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Cash flows

In CHF million   1.1.–30.9.2017   1.1.–30.9.2016   Change
Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)   3,354   3,307   47
Capital expenditure   (1,587)   (1,768)   181
Proceeds from sale of property, plant and equipment and other intangible assets   4   25   (21)
Change in defined benefit obligations   2   50   (48)
Change in net working capital and other cash flow from operating activities   (93)   (202)   109
Dividends paid to non-controlling interests   (8)   (8)  
Operating free cash flow   1,672   1,404   268
Net interest paid   (114)   (128)   14
Income taxes paid   (254)   (281)   27
Free cash flow   1,304   995   309
Other cash flows from investing activities, net   127   (38)   165
Issuance and repayment of financial liabilities, net   (265)   137   (402)
Dividends paid to equity holders of Swisscom Ltd   (1,140)   (1,140)  
Other cash flows from financing activities   (28)   (5)   (23)
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents   (2)   (51)   49

Free cash flow increased year-on-year by CHF 309 million to CHF 1,304 million, mainly due to higher operating free cash flow. Operating free cash flow rose by CHF 268 million to CHF 1,672 million. This increase was mainly due to the payment of the Competition Commission penalty as part of the ongoing proceedings regarding broadband services in the prior year. Swisscom does not consider the sanction justified and has lodged an appeal with the Federal Court. Swisscom paid the penalty of CHF 186 million in the first quarter of 2016, as no suspensive effect was granted. Excluding this payment, operating free cash flow rose by CHF 82 million or 5.2% versus the previous year, due primarily to lower capital expenditure. Capital expenditure decreased by CHF 181 million or 10.2% to CHF 1,587 million compared to the previous year, due to delays in network expansion by Swisscom Switzerland. In the second quarter of 2017, Swisscom paid to its pension fund (comPlan) a one-time contribution of CHF 50 million as a result of the regulatory changes communicated in October 2016.

Other cash flows from investing activities in 2017 include proceeds of CHF 71 million from the sale of the associate AWIN Ltd. In the second quarter of 2017, Swisscom issued a debenture bond with a nominal amount of CHF 350 million. The coupon amounts to 0.375% and has a term of ten years. In addition, Swisscom repaid a debenture bond with a nominal amount of CHF 600 million on the due date in the third quarter of 2017.