Net financial debt – Equity – Gearing ratio
In millions of euros
Despite record investment of more than EUR 1.3 billion in the business year 2015/16—due to largely finalizing important future-oriented projects—which resulted in a commensurate cash outflow, the gearing ratio (net financial debt in percent of equity) of 58.2% as of March 31, 2015 was reduced to 54.5% as of March 31, 2016. This trend shows that the high-tech/high-quality growth strategy that the voestalpine Group has been pursuing for many years is not mutually exclusive with sound financial management despite its high level of investment. The most significant factor was stable and solid development of earnings that made an increase of the equity base by a healthy 10.5% from EUR 5,115.0 million at the end of the business year 2014/15 to EUR 5,651.6 million as of the end of the business year 2015/16 possible. Despite the massive expansion in investment activity in the past twelve months, net financial debt rose only slightly by 3.4% from EUR 2,978.1 million as of March 31, 2015 to EUR 3,079.9 million as of March 31, 2016.