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Financial position

Report on expected developments – development of the 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 three significant factors will influence changes in liquidity in the forecast period: Firstly, we plan to invest around €350 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. We also launched a share buyback programme with a volume of €300 million in January 2024. In May 2024 we will propose a dividend of €3.80 per share to the Annual General Meeting. This would represent a cash outflow of about €703.4 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.

Based on the successful implementation of our previous strategy and in expectation of further growth, we have refined our capital management. In future we will aim to distribute dividends equivalent to 30-40 per cent of the net profit for the period attributable to the shareholders of Deutsche Börse AG. The dividend per share is planned to increase going forward. In addition, available liquidity can be invested in the Group’s further inorganic development, as in the past. In the event of any surplus liquidity, the company intends to supplement the dividend with share buybacks.

To maintain its strong credit ratings at Group level, we aim for a ratio of net debt to EBITDA of no more than 2.25, and a ratio of free funds from operations to net debt of at least 40 per cent. Financing the takeover of SimCorp temporarily caused the ratio of free funds from operations to net debt to not fulfill the target at year-end 2023. We expect to be within the limit for this indicator again in 2024 thanks to positive cash flow from operating activities.