I am pleased with the continued strength of our balance sheet, ending the year with $2 billion in cash. This strength has given us the flexibility and optionality to pursue value creating opportunities, like the acquisition of InSinkErator in 2022 while returning $1.3 billion to shareholders. We are well positioned to navigate the current macroenvironment, deliver our capital allocation priorities, and progress towards achieving our long-term value creation goals.
Our Financial Position
EVP and Chief Financial Officer
In 2022, we delivered $19.64 ongoing EPS(a), in a challenging macro economic cycle where short term consumer sentiment and demand continued to reflect recessionary concerns alongside stubbornly high inflation. Strong execution of cost-based pricing actions across the globe partially offset these challenges, as we delivered revenues of $20 billion and ongoing EBIT margin(a) of 6.9%, above pre-pandemic levels.
Returning Cash to Shareholders
We have demonstrated our commitment to delivering strong shareholder returns through a 25% dividend increase, representing our tenth consecutive year of dividend increases and nearly the 70th consecutive year of paying dividends. In addition, we repurchased over $900 million of common stock in 2022 and approximately $2 billion since 2021 driving a 13% reduction in our outstanding share count.
Funding the Business
We are confident in our capital allocation strategy, which remains unchanged. We continue to fund innovation and growth while returning cash to our shareholders. We have invested over $5 billion in capital expenditures and research and development over the last five years reflecting our commitment to deliver a high-growth, high-margin business. During that same time period, we have returned over $5 billion of cash to shareholders.
Our year-end debt level is temporarily elevated as we entered into a $2.5 billion term loan agreement related to the InSinkErator acquisition. We are prioritizing debt repayment, demonstrating our commitment to maintaining our strong investment grade rating and an optimal capital structure.
In closing, despite the challenging year, we significantly accelerated our transformation toward a high-growth, high-margin business. We expect that our portfolio transformation actions in 2022 will unlock significant value creation, including $350 million of incremental free cash flow in 2024. Meanwhile, we remain committed to continuing to serve our consumers, employees, and shareholders by investing in innovation and manufacturing, while making strong progress in our digital transformation journey. The advancements achieved in 2022, along with strong, structural actions taken in years prior, provide us with confidence that we will continue to deliver strong shareholder value in 2023 while earning trust and creating demand for our products and brands across the globe.
- (a) The ongoing measures, including ongoing earnings before interest and taxes and ongoing earnings per diluted share, as well as free cash flow, are non-GAAP measures. Please see Financial Reconciliations for a reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to their equivalent GAAP measures.