In € million

 

 

 

2017

 

2016

   

December 31

 

September 30

 

June 30

 

March 31

 

December 31

(1)

The scope covered by sales corresponds with the scope of the net working capital, i.e. including Polyamide for June 30, 2017, March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016.

Inventories

 

a

 

1,504

 

1,507

 

1,732

 

1,747

 

1,672

Trade receivables

 

b

 

1,462

 

1,505

 

1,719

 

1,781

 

1,621

Other current receivables

 

c

 

627

 

693

 

671

 

705

 

736

Trade payables

 

d

 

(1,330)

 

(1,206)

 

(1,475)

 

(1,563)

 

(1,547)

Other current liabilities

 

e

 

(848)

 

(882)

 

(804)

 

(1,078)

 

(1,085)

Net working capital

 

f = a+b+c+d+e

 

1,414

 

1,617

 

1,843

 

1,592

 

1,396

Sales(1)

 

g

 

2,765

 

2,609

 

3,188

 

3,159

 

2,933

Annualized quarterly total sales(1)

 

h = 4*g

 

11,060

 

10,436

 

12,753

 

12,638

 

11,731

Net working capital/sales(1)

 

i = f / h

 

12.8%

 

15.5%

 

14.5%

 

12.6%

 

11.9%

Year average

 

j = µ(Q1,Q2,Q3,Q4)

 

13.8%

 

15.3%

Working capital outflow from continuing operations was €(160) million, of which €(140) million industrial working capital, in line with higher sales. The average working capital to sales ratio over the quarters thereby reached 13.8%, 1.5 percentage points better than the 15.3% in 2016, when the receivable on the Inovyn transaction weighed on the balance sheet.

Excluding the reclassification of Polyamides as held for sale, inventories increased in 2017 essentially to support the growing demand in high-performance polymers in automotive and smart device, fueled by new capacities, and also to provide a high level of service to customers in the context of the shale oil and gas market recovery in North America.