The net financial debt as per the existing financial covenants' terms amounted to €1,495.2 million at December 31, 2012, a reduction of €356.7 million vs. December 31, 2011, thanks to the free cash flow generated during the period and after (i) payment of the 2011 dividend, in a total amount of €164.5 million and (ii) the acquisition of treasury shares to cover future delivery of shares to employees in relation to management shared-based incentive schemes.
During the period, the following changes to our capital structure took place:
Based on the current debt structure, 45% of our total covenant financial debt is subject to floating interest rates, indexed to the EURIBOR or the USD LIBOR, while 55% of our debt has a fixed cost and is therefore not subject to interest rate risk. However, we use hedging arrangements to limit our exposure to movements in the underlying interest rates. Under these arrangements, 92% of our euro-denominated gross debt subject to floating interest rates has its base interest rate fixed until June 2014 at an average rate of 1.9%, and 82% of our USD-denominated gross debt subject to floating interest rates has its base interest rate fixed for the same period at an average rate of 1.2%. In total, in the aforementioned period, 94% of our total covenant financial debt will accrue fixed interest.