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Financial position

Report on expected developments – future development of the Group’s financial position

We expect that cash flow from operating activities, which is our primary source of financing, will remain significantly positive in future. We expect that two significant factors will influence changes in liquidity: Firstly, we plan to invest around €200 million in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment at Group level. These investments will serve primarily to develop new products and services in our growth areas and to enhance existing ones. Secondly, we will propose a dividend of €3.20 per share to the Annual General Meeting to be held in May 2022. This would represent a cash outflow of about €587 million. Apart from the above, we did not expect any other material factors to impact the Group’s liquidity at the time the combined management report was prepared. As in previous years, we assume that we will have a sound liquidity base in the forecast period due to positive cash flow from operating activities, adequate credit lines (for details see “Note 24 to the consolidated financial statements”), and our flexible management and planning systems.

We generally aim to distribute dividends equivalent to between 40 and 60 per cent of net profit for the period attributable to the shareholders of Deutsche Börse AG. Within this range, we manage the actual distribution ratio mainly in relation to our business performance and based on continuity considerations. In addition, we plan to invest the remaining available funds primarily in the continued inorganic development of the Group. Should we be unable to invest these funds, additional distributions, particularly share buy-backs, represent another opportunity for the use of funds. To maintain its strong credit ratings at Group level, we aim for a ratio of net debt to EBITDA of no more than 1.75, and a ratio of free funds from operations to net debt of at least 50 per cent.