At €14,573 million, sales for companies headquartered in North America were up year-on-year by 1%. Sales grew considerably in the Agricultural Solutions segment, thanks to the first all-year inclusion of the Becker Underwood businesses as well as to strong business with herbicides and fungicides. We posted a decline in sales in the Performance Products segment and in Other. In local-currency terms, sales in the region grew by 4%.
Income from operations before special items increased by 49% to €1,539 million compared with the previous year. This was mainly the result of the significantly higher contribution from the Chemicals segment due to improved plant availability and higher margins in the Petrochemicals division. The Functional Materials & Solutions and Agricultural Solutions segments were also able to considerably improve their earnings.
We made progress in implementing our regional strategy for North America. An even stronger customer and market orientation plays a key role here. We continue to focus on innovation, attractive market segments and cross-business initiatives in order to ensure profitable growth. At the same time, we are increasing our operational excellence through ongoing improvements. We are boosting our investments in the region. We will start up several new plants in 2014, such as production facilities for formic acid and dispersions. We are exploring a joint investment in a world-scale ammonia production plant with Yara on the U.S. Gulf Coast.