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Crown Holdings' CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Fortunately our food and general line plants in the Bangkok area were not flooded. The beverage plant is a two-line aluminum can plant with a beverage end line. Almost all of the equipment submerged under water for six weeks is damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, the financial impact on Crown has been minimal and we are grateful that our employees in Thailand are safe although their lives have certainly been disrupted and damaged.

As always, we are dedicated to ensuring the continued support of our customers’ needs and we are now focused on a return to normal operations as soon as possible. We will rebuild in Thailand and expect to be back in operation by early 2013. Until then we will support our customers’ requirements in Thailand from other locations.

Turning now to our operating segments. In Americas Beverage, revenues increased 11% in the quarter and were up 8% for the full year. Segment income at $85 million was up 20% in the fourth quarter and 10% for the full year. Sales unit volumes in the segment were up 7.5% reflecting strong gains in Brazil and Mexico which offset a 4% decline in North America.

We had consistent and outstanding performance in Brazil throughout 2011 and 2012 is off to a great start. As a remainder, in the first half of 2011 we installed three new productions lines including two lines at the new Ponta Grossa plant adding more than 2.5 billion units of annualized capacity to our Brazilian operations. Start ups went extremely well resulting in volume growth of 53% in the fourth quarter and 31% growth for the full year.

North American food revenues in the fourth quarter and full year were in line with the prior year as the passthrough of higher steel cost offset slightly lower volumes. US volumes were surprisingly strong through the quarter and equaled the prior year while overall North American volume was down 1.5% in the quarter.

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