Realizing value is only one objective. We also judge our performance on the lasting benefits we bring to the businesses in which we invest.
2013 proved to be a year of both record realizations and renewed challenges. Favorable refinancing and equity markets drove outstanding exit conditions. The same overheated debt markets, however, increased deal pricing across the globe, making investment opportunities harder to find. Continued soft growth across Europe and an uneven macro environment in emerging markets also tested the agility of our organization. Nevertheless, by maintaining a focus on our core industry sectors and regions, our team made headway on new deals and supported our portfolio companies in strengthening and expanding their businesses.
Capturing the value that we have created is a key goal in the development of the companies that we own, and in 2013 we realized a record $7.8 billion in proceeds from the sale or refinancing of numerous businesses. The foundation for much of this achievement lay in the earlier IPOs and continued strong financial performance of Vantiv, Five Below, Kroton, International Meal Company (IMC) and Dufry, demonstrating our commitment to creating sustainable businesses for the long term. The perseverance of our deal professionals and portfolio company management teams was also rewarded with several significant sales of investments to strategic and financial buyers. The three largest of these transactions were ABC Supply, Domestic & General and Oxea.
Despite the difficult investment environment, we completed six interesting new deals in our core sectors in North America, Europe and Latin America last year and closed or signed three further transactions in the first quarter of 2014. We also worked hard on refining our sector strategies, adding new sub-sectors, building deal pipelines and cultivating our top company prospects; all of which should yield results in the future even if market conditions remain challenging.
In our existing portfolio, our deal teams and Portfolio Support Group continued to work closely with our management teams and operating partners to improve operations and drive top-line growth. Additionally, taking advantage of the favorable debt markets, a number of our portfolio companies refinanced their debt, allowing them to reduce costs, improve terms, fund acquisitions and pay dividends to shareholders. All of these efforts enabled the businesses in our portfolio to achieve average revenue and earnings growth of 9% and 11%, respectively, in 2013 despite the challenging macro conditions.
Throughout the year, we continued to strive to improve our own organization, adding people, refining systems and redeploying resources where they were most needed. To that end, we further strengthened the teams in our Shanghai and Bogotá offices and continued to roll out our portfolio support program by adding professionals to this global team. We also hired a dedicated individual to support our capital markets capabilities. At year end, we promoted 18 members of the global deal team, including three to Managing Partner and three to Managing Director. Our Operating Partner Program continued to evolve in 2013 with the addition of some highly experienced former CEOs and increasing operating partner involvement in our deal sourcing.
Finally, in 2013 we were proud to receive several industry awards recognizing the professionalism, talent and achievements of our team. We would like to thank our portfolio company management teams, operating partners, investors, intermediaries and advisors for their support and commitment to the high standards that have allowed us to gain this recognition and look forward to our continued partnership in the years ahead.