Cash flow statement — Key figures


Cash flow statement
€ million

Jan – Sep
2009

Jan – Sep
2008

+/–
in %

Jan – Dec
2008

Cash flows from operating activities

4,126

4,349

–5.1

8,853

Impact of the change in working capital

207

–1,176

117.6

1,687

Cash flows from investing activities

–9,204

1,661

–3,584

Cash flows from financing activities

7,144

–5,387

–5,907

Effects of changes in foreign currency exchange rates and other changes in value on cash and cash equivalents

12

4

–35

Total net changes in cash and cash equivalents

2,078

627

–673

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

4,126

4,349

–5.1

8,853

Minus capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment and intangible assets

–3,701

–2,525

–46.6

–4,454

Free cash flow

425

1,824

–76.7

4,399

In the first three quarters of 2009, we generated € 4,126 million in cash flows from operating activities, which were € 223 million, or 5 %, down year on year. Cash outflows for the procurement of CO2 emission allowances were much higher in 2009. Due to the stricter framework conditions of the European Emission Trading System from the beginning of 2008 onwards, we had to purchase a much larger volume of certificates on the market for that year. However, this only had an adverse effect on cash flow in 2009, as emission certificates required in a given calendar year are typically paid for at the beginning of the following one. This increased outflows by € 1.0 billion. There was a counteracting one-off effect in working capital, which resulted from the fact that we fixed the price of parts of our electricity generation early on via futures on the EEX Energy Exchange. By concluding these types of hedges, we aim to limit the short-term influence of volatile commodity prices on our earnings. As of the balance sheet date, quotations on the electricity market were below the sales prices established for the futures. We received compensatory payments for the differences, known as “variation margins,” which totalled € 0.4 billion. In contrast, we had to make € 0.6 billion in compensatory payments in the first three quarters of 2008, because the price level in the electricity market was much higher.

Cash outflows from investing activities amounted to € 9,204 million, the sum by which our expenses for capital expenditures (including cash investments) exceeded proceeds from asset disposals and divestments. The acquisition of Essent was the single-largest item. Its purchase price amounted to € 7,574 million. The € 686 million in assumed cash and cash equivalents have to be deducted from this sum.

Cash flows from financing activities amounted to € 7,144 million. They mainly stemmed from the bond placements in February and June 2009, while dividend payments had a counteracting effect. Cash and cash equivalents have risen by € 2,078 million since the beginning of the year.

Cash flows from operating activities, minus capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment, result in free cash flow. The latter amounted to € 425 million, down € 1,399 million on the figure for the comparable period in 2008. The considerable increase in capital expenditure on property, plant and equipment was the reason for this.