Cash flows

In CHF million
  1st half-year
  1st half-year
Operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)   2,191   2,317   (126)
Lease expense   (146)   (151)   5
EBITDA after lease expense (EBITDA AL)   2,045   2,166   (121)
Capital expenditure   (1,053)   (1,083)   30
Operating free cash flow proxy   992   1,083   (91)
Change in net working capital   (354)   (131)   (223)
Change in net defined benefit liabilities   33   (36)   69
Net interest payments on financial assets and liabilities   (17)   (16)   (1)
Income taxes paid   (344)   (229)   (115)
Other operating cash flow   (17)   (25)   8
Free cash flow   293   646   (353)
(Net expenditures) net proceeds from company acquisitions and disposals   (65)   108   (173)
Dividends paid to equity holders of Swisscom Ltd   (1,140)   (1,140)  
Other changes   6   (22)   28
Increase in net debt   (906)   (408)   (498)

The operating free cash flow proxy fell by 8.4% or CHF 91 million year-on-year to CHF 992 million. This was mainly due to the lower operating income before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). Free cash flow declined by CHF 353 million year-on-year to CHF 293 million, due partly to higher income taxes paid and partly to the deterioration in net working capital. The increase in income taxes paid is due to higher prepayments for the full year. Net working capital grew by CHF 354 million compared with the end of 2021 (prior year: CHF 131 million). Net working capital rose as a result of prepaid expenses as well as a payment of CHF 100 million from litigation concluded in the prior year.

Net expenditures for company acquisitions and disposals in the first half of 2022 mainly included expenditure for the acquisition of MTF Group companies. In the first half of 2021, net cash inflows from acquisitions and disposals included the net proceeds of CHF 126 million from the sale of the participation in Belgacom Inter­national Carrier Services.

In the second quarter of 2022, an unchanged dividend per share of CHF 22 was paid, representing a total dividend payment of CHF 1,140 million.