growth in the Americas. Operating earnings for the year were consistent with last year, with the unfavorable impact of currency translation rates offset by volume-related increases.
In 2014, sales in the Contractor segment increased 10 percent for the year, which included increases of 12 percent in the Americas, 5 percent in EMEA and 3 percent in Asia Pacific. The growth in the Contractor segment was led by the Americas, which benefited from the recovery of the U.S. residential and commercial construction markets. Operating earnings as a percentage of sales were 22 percent, up 1 percentage point from 2013. Higher sales and the leverage on expenses drove improvements in operating earnings in the Contractor segment.
In this segment, sales in all regions are significant and management reviews economic and financial indicators in each region, including levels of residential, commercial and institutional construction, remodeling rates and interest rates. Management also reviews gross domestic product for the regions and the level of the U.S. dollar versus the euro and other currencies.
Unallocated corporate (expense)
Unallocated corporate includes such items as stock compensation, divestiture and certain acquisition transaction costs, bad debt expense, charitable contributions, certain portions of pension expense, and certain central warehouse expenses. In 2015, unallocated corporate expenses included $19 million of stock compensation expense, $6 million related to the non-service cost portion of pension expense, $3 million of expense related to the central warehouse and $2 million of other expenses. In 2014, unallocated corporate expenses included $17 million of stock compensation expense, $3 million of divestiture and acquisition costs, $2.5 million of contributions to the Company’s charitable foundation, and $1.5 million related to the central warehouse.
Financial Condition and Cash Flow
Working Capital. The following table highlights several key measures of asset performance (dollars in millions):
Days of sales in receivables outstanding
Inventory turnover (LIFO)
Working capital decreased mostly due to the sale of the Liquid Finishing business assets, which were reflected in current assets as a cost-method investment. Accounts receivable balances increased in 2015 in line with volume growth. Inventory balances increased from acquired businesses and to support improved service levels.
Capital Structure. At December 25, 2015, the Company’s capital structure included current notes payable of $16 million, long-term debt of $393 million and shareholders’ equity of $636 million. At December 24, 2014, the Company’s capital structure included current notes payable of $5 million, long-term debt of $615 million and shareholders’ equity of $596 million.
Shareholders’ equity increased by $40 million in 2015. The increase from current year earnings of $346 million offset decreases from share repurchases of $272 million and dividends of $70 million. Increases related to shares issued and stock compensation totaled $39 million.
Liquidity and Capital Resources. The Company had cash totaling $52 million at December 25, 2015, and $24 million at December 26, 2014, held in deposit accounts. As of December 25, 2015, cash balances of $9.5 million were restricted to funding of certain self-insured loss reserves, and included within other current assets on the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets. In 2015, the Company asserted that it will indefinitely reinvest earnings of foreign subsidiaries to support expansion of its international business. As of December 25, 2015, the amount of cash held outside the United States was not significant to the Company’s liquidity and was available to fund investments abroad.
There were no changes to the Company’s credit agreements during 2015. In 2014, the Company executed an amendment to its revolving credit agreement, extending the expiration date to June 26, 2019, and increasing the amount of credit available to $500 million, a $50 million increase. The credit facility is with a syndicate of lenders and is available for general corporate purposes,