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Steelcase's CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Certain statements made within the release and during this conference call constitute forward-looking statements. There are risks associated with the use of this information for investment decision-making purposes. For more details on these risks, please refer to yesterday's press release and Form 8-K and the company's 10-K for the year ended February 25, 2011, and our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This webcast is copyrighted production of Steelcase Inc.

With those formalities out of the way, I'll turn the call over to our President and CEO, Jim Hackett.

James P. Hackett

Thank you, Raj, and good morning, and happy holidays to each of you and your families. Now this time of year, my family were often guessing with each other about what gifts will bring the most delight. And I know today in my house, the news of this quarter at Steelcase is a great reason to celebrate.

It was another very good quarter for us and we're on our way to a very good year as well. I think as you do your analysis, it will become increasingly clear that many of our targeted strategies and projects are producing concrete results. So more than metaphorically, that's a great present to our people who have worked so hard this year. Now Dave Sylvester will take you through the numbers in a few minutes. If you've seen our release, you know that 15% organic growth in the Americas is an extraordinary achievement on any measurement scale. In our order backlog, we just expect this segment to continue its momentum in the fourth quarter.

We're also very pleased with the work of our teams outside the Americas. We said on our previous call that we expected the EMEA or European, Middle East, Africa segment to return to profitability in the third quarter, and that's exactly what happened. Now Dave mentioned this in the last call, but it was clear to us that the vibe in the media about Europe was overshadowing our own projections of what we're seeing in real performance. We were encouraged by the normal seasonal boost this quarter even though this region is still a volatile mix of markets. We saw revenue growth in some countries while others are down and Spain is still in a deep recession.

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