The principles and aims of financial management presented in the are being pursued unchanged. In the first quarter of 2008, the euro was again the Group’s most important currency in which debt is denominated. Including hedging transactions, it accounted for 53% of net debt, whilst the share of net debt denominated in US dollars was 32%. The other basic financial data outlined in the Annual Report are still valid.
Our credit quality continues to be highly rated. As a result, the current crisis in the financial markets is not adversely affecting our liquidity position or refinancing options, as the launch of the commercial paper programme at the start of the year demonstrated. After being used to raise an average of €250 million to €500 million a month, it has become very well established. In addition, the Group currently has unsecured firm credit lines totalling some €4.2 billion, of which €484 million had been used as at 31 March. Average drawings on credit lines stood at around 10.7% in the first quarter (previous year: 1.1%).