Our operating income was once again higher than in previous years (increase of approximately EUR 94 million (7%)). This increase is partially due to higher proceeds from care services (e.g. expensive drugs) and partially to an increase in other revenue (externally funded research projects). Healthcare revenues in 2021 were influenced by COVID-19. The mix of activities changed during the COVID-19 years, which also means that revenues have changed.
As opposed to the increase in operating income, there were also higher costs. Our staff costs went up 7% from the previous year (increase of approximately EUR 58 million). This increase is in part due to CLA developments, in part to the increase in staff number in research, and in part to the impact of COVID-19. Due to COVID-19 for example, absenteeism further increased, we had to recruit a lot of external people on a temporary basis, and our employees took less holiday leave.
Patient-related costs were also higher than in 2020 (increase of approximately EUR 33 million), particularly due to higher costs caused by expensive drugs, higher costs related to externally funded research projects, and the costs of COVID-19.
On balance, these developments have led to a consolidated result of EUR 4.9 million. This is about EUR 5 million lower than the result over 2020, and also about EUR 5 million lower than the budget for 2021. This result is due especially to a cumulation of incidental income and expenses that came out negatively in terms of balance during this complex year of COVID-19. For example, the incidental income from proceeds of about EUR 5 million from the sale of one of our holdings and the release of a risk provision that had been made earlier, was canceled out for about EUR 4 million by the newly formed generation-scheme provision and allocations on balance to other staff provisions. The increased income and expenses from expensive drugs and externally funded research projects contributed contributed only slightly to the increase in result. For these developments, income and expenses were more or less equal to each other.
The result was added as a whole to our equity capital. This enabled us to maintain our healthy equity position. Our financial rations went down slightly compared to previous years, but are still healthy. We thereby amply meet the minimum requirements agreed with our banks in terms of capital ratio and Debt-Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR).
Consolidated participating interests had a negative impact on our result on balance of about EUR 1 million.