Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Johnson Controls International
Thanks, George, and good morning, everyone. Let me start with a brief financial summary on slide 10. Sales in the quarter were up 5% organically, led by Global Products, which is truly a reflection of the team's strong execution. Underlying momentum in this business continue to improve, as evidenced by mid-single digits growth on a two year stack basis. Our longer-cycle field business continue to recover, led by strong growth in services, up 8% in the quarter. Segment EBITA increased 10% versus the prior year, margin expanding 30 basis points to 15.9%.
Better leverage on higher volumes, favorable mix and the incremental benefit of our SG&A actions more than offset the headwind from the reversal of temporary cost reductions and price/cost, including significant supply chain disruptions. EPS of $0.88 was at the high end of our guidance range and increased 16% year-over-year, benefiting from higher profitability as well as lower share count. Free cash flow in the quarter was approximately $300 million, reflecting the reversal of timing benefits experienced in the first three quarters of the year, as expected.
On a full year basis, we achieved 105% free cash flow conversion. Please turn to slide 11. Orders for our field businesses increased 9%, led by low double-digit growth in install on strong double-digit growth in retrofit activity. We are also seeing continued strength in our service business, with orders up 7%, driven by strong growth in North America and EMEALA. Backlog grew 10% to more than $10 billion, with service backlog up 5% and install backlog up 11%. The sequential improvement was led by strong retrofit activity as new construction continues to recover from depressed level in fiscal '20, particularly in North America.
Turning to our EPS bridge on slide 12. Let me touch on a few key items. Overall, operations contributed $0.09 versus the prior year, including a $0.04 benefit from our SG&A productivity program, achieving our targeted savings in fiscal '21. We are well on track to achieve our SG&A and COGS savings in fiscal '22 and beyond. Similar to last quarter, excluding the headwind from the prior year temporary actions, underlying incrementals in Q4 were approximately 30%.
Corporate was a $0.03 headwind year-over-year and other items netted to a $0.06 tailwind, primarily related to lower share count, lower net financing charges and FX. Let's discuss our segment results in more details on slide 13. My commentary will also refer to the segment end-market performance included on slide 14. North America revenue grew 4% organically, led by strength in services, which was higher in all domain. Install revenue was up low single digits, primarily due to strong demand from shorter-cycle retrofit and upgrade projects, and positive growth in new construction.
Both our internal and customer supply chain restrictions negatively impacted our North America install business. By domain, Commercial Applied HVAC revenue grew mid-single digits, while Fire & Security increased low single digits in the quarter. We had another strong quarter in Performance Infrastructure, which grew revenue low double digits, the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, a good reflection on our customers' demand for decarbonization solution.
Segment margin decreased 20 basis points year-over-year to 15.2%, primarily due to the reversal of temporary cost from the mitigation actions in the prior year. Orders in North America were up 11% versus the prior year, with high single-digit growth in both Commercial HVAC and Fire & Security. Performance Infrastructure orders were up nearly 40%. Applied HVAC orders increased 10% overall, driven by strong retrofit activity, with another strong quarter of equipment orders up over 20% in Q4. Backlog of $6.5 billion increased 10% year-over-year.
Revenue in EMEALA increased 3% organically, led by continued strength in our service business, particularly in our Applied HVAC and Industrial Refrigeration businesses. Fire & Security, which account for nearly 60% of segment revenues, grew at mid-single digits rate in Q4, with strength across our enterprise accounts and residential security businesses, including a rebound in our retail platform. Industrial Refrigeration also grew mid-single digits, while Commercial HVAC & Controls declined low single digits.
By geography, revenue growth was broad-based, with strength in Europe and Latin America, partially offset by low double-digit decline in the Middle East. Segment EBITA margins declined 30 basis points, driven by a prior year gain on sales. Underlying margin performance improved as favorable mix, positive price/cost and the benefit of SG&A savings this year more than offset the temporary mitigation actions taken in the prior year.
Order in EMEALA continued to accelerate, increasing 7% in the quarter, with strong mid-teens growth in Commercial HVAC and high single-digit growth in Fire & Security. APAC revenue increased 7% organically, led by low double digits growth in Commercial HVAC & Controls. EBITA margins expanded 80 basis points year-over-year to 15.5%, driven by a favorable reserve adjustment. APAC underlying margin declined year-over-year as volume leverage and net productivity was offset by unfavorable mix and negative price/cost.
APAC orders grew 4%, driven by continued strength in Commercial HVAC. Global Products revenue grew 7% on an organic basis in the quarter, with broad-based strength across the portfolio. Our Global Residential HVAC business was up 5% in the quarter. North America Resi HVAC grew 4% in the quarter, benefiting from both higher volume and pricing. Outside of North America, our Residential HVAC business grew mid-single digits, led by strong double-digit growth in Europe and driven in part by the launch of our new Hitachi air-to-water residential heat pump, which was well received by the market.
In APAC, Residential HVAC declined low single digits as a result of softer industry demand in Japan, given the COVID-related state of emergency in place for much of the quarter. We continue to gain shares in Japan, up more than 100 basis points in the quarter, as we continue to launch new premium products with indoor air quality technologies. Although not reflected in our revenue growth, our Hisense JV revenue grew over 40% year-over-year in Q4, expanding our leading position in China.
Commercial HVAC product sales were up low double digits overall, led by mid-teens growth in our indirect Applied business, including strong chiller demand within the data center end market. Light Commercial grew high single digits overall, with North America unitary equipment down 2% and VRF up high single digits. Our Light Commercial business in Asia was up low double digits, including a significant win in Taiwan to supply high-efficiency ductless unit with indoor air quality technology to all schools across the country.
Fire & Security products grew high single digits in aggregate, led by our access and control and video solutions business and return to pre-pandemic levels for parts of our fire suppression business. EBITA margin expanded 90 basis points year-over-year to 18.7% as volume leverage, higher equity income and the benefit of SG&A actions more than offset the temporary cost action in the prior year and price/cost, including the significant supply chain disruptions. Turning to slide 15. Corporate expense increased significantly year-over-year off an abnormal low level to $83 million.
For modeling purposes, we have included an outlook for some of our below-the-line items in financial year '22. I will point out that amortization expense reflects the full year run rate impact of Silent-Aire as well as additional software R&D. Net financing charges returned to a more normal level as fiscal '21 benefited from significant FX gain. Noncontrolling interest reflects continued growth in our Hitachi JV. Turning to our balance sheet and cash flow on slide 16. Our balance sheet remains in great shape. We ended the year with $1.3 billion in available cash and net debt at 1.8 times, still below our targeted range of two to 2.5 times.
On cash, we generated a little over $300 million in free cash flow in the quarter, bringing us to nearly $2 billion year-to-date and achieving our target of 105% conversion for the year. As you will recall from our guidance last quarter, we expected a reversal in some of the timing benefits we experienced earlier in the year. I am extremely pleased with our cash performance and remain confident that we will sustain 100% conversion over the next several years.
During the fourth quarter, we repurchased a little over four million shares for approximately $300 million, which for the full year, brings us to around 23 million shares or $1.3 billion. Let's turn to slide 17 for a look at our historical Q1 seasonality. As you can see, Q1 typically represents less than 15% of our full year EPS given our normal seasonality. For Q1 of fiscal '22, we expect to be above that level, with Q1 guidance representing about 16% of our full year at the midpoint. Additionally, we expect an improving first half, second half versus historical seasonality.
As we look at fiscal '22 overall, on slide 18, we are entering the year with record backlog, and underlying markets are continuing to improve. With that said, we do expect supply chain constraints and the inflationary environment to continue, at least over the next couple of quarters. On a full year basis, we expect high single-digit organic revenue growth, with 70 to 80 basis points of segment EBITA margin expansion. Although we expect to remain price/cost positive on an EPS basis, the inflated level of pricing will result in margin headwinds of approximately 40 basis points for the year.
Underlying margins are expanding to 110 to 120 basis points. Additionally, we expect another year of strong earnings growth, with adjusted EPS in the range of $3.22 to $3.32, which represents year-over-year growth of 22% to 25%. Turning to slide 19. We can see that our expectations for fiscal '22 are very much in line with the growth expectations we provided at our recent Investor Day, and we are accelerating growth in each area. Last, on slide 20, I want to reiterate that we are well on our way to our '24 targets.
With that, operator, we can open up the lines for questions.