"Our net sales and profitability reached all-time-high levels and met the mid-term ambitions set in early 2015. Our net sales were EUR 2.9 billion, Adjusted EBIT margin strengthened to 9.4% from previous year's 8.7% and adjusted EPS grew by 11% to EUR 1.83. I would like to thank all Huhtamaki team members for the achievements in 2016.
Our comparable growth was 4% overall and 7% in emerging markets during the year. Development was good in North America, where our past investments delivered in a growing market. Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania and Molded Fiber segments progressed well throughout the year. Challenging trading conditions in many African countries and the demonetization action executed in India in November 2016 burdened Flexible Packaging net sales.
During the year we made significant forward-looking growth investment decisions that help our customers serve their markets better. The most significant of those decisions was to build a manufacturing and distribution facility in Goodyear, Arizona to service customers on the U.S. West Coast and southwest. In addition we're investing in new facilities in Egypt and India, and expanding our current site in China. Our 2016 capital expenditure was almost EUR 200 million, 52% of Adjusted EBITDA, which together with EUR 120 million spent on acquisitions added the total growth spend to approx. EUR 320 million. In 2015 our growth spend was EUR 360 million.
Largest acquisition in 2016 was Delta Print and Packaging, based in Northern Ireland and Poland, which extended our European product portfolio to folded carton packaging. In addition, we increased our capabilities through acquisitions in flexible packaging in Czech Republic and in foodservice packaging in India and Saudi Arabia.
Business environment in 2016 was mixed and volatility and uncertainty in the markets has continued in early 2017. We remain optimistic on the business opportunities in food and drink packaging and will advance our growth by building new capacity on four continents in 2017. As we achieved our earlier mid-term ambitions during the year, we launched new long-term ambitions at our Capital Markets Day in November 2016. Growth remains at the core of our strategy and we aim to work both on organic investments and acquisitions. In addition, we aim to improve our profitability further and maintain our financial stability."
Financial review FY 2016
The Group's comparable net sales growth was 4% in 2016. Growth was strongest in the North America business segment, which exceeded the EUR 1 billion annual net sales milestone. Growth in the segment was particularly strong during the first half of the year supported by the business gained in H2 2015. Growth was on a good level also in the Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania and Molded Fiber business segments throughout the year. The Flexible Packaging business segment's net sales grew moderately during the first half, but declined in the second half due to challenges in African and Indian markets. The Group's comparable growth in emerging markets was 7%. Growth was strongest in Eastern Europe. Net sales grew moderately in China. The Group's net sales grew to EUR 2,865 million (EUR 2,726 million). Foreign currency translation impact on the Group's net sales was EUR -51 million (EUR 194 million) compared to 2015 exchange rates. The majority of the negative currency impact came from the weakening of emerging market currencies and the pound sterling versus euro.
Outlook for 2017
The Group's trading conditions are expected to remain relatively stable during 2017. The good financial position and ability to generate a positive cash flow will enable the Group to address profitable growth opportunities. Capital expenditure is expected to be approximately at the same level as in 2016 with the majority of the investments directed to business expansion.
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