2013 was a very good year for Ferd - actually a fantastic year with a 25% increase in value-adjusted equity. This is the best performance in terms of absolute value that we have ever achieved, with an increase of almost NOK 5 billion. Also, all our business areas and virtually all of the portfolio companies contributed to this excellent performance.
Elopak, a company which has invested heavily, in both Canada and Russia and not least in new technology for roll-feed packaging, reported a particularly strong performance.
Interwell, which is our well technology company operating both in the North Sea and elsewhere in the world, continued to achieve very strong and stable growth in its core areas. We were also pleased that one of the original entrepreneurs agreed to join us by reinvesting in the company.
Servi is now a company in Norwegian ownership. We purchased this hydraulics company last spring. The team at Servi has more than demonstrated its confidence in Ferd by delivering excellent results for the first year with Ferd as the company's owner.
Swix is a company which wins whether or not Norway is a winner, and this was very much the case last year. It was particularly pleasing to see strong growth in markets like Germany and Sweden, not least through Lundhags, and I can certainly recommend Lundhags' trousers for outdoors activities.
However not everything in 2013 was such good news. We had a few unwelcome surprises with Aibel when some of the contracts we had expected to win went elsewhere. We also saw some reduction in the volume of work in progress in the North Sea. This has made it necessary to make some changes to the workforce, and this is being done in close collaboration with both management and the employee representatives.
2013 was also a good year for the financial areas. Ferd Invest, which invests in listed Nordic shares, reported a good performance which was better than the business area's benchmark index. Positive factors included a well-judged investment in Opera Software shares.
Special Investments, which invests in some rather more specialised international markets, also reported a very strong performance for its portfolio together with an extremely strong cash flow.
In my role as the owner, what is important to me is not just that we create good returns but how we achieve this. I am pleased to say that our value creation in 2013 was achieved in accordance with our corporate vision of creating enduring value and leaving clear footprints. I am quite certain that we will continue to realise our vision in this way.