Net debt decreased from €1,744 million at year-end 2009 to €936 million at year-end 2010, mainly due to:
- The divestment of National Starch, generating €1 billion of cash.
- Operating cash inflows of €519 million.
- Dividend payments of €403 million (including to non-controlling interests) and
- Capital expenditures of €534 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 realize our growth plans, strengthen the company’s capital structure by, for example, repaying the 2011 €539 million debt maturity or de-risking pensions where possible.