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Note 30 Notes to the consolidated cash flow statement

Cash flow from operating activities

The cash flow from operating activities in 2016 amounted to €376 million compared with €513 million in 2015. The decrease of €137 million compared with 2015 is largely accounted for by a fall in the operating profit, partly as a consequence of the reduction in the regulated tariffs (€55 million) and the increase in sufferance tax charges (€39 million). In addition, the amount of corporate income tax paid in 2016 was €27 million higher, owing to assessments received for prior years which have been paid.

Cash flow from investing activities

The cash outflow from investing activities in 2016 amounted to €232 million, which is €260 million lower than in 2015. The lower cash outflow overall in 2016 is the net effect of a cash inflow connected with the exchange of service areas (€359 million) set against which there was actually a higher level of expenditure on property plant and equipment (€680 million compared with €575 million in 2015). The increase of €105 million mainly relates to electricity distribution networks and meters in connection with the large-scale rollout of smart meters. The contributions towards capital projects received from third parties in 2016 amounted to €99 million, which is slightly higher than in 2015 (€85 million).

Cash flow from financing activities

The cash flow from financing activities in 2016 amounted to €185 million negative (2015: €99 million negative). The negative cash flow in 2016 was due to net repayments under the EMTN programme amounting to €100 million plus the dividend distribution of €85 million. The negative cash flow in 2015 is mainly accounted for by the redemption of Euro Commercial Paper (ECP loans) of €112 million, while the proceeds from the termination of a bond loan on maturity (€141 million) had the effect of lifting the cash flow.

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