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Cash flows

In CHF million   2020   2019   Change
Operating income before de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­sa­tion (EBITDA)   4,382   4,358   24
Lease expense   (300)   (294)   (6)
EBITDA after lease expense (EBITDA AL)   4,082   4,064   18
Capital ex­pen­di­ture   (2,229)   (2,438)   209
Operating free cash flow proxy   1,853   1,626   227
Change in net working capital   140   83   57
Change in defined benefit obligations   65   48   17
Net interest payments on financial assets and liabilities   (69)   (63)   (6)
Income taxes paid   (309)   (371)   62
Other operating cash flow   26   22   4
Free cash flow   1,706   1,345   361
Dividends paid to equity holders of Swisscom Ltd   (1,140)   (1,140)  
Net ex­pen­di­tures for company acquisitions and disposals   (29)   (53)   24
Foreign currency translation adjustments   8   107   (99)
Other changes   (5)   (8)   3
Decrease in net debt   540   251   289

The operating free cash flow proxy increased by CHF 227 million year-on-year to CHF 1,853 million, mainly due to lower capital ex­pen­di­ture. Capital ex­pen­di­ture in the previous year included CHF 196 million for mobile radio fre­quen­cies in Switzer­land. Excluding this ex­pen­di­ture, the operating free cash flow proxy increased by CHF 31 million or 1.7% as a result of higher operating income before de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­sa­tion (EBITDA).

Free cash flow increased by CHF 361 million year-on-year to CHF 1,706 million. Adjusted for the ex­pen­di­ture for mobile radio fre­quen­cies, free cash flow increased by CHF 165 million. The increase was attributable in part to lower income tax payments of CHF 309 million (prior year: CHF 371 million). Net working capital fell by CHF 140 million compared with the end of 2019 (prior year: decrease of CHF 83 million). In 2020, an unchanged dividend per share of CHF 22 was paid. This cor­re­sponds to a total dividend payment of CHF 1,140 million. Overall, net debt decreased by CHF 540 million to CHF 6,218 million.

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