The deconsolidation of Postbank led to a sharp reduction in the Group’s total assets as at 31 December 2009. At €34,738 million, these were down €228,226 million on the figure as at 31 December 2008.
Non-current assets increased from €20,517 million to €22,022 million, primarily because of the €1,711 million rise in investments in associates. Following the deconsolidation, this item contains the remaining shares in Postbank. Specifically, the put options received as part of the Postbank sale increased other non-current financial assets from €718 million to €1,448 million. Other non-current assets declined slightly by €22 million to €348 million. Property, plant and equipment fell from €6,676 million to €6,220 million mainly, as a result of depreciation, amortisation and impairment losses and write-downs. Deferred tax assets also decreased by €365 million to €668 million.
The significant decline in current assets (from €242,447 million to €12,716 million) is primarily due to the Postbank sale: following its deconsolidation, all Postbank assets were recognised as disposals, thereby reducing assets held for sale to almost zero. Due to the planned sale of our business involving domestic day-definite shipments in France and the UK, we reclassified the corresponding assets as held for sale. Part of the funds obtained from the sale of Postbank was invested in short-term capital market instruments; these represented the key factor in the increase in current financial assets from €684 million to €1,894 million. Cash and cash equivalents increased from €1,350 million to €3,064 million, due in particular to the remaining portion of the cash received. In contrast, receivables and other assets decreased from €8,081 million to €7,157 million, primarily as a result of the general economic situation.