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Liquidity (cash flow statement)

Cash inflow from operating activities amounted to €931 million in financial year 2021/22 (2020/21: cash inflow of €1,237 million). The decline is mainly attributable to the increase in net working capital compared to the previous year as well as higher income tax payments due to the improved earnings development.

Investing activities led to cash outflow of €320 million (2020/21: cash outflow of €137 million). The slightly higher payment outflows for investments are offset by higher inflows from divestments, which are mainly related to real estate disposals. Furthermore, cash flows for acquisitions and disposals of subsidiaries increased by €180 million compared to the previous year. Compared with previous year’s period, this represents a decrease in cash flow before financing activities of €488 million.

Cash flow from financing activities exhibited a cash outflow of €1,308 million (2020/21: cash outflow of €1,152 million). This includes redemptions of borrowings in the amount of €1,655 million and lease payments in the amount of €572 million. This was offset by proceeds from financial liabilities, which amounted to €953 million.

Total cash flows amount to €−696 million (2020/21: €−52 million).

The free cash flow is derived from the cash flow statement according to the following overview. METRO has introduced this key figure to show the funds generated in a period, which are primarily available for the repayment of debt, payment of dividends and for company transactions.

Free cash flow

€ million



Cash flow from operating activities



Investments (without financial investments)






Lease disbursements



Interest paid and received



Other financing activities



Free cash flow



Net working capital
The net working capital includes inventories, trade receivables and receivables due from suppliers included in the item other financial and non-financial assets. Trade liabilities are deducted from the total amount of these items.
Previous year Period of 12 months that is usually cited as a reference for statements in the annual report and refers to the financial year preceding the reporting year.

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