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Net asset position

In CHF million, except where indicated   31.03.2021   31.12.2020   Change
Property, plant and equipment   10,748   10,725   0.2%
Intangible assets   1,747   1,745   0.1%
Goodwill   5,176   5,162   0.3%
Right-of-use assets   2,153   2,138   0.7%
Trade receivables   2,483   2,132   16.5%
Trade payables   (1,635)   (1,525)   7.2%
Provisions   (1,177)   (1,216)   –3.2%
Deferred gain on sale and leaseback of real estate   (99)   (106)   –6.6%
Other operating assets and liabilities, net   (482)   (240)   100.8%
Net operating assets   18,914   18,815   0.5%
Net debt   (5,849)   (6,218)   –5.9%
Lease liabilities   (1,976)   (1,988)   –0.6%
Defined benefit obligations   (471)   (795)   –40.8%
Income tax assets and liabilities, net   (614)   (643)   –4.5%
Equity-accounted investees and other non-current financial assets   458   320   43.1%
Equity   10,462   9,491   10.2%
             
Equity ratio in %   41.7   39.1    

Net operating assets were virtually unchanged at CHF 18,914 million (+0.5%) compared with year-end 2020. Pension liabilities decreased by CHF 324 million to CHF 471 million as a result of a positive return on plan assets and a higher discount rate. The increase in equity by 10.2% or CHF 971 million to CHF 10,462 million was attributable to net income of CHF 638 million and other comprehensive income of CHF 336 million recognised directly in equity. Correspondingly, the equity ratio rose from 39.1% to 41.7%.

On 31 March 2021, the Annual General Meeting of Swisscom Ltd approved the payment of an unchanged gross dividend of CHF 22 per share. A total dividend amount of CHF 1,140 million was paid out on 8 April 2021.

Net debt

Net debt comprises financial liabilities less cash and cash equivalents, listed debt instruments, derivative financial instruments held for hedging financial liabilities and other current financial assets. Net debt and the net debt to EBITDA ratio are presented both with and without classification of leases as financial liabilities. For credit rating purposes, rating agencies include lease liabilities in the calculation of net debt. However, for the financial target of the Federal Council’s financing structure, leases are not classified as financial liabilities or part of net debt.

In CHF million   31.03.2021   31.12.2020
Debenture bonds   6,164   6,110
Bank loans   293   484
Private placements   150   151
Other financial liabilities   272   297
Total financial liabilities   6,879   7,042
Cash and cash equivalents   (524)   (340)
Listed debt instruments   (292)   (271)
Derivative financial instruments for financing   (91)   (79)
Other current financial assets   (123)   (134)
Net debt   5,849   6,218
Lease liabilities   1,976   1,988
Net debt incl. lease liabilities   7,825   8,206

In recent years, Swisscom has taken advantage of favourable capital market conditions with a view to optimising the interest and maturity structure of the Group’s financial liabilities. As at 31 March 2021, the average interest expense on financial liabilities was 1.08%, the average residual term to maturity was 6.4 years, and the share of the Group’s variable interest-bearing financial liabilities was 6%.