Net debt is an important key performance indicator for investors, analysts and rating agencies. It is one of the Group's key management ratios, especially as a component of relative financial ratios such as net debt/adj. EBITDA, and fundamental information for the international financial markets.
DT has a strong commitment to its financial policy and a long standing track record to stay within its tolerance levels:
Net debt/adj. EBITDA ratio stayed stable with 2.3x as of December 2017 in comparison to the end of 2016. The main factors influencing this change are given in the overview below.
Net debt increased from EUR 50.0 billion at the end of 2016 to EUR 50.8 billion as of December 2017.
- The increase was attributable to the spectrum acquisition (EUR 7.4 billion) and
- the dividend payments – including to non-controlling interests – (EUR 1.6 billion),
- partially offset by the positive effects from free cash flow (EUR 5.5 billion) and
- the sale of Strato (EUR 0.6 billion) and further shares in Scout24 AG (EUR 0.3 billion).
- Exchange rate effects of EUR 2.9 billion also had a positive effect.
The increase in adj. EBITDA1 from EUR 21.4 billion at the end of 2016 to EUR 22.2 billion as of December 2017 stabilized the net debt/adj. EBITDA ratio.
More information on net debt and how it has developed please refer to the annual report (pdf, 5.5 MB) as of December 31, 2017 on page 58. For more information on the adj. EBITDA development please refer to page 53.