Operating income amounted to €800.3 million in 2011, €162.9 million or 25.6% higher than 2010. The increase was driven by revenue growth in our business lines, cost control and the reduction of our depreciation and amortisation expense. These positive impacts were partially offset by negative FX impact of the translation of the USD flows into Euro.
EBITDA increased by 6.4% from €976.4 million in 2010 to €1,039.0 million in 2011. EBITDA margin continued to improve, reaching 38.4% in 2011 compared to 37.6% in 2010, benefiting mainly from the margin expansion experienced in the IT Solutions business and the operating leverage within our indirect costs.
In 2011 Net financial expense declined by 22.9%, or €50.0 million, from €218.5 million in 2010 to €168.5 million in 2011.
This decrease is explained by (i) the lower amount of average gross debt outstanding, after debt repayments in 2010 and 2011 and (ii) a lower average interest paid on the new financing package (unsecured senior credit agreement signed in May 2011 and subsequent bond issuance in July 2011). This significant decrease is additionally explained by the positive result from exchange gains but partially offset by a lower income from the change in fair value of financial instruments.
It should also be noted that the Net financial expense figure in 2011 includes €37.0 million one-off costs: in relation to the debt incurred in 2005 and its subsequent refinancing in 2007 / amendment in 2010, certain deferred financing fees were generated and capitalised; following the cancellation of debt that took place as part of the debt refinancing process finalised by the company in May 2011, these deferred financing fees were expensed in the second quarter of 2011 and are included under the "Net financial expense" caption. Adjusted for these costs, Net financial expense in 2011 would have amounted to €131.5 million, €87.0 million lower or 39.8% decrease vs. 2010.
Profit for the year from continuing operations amounted to €466.0 million, an increase of 52.9% when compared to profit for the year in 2010.