The investment and financing guidelines and the borrowing level stipulated by the credit agreements with the banks were complied with for the entire period under review. As at 31 December 2016, the consolidated equity ratio amounted to 52.3% (minimum 35%), net gearing 75.7% (maximum 150%), the interest coverage ratio 4.8 (minimum 2.0) and the borrowing level against investment and development real estate 42.8% (maximum 70%).
As at the balance sheet cut-off date, average interest on financial liabilities was 1.67%, with a slightly shorter interest lock-in period of 36 months owing to the termination of interest rate swaps. During the period under review, net financial debt decreased significantly as a result of the repayment of financial liabilities in an amount of around CHF 177 million.
In the first half of 2016, the low interest rate environment was leveraged to issue a 0.625% bond with the same par value as the 2.50% CHF 150 million bond issue due in May 2016.
The financing strategy envisages refinancing roughly half of all financial liabilities via the capital market in future. As at the balance sheet cut-off date, there were five bond issues outstanding totalling CHF 645 million, corresponding to 40.3% of all financial liabilities.