The Bertelsmann consolidated cash flow statement has been prepared in accordance with IAS 7 and is intended to facilitate analysis of the Group’s ability to generate cash and cash equivalents. Cash flows are divided into those relating to operating activities, investing activities and financing activities. Cash flows from operating activities are presented using the indirect method, with Group EBIT adjusted for non-cash items. Income and expenses relating to cash flows from investing activities are also eliminated.

The operational management of the Bertelsmann Group utilizes indicators that include operating EBIT, which is before interest. Operating results and the resulting cash flow from operating activities should therefore be consistent and comparable. Accordingly, the net balance of interest paid and interest received during the financial year is shown in the cash flow statement as part of financing activities.

Contributions to pension plans are a cash outflow reported as a separate item in the cash flow from investing activities. The change in provisions for pensions and similar commitments represents the balance of service costs and company payments for these obligations (see note 19).

The consolidated cash flow statement includes the effects of changes in foreign currencies and changes in the scope of consolidation. Items in the consolidated cash flow statement thus cannot be compared with changes in items disclosed on the consolidated balance sheet. Investing activities include investments for non-current assets and purchase price payments for investments acquired as well as proceeds from the disposal of non-current assets and participations. See section “Acquisitions and Disposals” concerning acquisitions made during the reporting period. Disposals during the period are also presented separately in that section. Financial debt of €676 million (previous year: less than €1 million) was assumed during the reporting period.

Cash flow from financing activities tracks changes in equity, financial debt and dividend payments affecting cash, as well as net interest paid or received. The item “Changes in equity” mostly includes the consideration received in connection with the gradual placement of shares of RTL Group. The expenses for the prepayment penalty from early redemption of bonds and promissory note loans in the amount of €40 million are carried under “Interest paid.” The item “Proceeds from/redemption of other financial debt” includes receipts in the amount of €225 million (previous year: €45 million) and payments in the amount of €-829 million (previous year: €-136 million).