Change in net financial position

In order to more clearly present the actual cash flows for the year, the table below shows the contribution of continuing operations to the generation or use of cash by operating activities, in investment activities, and in the remuneration of capital.

In millions of euros Dec. 31, 2009 Dec. 31, 2008
Opening net financial debt -3,365.8 -2,649.7
of which attributable to continuing operations -2,953.6 -
Self-financing 1,291.8 583.3
of which attributable to continuing operations 754.6 -
Change in net working capital -37.6 -43.8
of which attributable to continuing operations 206.9 -
Cash flows generated from operating activities 1,254.2 539.5
Investments in property, plant and equipment -859.8 -747.0
Investments in intangible assets -40.6 -28.9
Other changes in non-current assets -332.3 -99.1
of which attributable to continuing operations -1,181.8 -
Change in equity investments 22.7 -7.3
of which attributable to continuing operations -5.7 -
Cash flows used in investing activities -1,210.0 -882.3
Dividends -337.8 -327.5
Other changes in equity attributable to the shareholders of the Parent -11.9 -46.0
Equity attributable to minority interests -86.9 0.2
Self-financing flows -436.6 -373.3
Change in financial debt -392.4 -716.1
of which attributable to continuing operations -804.6 -
Closing net financial debt -3,758.2 -3,365.8

The cash flow generated from operating activities for the Group during the year came to about €1,254.2 million and is related to self-financing for the year (€1,291.8 million) and other financial resources used by net working capital (€37.6 million).
In this regard, continuing operations, in particular, with profit for the year of €354.0 million, amortisation and depreciation of €308.8 million, and an increase in provisions of €92.0 million, due mainly to the recognition of deffered taxes on the portion of the excess cost paid for the TELAT acquisition (€70.3 million, net of the release of related amortisation and depreciation for the last nine months of the year), as well as the value of the provision for net deferred taxes acquired as a result of expanding the scope of consolidation (€17.6 million as at December 31, 2009). Net working capital from continuing operations generated cash in the amount of €206.9 million, due mainly to the net balance of receivables and payables related to pass-through energy items, which were partially offset by the receivable related to the aforementioned mitigation mechanism established by Resolution no. 188/08, as well as to the increase in trade payables due to the increased investment during the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter of 2008.

Investing activities led to a net use of cash of about €1,210.0 million.

For continuing operations, this cash was related mainly to investments during the year in property, plant and equipment (€859.8 million) and in intangible assets (€40.6 million) related to the Parent in the amount of €872.1 million, as well as to the value of the goodwill (€101.6 million), property, plant and equipment (€1,101.4 million) and intangible assets (€6.3 million) resulting from the definitive allocation of the greater amount paid for the acquisition of TELAT compared with the fair value of the assets and liabilities acquired.
Also of note in that regard are the increase in the equity investment in the associate CESI, which is measured at equity (€5.0 million), due in part to the acquisition of additional shares, and the recognition of the investment in the Tunisian joint venture ELMED ÉTUDES (€0.7 million).

Cash flows used in self-financing are essentially the result of the distribution of the balance on the 2008 dividend to shareholders of the Parent (€197.7 million) and the interim dividend for 2009 (€140.1 million).
The other changes in equity attributable to the shareholders of the Parent are related to the measurement of the fair value of the derivative instruments used as cash-flow hedges for exchange rates and for floating-rate debt of the Parent, net of related tax effects (a decrease of €11.9 million).

Furthermore, following the completion of the sale of the Brazilian businesses in November, the share of equity attributable to minority interests was eliminated (€86.9 million).

The cash flows absorbed by the Group in investing activities, taking account of the extraordinary transactions during the year, and in changes in equity resulted in a total use of funds of €1,646.6 million, which was funded in part by cash flows generated on operating activities (€1,254.2 million, €961.5 million of which attributable to continuing operations) and in part through new debt (€392.4 million, equal to €804.6 million related to continuing operations).