The Group’s capital expenditure (capex) amounted to €1,171 million in total at the end of December 2009 (previous year: €1,727 million), down slightly on the budgeted figure of approximately €1,200 million. We used these funds to improve productivity and quality. We acquired assets with which we process customer orders and maintain our network’s performance, with the focus being on replacement investments.
In line with the economic situation, we spent 32.2% less year-on-year, and 25.2% less in the fourth quarter. The EXPRESS and SUPPLY CHAIN divisions in particular contributed to this significant decline. We used the funds mainly to replace and expand the following assets: €930 million was invested in property, plant and equipment and €241 million in intangible assets excluding goodwill. Investments in property, plant and equipment related mainly to advance payments and assets under development (€207 million), technical equipment and machinery (€182 million), IT equipment (€132 million), transport equipment (€128 million), aircraft (€110 million) and other operating and office equipment (€98 million). Investments in intangible assets related to internally generated and purchased software (€166 million) and advance payments and intangible assets under development (€59 million).
We invested primarily in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Our investment activities in Europe were focused on Germany, Belgium and the UK. In Asia we concentrated on India, Malaysia and China.