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ACCO Brands Management Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Foreign exchange added $8.6 million to EBITDA. And finally, EPS from continuing operations increased 36% to $0.64 excluding the $0.05 cost associated with bond repurchases and the $0.07 of transaction-related costs. This compared to $0.47 in the prior year.

Looking at segment performance for the quarter. Reported sales for the Americas decreased 4% due to currency and volume. The decline in volume was due to a tough comparison to the prior-year quarter as well as tight management of inventory by 7 of our customers. Operating income for the Americas decreased 17%, and margin declined 130 basis points due to the lower sales volume. International segment sales decreased 4% due to a 7% decline in volume, which was the result of lower demand in Europe.

Pricing and currency were both favorable. Operating income increased 47% to $17.9 million compared to $12.2 million in the prior-year quarter, and operating margin expanded 500 basis points to 14.6% from 9.6% due to the turnaround of the profitability of the European business resulting from price increases and operational improvements executed in the first half of the year, which returned the business to modest profitability.

Computer product sales increased 6%, driven by strong volume growth, which was up 10% due to strong sales of new products for smartphones and tablets. Growth was broad-based and across most regions. Computer Products operating profit increased 17% in the quarter and margin expanded 230 points to 25.1%. Margins improved despite significantly low royalty revenue, which were the result of lower laptop sales and, therefore, lower security sales. We continue to roll out on new ClickSafe security lock. The net volume growth resulted in lower SG&A to sales ratio.

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