Financial position, liquidity and capital resources

The balance sheet total of €107.3 billion is €9.1 billion higher than at year-end 2016. (See table B.35)

Non-current assets increased by €2.6 billion to €42.7 billion, mainly due to the higher amounts of financial assets and fixed assets. Investment in property, plant and equipment (excluding leased assets, approximately €3.1 billion) mainly comprises investments for the production of the new A-Class models and the new Sprinter, as well as investments in engine and transmission projects.

Inventories increased compared with December 31, 2016 by €0.4 billion to €9.5 billion. The increase is mainly related to finished products and goods.

Receivables, securities and other assets increased compared with December 31, 2016 by €3.4 billion to €49.5 billion. The main reason for this development was growth of €2.3 billion in receivables due from subsidiaries and associated companies, as well as the increase in securities of €0.8 billion. Cash and cash equivalents increased by €0.1 billion to €1.8 billion.

Gross liquidity – defined as cash and cash equivalents and other marketable securities as well as fixed-term deposits presented under other assets – of €9.6 billion was higher than a year earlier (2016: €8.5 billion).

The net defined-benefit plan asset results from the fair value of the special-purpose assets in excess of the settlement amount of the pension obligations. The increase in financial year 2017 to €3.5 billon (2016: €0.9 billion) is primarily due to the extraordinary contribution of €3.0 billion to the German pension plan assets.

Cash provided by operating activities amounted to €7.2 billion in 2017 (2016: €8.5 billion). The decrease primarily reflects higher cash-effective contributions to pension plan assets, increased working capital and higher income tax payments. On the other hand, utilization of provisions was lower than in the previous year.

Cash flows from investing activities resulted in a net cash outflow of €6.5 billion in 2017 (2016: €6.1 billion). The increase is primarily a reflection of capital measures within financial assets as well as increased investment in property, plant and equipment. Positive effects resulted from acquisitions and sales of securities within the framework of liquidity management.

Cash flows from financing activities resulted in a net cash outflow of €0.6 billion (2016: €2.7 billion). This is explained by the reduction compared with the previous year in the cash outflow from the Group’s internal transactions in connection with central finance and liquidity management. There were opposing effects of reduced cash inflows from the lower assumption of external financing liabilities than in the previous year. Cash flows from financing activities include the payment of the dividend for the year 2016 in an amount of €3.5 billion.

B.35 Balance sheet structure of Daimler AG

  Dec. 31, 2017 Dec. 31, 2016
In millions of euros    
Non-current assets 42,700 40,107
Inventories 9,466 9,071
Receivables, securities and other assets 49,516 46,120
Cash and cash equivalents 1,782 1,660
Current assets 60,764 56,851
Prepaid expenses 384 339
Net defined-benefit plan asset 3,462 891
  107,310 98,188
Equity and liabilities    
Share capital 3,070 3,070
(Conditional capital €500 million)    
Capital reserve 11,480 11,480
Retained earnings 23,637 22,560
Distributable profit 3,905 3,477
Equity 42,092 40,587
Other provisions 13,981 11,847
Provisions 13,981 11,847
Trade payables 6,499 6,077
Other liabilities 43,838 38,935
Liabilities 50,337 45,012
Deferred income 900 742
  107,310 98,188

Equity increased in 2017 by €1.5 billion to €42.1 billion. This change primarily resulted from the net profit for 2017, of which, in accordance with Section 58 Subsection 2 of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG), €1.1 billion was transferred to retained earnings. The equity ratio at December 31, 2017 was 39.2 % (December 31, 2016: 41.3 %). As stated in the notes to the annual financial statements according to the German Commercial Code (HGB), Daimler AG holds no treasury shares at December 31, 2017.

Provisions increased compared with December 31, 2016 by €2.1 billion to €14.0 billion. This was primarily due to increased obligations from sales transactions, provisions for warranty obligations, and provisions relating to legal proceedings.

Liabilities increased by €5.3 billion to €50.3 billion, primarily due to increased financing liabilities, as well as trade payables.

Risks and opportunities