A reconciliation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles earnings can be found in our earnings release. And if you do not already have the earnings release, it is available on the company's website at crowncork.com. You will also find a reconciliation from net income to EBITDA, credit ratio computations, and supplemental cash flow data on the company's website.
I'll first review the quarter and year results, and then hand the call over to John.
We had a very strong finish to what’s been another good year in 2011. Fourth quarter comparable diluted earnings per share increased 14% to $0.48 per share versus $0.42 in last year’s fourth quarter. For the full year, comparable diluted earnings per share were $2.81 in 2011, an increase of 25% over the 2010 level of $2.24.
Net sales in the fourth quarter increased 6% over the prior year as strong emerging market beverage can growth offset weak economic conditions in Europe and a weakening euro and British pound sterling against the US dollar. For the full year net sales rose 9% over 2010. Segment income at $192 million in the fourth quarter was up 4% compared to the prior year as strong emerging market performance offset unfavorable currency translations and lower manufacturing activity which was planned to bring down year end working capital levels. For the year, segment income was up almost 10% over the prior year.Before, we review operating segment performance, we want to provide you with an update on the flooding in Thailand and its impact on our operations. On our third quarter earnings call on October we noted the severe flooding conditions in Thailand. At that time, none of our plants had been affected. However soon after the call, our beverage can plant north of Bangkok, one of the three plants we operate in the Bangkok area was flooded.