Group organization, strategy, and management

With regard to our Group organization, strategy, and management, please refer to the explanations in the 2018 combined management report (2018 Annual Report). From the Group’s perspective, the following changes and/or additions were made to the Group organization and the performance management system:

On December 15, 2017, Deutsche Telekom signed an agreement with the Tele2 Group on the acquisition of 100 percent of the shares in the telecommunications provider Tele2 Netherlands Holding N.V. by T-Mobile Netherlands Holding B.V. Tele2 Group received a consideration in the form of a 25 percent stake in T-Mobile Netherlands, along with a provisional cash payment (taking purchase price adjustments into account) of EUR 234 million. After the European Commission issued its approval without conditions on November 27, 2018, the transaction was consummated on January 2, 2019. Tele2 Netherlands has been included in Deutsche Telekom’s consolidated financial statements as a fully consolidated subsidiary since the acquisition date. This transaction will establish a stronger, more sustainable provider of convergent fixed-network and mobile services on the Dutch market.

The consummation of our Business Combination Agreement to merge with Sprint is subject to approvals by the regulatory and anti-trust authorities and certain other customary closing conditions. We expect to receive federal regulatory approval in the first half of 2019. On June 18, 2018, we filed the Public Interest Statement and applications for approval of our merger with Sprint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC issued a Public Notice formally accepting our applications and establishing a period for public comment. The transaction remains subject to FCC review. The FCC’s informal transaction review clock, which has stopped and started several times as T-Mobile US and Sprint have filed additional information, is currently set to expire on June 3, 2019.

Effective January 1, 2019, we created the new Board of Management department “USA and Group Development.” Deutsche Telekom AG thus has had nine Board departments since the start of 2019. Thorsten Langheim took up the role of head of the newly created Board department. The former Board member responsible for Human Resources (CHRO), Dr. Christian P. Illek, became the new CFO as of January 1, 2019. Birgit Bohle joined the Board of Management on January 1, 2019 as the Board member responsible for Human Resources as successor to Dr. Illek.

The mandatory first-time application of the new IFRS 16 “Leases” accounting standard as of January 1, 2019 has a material impact on Deutsche Telekom’s consolidated financial statements. The new standard requires payment obligations from existing operating leases to be discounted and recognized as lease liabilities; as financial liabilities, they increase net debt. At the same time, the lessee recognizes a right-of-use asset. Operating expenses previously recognized in connection with operating leases will in future be recognized in depreciation charges on right-of-use assets and in interest expenses for discounted obligations from operating leases, as appropriate. This will significantly increase EBITDA without any attendant change in the economic circumstances. In the statement of cash flows, the principal repayment portion of the lease payments from existing operating leases will reduce net cash from/used in financing activities and no longer affect net cash from operating activities. The interest portion of the payments will remain in net cash from operating activities and thus also in free cash flow.

Since expenses and cash outflows for leases are substantial elements of our earnings performance and solvency, effective the start of the 2019 financial year we have taken into account the effects of the mandatory first-time application of the IFRS 16 accounting standard when determining our financial performance indicators. We also want to ensure maximum comparability with our previous performance indicators. Our operational performance is now measured on the basis of “EBITDA after leases” (EBITDA AL) (previously EBITDA). EBITDA AL is calculated by adjusting EBITDA for depreciation of the right-of-use assets and for interest expenses on recognized lease liabilities. The “free cash flow” financial performance indicator has been replaced by “free cash flow after leases” (free cash flow AL). Free cash flow AL is determined by adjusting free cash flow for repayments of lease liabilities. To improve comparability of our performance indicators with the EBITDA and free cash flow indicators reported in the financial statements of T Mobile US in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which continues to differentiate between operating and finance leases, expenses and repayments for finance leases at T-Mobile US will not be taken into account when determining EBITDA AL and free cash flow AL. For more information on the new IFRS 16 accounting standard, please refer to the section “Accounting policies” to the interim consolidated financial statements.

A reconciliation of the definitions of the former financial performance indicators with the new “after leases” indicators can be found in the following table.

millions of €



Q1 2019


Excluding finance leases at T-Mobile US.



Depreciation of right-of-use assetsa


Interest expenses on recognized lease liabilitiesa




Free cash flow


Repayment of lease liabilitiesa




The published prior-year figures have not been adjusted retroactively following the first-time application of IFRS 16. To enable comparability with the new performance indicators, pro-forma comparatives were determined for the prior year. These were reached using approximate calculations of the key effects of IFRS 16 for the prior year, before applying the calculation shown in the table for the current year. Changes to the organizational structure within the Group were also taken into consideration.