Net debt increased from €1.7 billion at year-end 2009 to €2.0 billion, mainly due to:
- Operating cash inflows of €244 million, offset by:
- Dividend payments of €306 million (€245 million to shareholders and €61 million to shareholders of minority interest) and
- Capital expenditures of €336 million.
A bond totaling €539 million will mature in June 2011 and is recorded under short-term borrowings.
In August, our credit ratings were confirmed at BBB+/Baa1 with outlook improved to stable. The proceeds from the disposal of National Starch will fund growth and will potentially partly be used to strengthen the company’s capital structure by, for example, re-paying 2011 debt maturity or de-risking pensions where possible.