in CHF mn Notes 2017 2018
Operating activities      
Profit before taxes    862.1  892.9
Depreciation and amortization expenses 15, 16  172.2  204.0
Increase (+)/decrease (-) in provisions/
employee benefit obligations and assets
  - 9.6 - 2.2
Increase (-)/decrease (+) in net working capital   - 86.5 - 161.6
Non-liquidity-related other financial expenses (+)/income (-) as well as cash flow from hedging transactions   - 38.2  35.6
Other adjustments 25  5.9  6.9
Income taxes paid   - 254.0 - 231.6
Cash flow from operating activities    651.9  744.0
       
Investing activities      
Property, plant, and equipment: capital expenditures 15 - 158.5 - 233.4
Property, plant, and equipment: disposals    8.3  7.8
Intangible assets: capital expenditures 16 - 4.9 - 5.2
Intangible assets: disposals    0.0  0.0
Acquisitions less cash and cash equivalents   - 320.4 - 471.2
Disposals less cash and cash equivalents    0.0  0.0
Deconsolidation    0.0  0.0
Acquisitions (-)/disposals (+) of financial assets   - 2.7 - 3.2
Capital increase at associated companies    0.0  0.0
Cash flow from investing activities   - 478.2 - 705.2
       
Financing activities      
Increase in financial liabilities 20  17.0 2,106.7
Repayment of financial liabilities 20 - 55.4 -2,206.3
Repayment of a bond  20  0.0 - 150.0
Issue of bonds 20  0.0  852.4
Issue of a convertible bond 20  0.0 1,630.6
Purchase of treasury shares   - 31.4 -2,162.2
Sale of treasury shares    26.3  62.3
Dividend payment to shareholders of Sika AG   - 243.7 - 281.8
Repayment of nominal value      
Dividends related to non-controlling interests   - 2.0 - 1.3
Purchase of non-controlling interests    0.0  0.0
Capital increase from non-controlling interests    0.0  0.0
Cash flow from financing activities   - 289.2 - 149.6
       
Exchange differences on cash and cash equivalents   - 1.6 - 13.1
       
Net change in cash and cash equivalents   - 117.1 - 123.9
Cash and cash equivalents at the beginning of the year 10 1,155.0 1,037.9
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the year 10 1,037.9  914.0
       
Cash flow from operating activities contains:      
Dividends from associated companies    0.5  0.5
Interest received    1.8  2.0
Interest paid   - 14.4 - 14.9