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Financial position

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

The company expects operating cash flow, which is Deutsche Börse Group’s primary funding instrument, to remain clearly positive in the future. The Group expects that two significant factors will influence changes in liquidity. Firstly, the company plans to invest some €180 million in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment at Group level. These investments will serve primarily to develop new products and services in the Eurex (financial derivatives) and Clearstream (post-trading) segments, and to enhance existing ones. The total amount essentially comprises investments in trading infrastructure and in risk management functionalities. Secondly, the Executive Board and Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse AG will propose a dividend of €2.70 per share to the Annual General Meeting to be held in May 2019. This would correspond to a cash outflow of about €495 million. Against the background of the growth strategy, the company anticipates that, in future, freely available funds will increasingly also be applied to the Group’s complementary external growth options. Apart from the above, no other material factors were expected to impact the Group’s liquidity at the time the combined management report was prepared. As in previous years, the Group assumes that it will have a sound liquidity base in the forecast period due to its positive cash flow from operating activities, adequate credit lines (see note 25 to the consolidated financial statements for details), and flexible management and planning systems.

Deutsche Börse Group generally aims to distribute dividends equivalent to between 40 and 60 per cent of adjusted net profit for the period attributable to Deutsche Börse AG shareholders. Within this range, the Group manages the actual payout ratio mainly relative to the business performance and based on continuity considerations. In addition, the company plans to invest the remaining available funds primarily into organic growth, but also, secondarily, for the Group’s complementary external development.

Should the Group be unable to invest these funds, additional payouts, particularly share buy-backs, present another opportunity for the use of funds. To maintain its strong credit ratings at Group level, the company aims at 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.

The parent company, Deutsche Börse AG, plans to invest some €50 to 60 million in intangible assets and property, plant and equipment during the forecast period.