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Cash flows


In CHF million
  1.01.–30.09.
2021
  1.01.–30.09.
2020
 
Change
Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)   3,465   3,356   109
Lease expense   (226)   (226)  
EBITDA after lease expense (EBITDA AL)   3,239   3,130   109
Capital expenditure   (1,605)   (1,632)   27
Operating free cash flow proxy   1,634   1,498   136
Change in net working capital   (89)   (62)   (27)
Change in net defined benefit liabilities   (22)   46   (68)
Net interest payments on financial assets and liabilities   (56)   (59)   3
Income taxes paid   (283)   (174)   (109)
Other operating cash flow   (8)   18   (26)
Free cash flow   1,176   1,267   (91)
Net proceeds (net expenditures) for company acquisitions and disposals   109   (45)   154
Other cash flows from investing activities, net   (1)   (3)   2
Dividends paid to equity holders of Swisscom Ltd   (1,140)   (1,140)  
Other changes   34   54   (20)
Decrease in net debt   178   133   45

The operating free cash flow proxy increased by 9.1% or CHF 136 million to CHF 1,634 million mainly due to the higher operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). Free cash flow, on the other hand, decreased by 7.2% or CHF 91 million to CHF 1,176 million compared to the prior year. The decrease is mainly due to higher income taxes paid, which increased by CHF 109 million to CHF 283 million compared to the previous year. During the first nine months of 2020, tax payments related to measures implemented by the authorities in connection with Covid-19 were deferred. The change in the net defined benefit liabilities includes a one-off adjustment of CHF 60 million as a result of a plan amendment in the first half of 2021, which was recognised in EBITDA. In 2021, net cash inflows from acquisitions and disposals included the selling price of CHF 126 million from the sale of the participation in Belgacom International Carrier Services. In the second quarter of 2021, an unchanged dividend per share of CHF 22 was paid, representing a total dividend payment of CHF 1,140 million.