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Fiscal year 2016/17

Investments and financing – financial position

Cash flow statement (PDF, 64.54 KB)
Cash flow
Cash flow tracked the improved consolidated net earnings and came in at € 634 million versus € 480 million last year. Cash flow was thus 9.8 (7.5) % of revenues.
Working capital
Cash outflow resulting from the increase of € 89 million in working capital was primarily driven by lower sugar inventory volumes, as well as revenue-driven higher trade receivables, which could only be partly offset by higher trade payables.
Investments in fixed assets
Investments in fixed assets (including intangible assets) totaled € 329 (371) million. The sugar segment invested € 153 (181) million, mainly for replacements, but also on efficiency and logistics improvements in preparation for expanded production after expiry of the minimum beet price and quota regulations. The special products segment invested € 126 (131) million, most of which was for the expansion of new production capacities by the starch division and plant optimization by BENEO and Freiberger. The CropEnergies segment invested € 16 (17) million for replacements and to improve the efficiencies of its production systems. The fruit segment’s investments of € 34 (42) million were for the installation of additional production capacity, mainly for the fruit preparations division.
Investments in financial assets
Of the investments in financial assets totaling € 164 (0) million, the sugar segment accounted for € 82 million. The segment increased its stake in the trading company ED&F Man Holdings Ltd., London, Great Britain, by 10 % to about 35 % in September 2016. Another € 29 million were for the acquisition of 100 % of the shares of Terra e.G., Sömmerda, in June 2016, and € 5 million went toward a proportional capital increase of the company’s interest in AGRANA-Studen Group. The fruit segment’s investments of € 46 million were for the acquisition of Main Process S.A., Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Divestment of stakes in subsidiaries/bond redemption
The company boosted the free-floating shares of AGRANA from 7 % to 19 % by way of a capital increase, which entailed placing 1.4 million new AGRANA shares and concurrently placing 0.5 million AGRANA shares from Südzucker's direct holdings. The two measures resulted in a cash inflow of € 189 million. Last year, Südzucker bought back hybrid equity capital in the amount of € 29 million.
Profit distribution
Profit distributions throughout the group in the fiscal year just ended totaled € 115 (129) million and included € 62 (51) million paid out to Südzucker AG's shareholders and € 53 (78) million to other shareholders.
Development of net financial debt
The cash flow of € 634 million plus the €189 million generated by the capital increase and placement of AGRANA shares were greater than the cash outflow from increased working capital of € 89 million, investments of € 493 million in fixed and financial assets and the profit distribution of € 115 million. Net financial debt was thus reduced by € 142 million and went from € 555 million to € 413 million as of 28 February 2017.
On 22 November 2016, Südzucker AG placed a corporate bond valued at € 300 million via its 100 %-owned Dutch subsidiary Südzucker International Finance B.V. The bond, which has a term of seven years and a 1.25 % per annum coupon, was issued to refinance the € 400 million March 2018 bond, to finance the 2016/17 campaign and to boost financing for subsidiaries.
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