EB developed well in 2013. The net sales grew by 14.6 per cent from the previous year and was EUR 199.3 million. Operating profit of the whole year improved clearly from last year to EUR 8.1 million. I am pleased to say that EB reached its main goal for 2013 to grow its operating profit from the previous year.
The Automotive Business Segment developed according to our objectives in 2013. Net sales continued its strong growth, which has lasted already for many years, as car manufacturers continue to invest in the development of software solutions for new car models. A significant proportion of the growth in the net sales came from the rapid growth of e.solutions GmbH, the jointly owned company with AUDI. During the year EB was selected as the supplier for several long-term product development and product customization projects for leading car manufacturers, which strengthens EBīs market position as the partner for car manufacturers, and will bring net sales for many years forward. Operating profit in the Automotive Business Segment improved clearly from the previous year and was 6.2 per cent of net sales. The most important factors for the improvement of operating profit were the growth of the services and software sales, improved project management and measures to improve the cost structure.
In the Wireless Business Segment the net sales in 2013 decreased slightly from the previous year due to the decreased demand in the wireless telecommunication R&D services market. In the last quarter, EB started the product deliveries of the tactical communication system for the Finnish Defence Forces and delivered a batch of special terminal products for one customer for authority use. These product deliveries generated product based net sales in addition to R&D service sales. Operating result in 2013 remained slightly negative, despite of the cost saving measures taken to improve the cost structure. In addition to the decreased net sales, the profitability was negatively affected in 2013 by the ongoing investments into the marketing and product development of products targeted for the global defense and other authority markets, which investments are expected to start gradually generating net sales from the latter half of 2014 onwards.
EBīs balance sheet and financial position strengthened during 2013 due to the good operative cash flow and the sale of the Test Tools product business in the beginning of the year. Net cash flow was EUR 28.7 million positive. At the end of the year EBīs cash and other liquid assets were EUR 43.0 million and the amount of interest-bearing debt was EUR 5.3 million. None of the EUR 20 million available credit facilities was used at the end of the reporting period. EBīs equity ratio raised up to 65.1 per cent.
At the end of the year, the parent company of the group and its subsidiaries employed 1 648 people and e.solutions GmbH, the jointly owned company of EB and AUDI, employed 321 people. During 2013, the number of personnel in the Automotive Business Segment grew by 138 employees. EB established a new site in Brasov, Romania, to satisfy the increasing demand of automotive software development and testing. In the Wireless Business Segment the number of employees decreased with 73 employees. The decrease resulted mainly from the measures to improve the cost structure in the Wireless Business Segment.
EB paid dividend of EUR 0.01 per share in April and distributed repayment of capital of EUR 0.11 per share in December. Companyīs share price increased strongly towards the end of the year and the daily trading volume of shares grew significantly.
In 2014 we target to grow our net sales and operating profit from the previous year.