At €14,599 million, sales for companies headquartered in North America were 1% below the level of 2011. While we posted a decrease in sales in the Chemicals segment, sales rose considerably in the Plastics and Agricultural Solutions segments, thanks in particular to positive currency effects. In local-currency terms, sales were 8% lower than in the previous year.
Income from operations decreased by 27% to €964 million, mostly as a result of the lower contribution from the Chemicals segment. Because of higher raw material costs, earnings in the Functional Solutions segment did not match the good level of 2011. However, we achieved a significant earnings increase in the Performance Products and Agricultural Solutions segments.
We made progress in implementing our regional strategy for North America in 2012, as well, which centers on an even stronger orientation toward customers and markets. We are concentrating on innovation, attractive customer and market segments and cross-business initiatives. At the same time, we are increasing our operational excellence through ongoing improvements. In 2012, we moved the headquarters of the Pharma Ingredients & Services business unit from Switzerland to Florham Park, New Jersey, in order to strengthen our presence in the North American pharmaceuticals market. In the course of the strategic reorientation of BASF Plant Science, we moved the company headquarters to Raleigh, North Carolina.