Borrowing funds for investments
The adjusted cash flow statement below focuses on the ratio between the cash flow from operating activities and the cash flow from investing activities and the relationship with the development of the company's debt position.
Cash flow statement (in millions of euros)
The net cash flow from operating activities after repayment of lease commitments (excluding security deposits for energy contracts)
Acquisition of assets (tangible and intangible) and investment property
Balance of cash flows from operating activities and investments
Increase in loans (balance withdrawal/repayment)
Balance of other cash flows and exchange rate differences
Total movement in cash and cash equivalents (including exchange rate differences)
Cash and cash equivalents (year-end)
Classified as held for sale
In 2022, NS invested a total of €450 million (2021: €544 million), mainly in purchasing new trains and upgrading existing trains, and in IT in support of operations and customer contacts. Despite government support in the form of the public transport availability payment, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic our cash flow from operating activities has been insufficient to cover our business and capital expenditure. Following cumulative increases since 2020, the deficit of €892 million resulted in a sharp increase in loans (balance of drawdowns and repayments) of €1,185 million (to a total of €1,840 million) needed to finance our operating activities and investments. The balance of other cash flows in 2022 was negative, mainly due to investment of temporary surplus cash in money market funds.
Limited fall in credit rating since the COVID-19 pandemic
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) is an independent credit rating agency that has assessed NS's creditworthiness for quite a few years now. One important indicator is the ratio between cash flows from operating activities and the company's debt position. The fact that the Dutch State is the shareholder of NS is a positive factor in S&P's assessment of our creditworthiness. In its last assessment before the COVID-19 crisis, in May 2019, NS received an A+ rating. It is thanks to the availability payment in 2021 and 2022 that the decrease of our rating, despite the sharp fall in passenger numbers and the negative underlying result from operating activities, has remained limited. In the most recent assessment, which dates from June 2022, we have an A rating with a stable outlook.
Restructured German operations reconsolidated
In 2022 the restructured German operations were included once again in NS's consolidated balance sheet, resulting in a higher balance sheet total for 2022. The balance sheet of NS is presented below.
Balance sheet (in millions of euros)
Cash and cash equivalents
Assets held for sale
Liabilities held for sale
Total equity and liabilities
NS's assets include trains, inventories, software, company buildings and premises and land for train maintenance activities and business accommodation. In addition, we own properties that we lease out to third parties, for example to accommodate retail outlets at our stations.
The balance sheet total increased in 2022, which is mainly due to the reconsolidation of the German entities (€727 million), investments (€450 million) and the partial reversal of the impairment (€385 million). The impact of the impairment was €879 million at year-end 2022. In view of the intended sale of our operations in the United Kingdom, the assets and liabilities concerned are presented on a net basis under assets and liabilities held for sale, respectively.
The off-balance sheet liabilities include guarantees that NS provided in connection with the operation of the franchises in Germany and the United Kingdom. These decreased to €504 million (2021: €781 million) and will largely expire in 2023.
The liquidity available to the Group at the end of 2022 amounts to €1,141 million. This includes cash resources of €396 million, including the security received from Eneco based on a Credit Support Agreement under the energy contract for the Dutch main rail network of €360 million, and investments in two money market funds totalling €745 million. In addition, the Group has access to credit facilities totalling €950 million.