Cash flow from operating activities
Cash flow from operating activities was DKK 3,679 million, down from DKK 4,063 million in 2017. Higher net profit impacted cash flow positively, while higher net working capitalAll current assets less current liabilities used in, or necessary for, the company’s operations. The main components are inventories, trade receivables and trade payables. negatively impacted cash flow by DKK 847 million. The development in net working capital was caused by higher receivables and increasing inventories, as well as lower deferred income and contract liabilities.
Net investments excluding acquisitions were DKK 1,388 million, down from DKK 1,665 million in 2017. Net investments in property, plant and equipment amounted to DKK 1,328 million, compared with DKK 1,566 million in 2017. Novozymes' main investment projects in 2018 were the greenfield facility in Mumbai, India, the capacity expansion in Nebraska, US, and the innovation campus in Lyngby, Denmark.
Free cash flow before acquisitions
Free cash flow before net acquisitionsCash flow from operating activities minus cash flow from investing activities and changes in net working capital, business acquisitions, divestments and purchase of financial assets. was DKK 2,291 million, compared with DKK 2,398 million in 2017. The decrease of 4% was mainly due to higher net working capital, offset by lower net investments and to some extent also higher net profit.
Free cash flow
Free cash flow was DKK 2,287 million in 2018, compared with DKK 2,395 million in 2017.
Cash flow from financing activities was negative at DKK 2,167 million, compared with a negative cash flow of DKK 2,553 million in 2017. The negative cash flow from financing activities was mainly due to completion of the stock buyback program (DKK 2,000 million) and dividend payments (DKK 1,317 million).
Cash and cash equivalents at December 31, 2018, amounted to DKK 723 million, up from DKK 632 million at December 31, 2017. Undrawn committed credit facilities were DKK 3,646 million at December 31, 2018.