rate, expected return on plan assets and rate of increase in healthcare costs. Other assumptions used include employee demographic factors such as compensation rate increases, retirement patterns, employee turnover rates and
mortality rates. These assumptions are updated annually by the Company. The difference between these assumptions and actual experience results in the recognition of an asset or liability based upon a net actuarial (gain)/loss. If the total net
actuarial (gain)/loss included in Accumulated other comprehensive loss exceeds a threshold of 10% of the greater of the projected benefit obligation or the market related value of plan assets, it is subject to amortization and recorded as a
component of net periodic pension cost over the average remaining service lives of the employees participating in the pension plan.
The discount rate reflects the current rate at which the pension and other post-retirement liabilities could be effectively settled
considering the timing of expected payments for plan participants. It is used to discount the estimated future obligations of the plans to the present value of the liability reflected in the financial statements. In estimating this rate, the Company
considers rates of return on high-quality fixed-income investments included in various bond indexes, adjusted to eliminate the effect of call provisions and differences in the timing and amounts of cash outflows related to the bonds.
To determine the expected return on plan assets, the Company
considered the historical returns earned by similarly invested assets, the rates of return expected on plan assets in the future and the Companys investment strategy and asset mix with respect to the plans funds.
The rate of increase in healthcare costs directly impacts the
estimate of the Companys future obligations in connection with its post-employment medical benefits. The Companys estimate of healthcare cost trends is based on historical increases in healthcare costs under similarly designed plans, the
level of increase in healthcare costs expected in the future and the design features of the underlying plans.
Allowance for Losses on Receivables
The allowance for losses on receivables is used to provide for potential impairment of receivables. The allowance represents an estimate of
probable but unconfirmed losses in the receivable portfolio. The Company estimates the allowance on the basis of specifically identified receivables that are evaluated individually for impairment, and a statistical analysis of the remaining
receivables determined by reference to past default experience. Customers are generally not required to provide collateral for purchases.
During the years ended December 31, 2009, 2008 and 2007, provisions to the allowance for losses on receivables recognized within
selling, general and administrative expense, totaled $3,764, $1,411 and $2,565, respectively.