Cash Flow

The following table shows the Group cash flow:

Statement of Cash Flows

in € million

 

2016

 

2015

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flow from operating activities

 

828.9

 

689.8

Cash flow from investing activities

 

416.4

 

-3,239.8

Cash flow from financing activities

 

-2,812.4

 

4,093.1

Net changes in cash and cash equivalents

 

-1,567.1

 

1,543.1

Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the period

 

3,107.9

 

1,564.8

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period

 

1,540.8

 

3,107.9

The cash flow from operating activities rose from € 689.8 million in 2015 to € 828.9 million in 2016. The increase of around € 139.1 million is primarily due to the improved EBITDA IFRS operating performance and results, in particular, from the increased business volume due to the full inclusion of the acquired GAGFAH and SÜDEWO portfolios. In the previous year, GAGFAH was only included with the contribution for the months from March to December, while SÜDEWO was only included with the contribution for the months from July to December. The change in net current assets, which is down by around € 115 million on the value for 2015, had the opposite effect.

The positive cash flow from investing activities in the amount of € 416.4 million is mainly influenced by proceeds from the disposal of properties amounting to € 1,418.5 million. This increase was due primarily to the considerable increase in sales to 26,631 units in the 2016 fiscal year. On the other hand, payouts were made to acquire shares in Deutsche Wohnen AG in the amount of € 393.3 million, as well as to perform on investment properties in the amount of € 548.8 million.

The cash flow from financing activities shows a payout balance for the 2016 fiscal year of € 2,812.4 million, compared with a proceeds balance of € 4,093.1 million in the previous year. Cash flow from financing activities in 2016 was influenced by scheduled and unscheduled loan repayments in the amount of € 4,219.0 million, as well as new borrowing in the amount of € 2,576.9 million in total, comprising the bond placements with a nominal value of € 2.5 billion and mortgages (especially funds relating to the German government-owned development bank, KfW). The financing costs, which essentially consist of prepayment penalties, came to € 272.3 million and interest payments to € 365.6 million. What is more, the dividend payments made to the shareholders of Vonovia SE and to minority shareholders in the amount of € 445.4 million, and payouts to hybrid capital investors in the amount of € 40.0 million, resulted in a cash outflow. Cash flow from financing activities in the previous year is characterized by equity and debt capital financing measures in connection with the takeovers of GAGFAH and SÜDEWO as well as the financing of the acquisition of the Franconia portfolio.

This brings the total net change in cash and cash equivalents to € -1,567.1 million, meaning that cash and cash equivalents came to € 1,540.8 million as of December 31, 2016.

Modernization Measures
Modernization measures are long-term and sustainable value-enhancing investments in housing and building stocks. Energy-efficient refurbishments generally involve improvements to the building shell and communal areas as well as the heat and electricity supply systems. Typical examples are the installation of heating systems, the renovation of balconies and the retrofitting of prefabricated balconies as well as the implementation of energy-saving projects, such as the installation of double-glazed windows and heat insulation, e.g., facade insulation, insulation of the top story ceilings and basement ceilings. In addition to modernization of the apartment electrics, the refurbishment work upgrades the apartments, typically through the installation of modern and/or handicapped-accessible bathrooms, the installation of new doors and the laying of high-quality and non-slip flooring. Where required, the floor plans are altered to meet changed housing needs.