Investments of € 4.3 million were made in 2018 (2017: € 8.8 million). Other than the final investment instalment for the expansion of the production facility in Poland, the other investments were mainly in replacements at all locations. In 2018, Staco Gratings UK moved from a temporarily leased building to its own business premises in a business centre. Rotocoat's property in Hoogeveen, which is no longer in use, was sold in mid-2018.

Investments (x € 1,000) 2014 - 2018

Financial position

Group solvency stated as a percentage of total assets rose from 53.2% at year-end 2017 to 55.6% at the end of the 2018 financial year. The rise is attributable to the increase in group equity associated with the result for the financial year and also to the annual repayment of the long-term loans from the positive cash flow. On balance, the provisions and current liabilities were virtually unchanged.

The increase in working capital of € 2.9 million (2017: € 6.5 million) was caused by the balance of the increased stock value and a lower balance of outstanding receivables. The higher stock value is primarily attributable to the higher raw material prices (zinc and steel). The lower amount for accounts receivable is due to the robust ROTO accounts receivable policy and the market conditions in which debtors pay sooner. The increase in the working capital was financed from the funds released in connection with the positive result and the associated positive cash flow.

Current assets -/- current liabilities as at 31 December (x € 1,000)

Investments of € 4.3 million were made in 2018 (2017: € 8.8 million). Other than the final investment instalment for the expansion of the production facility in Poland, the other investments were mainly in replacements at all locations. In 2018, Staco Gratings UK moved from a temporarily leased building to its own business premises in a business centre. Rotocoat's property in Hoogeveen, which is no longer in use, was sold in mid-2018.

Investments (x € 1,000) 2014 - 2018

Financial position

Group solvency stated as a percentage of total assets rose from 53.2% at year-end 2017 to 55.6% at the end of the 2018 financial year. The rise is attributable to the increase in group equity associated with the result for the financial year and also to the annual repayment of the long-term loans from the positive cash flow. On balance, the provisions and current liabilities were virtually unchanged.

The increase in working capital of € 2.9 million (2017: € 6.5 million) was caused by the balance of the increased stock value and a lower balance of outstanding receivables. The higher stock value is primarily attributable to the higher raw material prices (zinc and steel). The lower amount for accounts receivable is due to the robust ROTO accounts receivable policy and the market conditions in which debtors pay sooner. The increase in the working capital was financed from the funds released in connection with the positive result and the associated positive cash flow.

Current assets -/- current liabilities as at 31 December (x € 1,000)