Cash flows from investing activities mainly result from cash received from disposals of non-current assets (divestitures) and cash paid for investments in non-current assets. Interest and dividends received from investing activities as well as cash flows from changes in current financial assets are also included.
Investing activities resulted in a cash outflow of €1,129 million in the year under review, compared to a cash inflow of €8 million in the previous year. Divestitures of non-current assets, especially property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets, led to a cash inflow of €285 million. In the previous year, the sale of business units outlined previously was the main contributing factor to cash outflows in this area. Investments in non-current assets rose markedly by €604 million to €1,880 million. In particular, significant investments were made in expanding the infrastructure in Europe and Asia, the IT systems and the aircraft fleet. The change in current financial assets contributed a cash inflow of €394 million largely due to the sale of money market funds. This is €843 million lower than in the previous year, in which the sale of money market funds led to a cash inflow of €1,200 million.
The following assets were acquired and liabilities assumed as a result of company acquisitions; see also Note 2:
|Current assets (excluding cash and cash equivalents)||1||79|
Free cash flow is a combination of net cash provided by operating activities and net cash used in investing activities. In the past, free cash flow was affected by significant fluctuations in financial assets. The calculation was adjusted to increase the informative value of this indicator for operating purposes, as outlined in the following table:
|Calculation of free cash flow|
|Net cash from operating activities||1,927||2,371|
|Sale of property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets||198||211|
|Acquisition of property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets||–1,174||–1,716|
|Cash outflow arising from change in property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets||–976||–1,505|
|Disposals of subsidiaries and other business units||–265||58|
|Acquisition of subsidiaries and other business units||–74||–84|
|Cash outflow arising from acquisitions/divestitures||–339||–26|
|Net interest paid||–128||–91|
|Free cash flow||484||749|
Free cash flow is considered to be an indicator of how much cash is available to the company for dividend payments or the repayment of debt. Although the cash outflow arising from the change in property, plant and equipment, and intangible assets rose considerably, a reduced cash outflow arising from acquisitions or divestitures, and in particular a much improved EBIT, led to a noticeable increase in free cash flow from €484 million in the previous year to €749 in the year under review.
Net cash used in financing activities of €1,547 million was €104 million lower than in the previous year. Once again, the dividend payment to the shareholders of Deutsche Post AG, which rose by €61 million to €786 million, was the largest payment in this area. In contrast, repayments of non-current liabilities were lower and declined from €597 million to €338 million in the reporting period. The previous year was particularly affected by the repayment of a municipal bond in the amount of €178 million in the United States. Also in the previous year, the acquisition of the remaining shares in the air cargo company Astar Air Cargo led to payments for transactions with non-controlling interests that were not matched by equivalent payments in the year under review. Interest paid was reduced by €20 million to €163 million.
The cash inflows and outflows described above produced cash and cash equivalents of €3,123 million; see Note 35. This represents a year-on-year reduction of €292 million. Currency translation differences of €13 million had an offsetting effect.