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Crown Holding's CEO Discusses Q3 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Volume in the segment was up marginally in the third quarter reflecting strong gains in Brazil offset by a 3 ½ % decline in the much larger North American market.

Incremental pricing actions by some of our CSD customers and adverse weather both impacted North American volumes in the quarter. Importantly, our new two line plant in Ponta Grossa, Brazil and the second line in Estancia, Brazil are running extremely well and we are looking forward to a strong summer selling season in the southern hemisphere in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of next year.

Third quarter revenues in the North American Food business were essentially flat, reflecting the pass-through of higher steel cost, which offset a 4 1/2% decline in unit sales. Poor weather conditions in the mid-west impacted yields across many products notably corn this harder season. However, as has been the case throughout 2011, we continue to benefit from lower costs primarily resulting from the closure of Canadian plants last year and also from the ongoing positive mix effect of increased vacuum closure sales with segment income increasing $7 million over the prior year.

Reported European Beverage revenues were up $50 million or 10% due to 3% sales unit volume increase, a pass-through of higher raw material costs and $14 million from currency translations.

The segment's income was down $9 million from the prior year, and reflects lower production activity than planned as we adjust to weaker consumer demand.

In our European Food business, revenues increased $65 million or 12% primarily due to $42 million in foreign currency translation and the pass-through of higher steel costs which offset a 4 ½ % volume decline. A result of the weakening economic conditionals and cool and damp weather across much of Northern Europe which depressed yields.

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