Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses were $77 million during the fourth quarter compared with $78 million in the prior-year quarter. SG&A expenses were 17.4 percent of net sales during the quarter, compared with 14.5 percent of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2010. Reduced incentive compensation expenses, lower special charges and lower pension expenses reduced SG&A expenses during the quarter. Offsetting these declines were increased costs related to an initiative to streamline and standardize the Company’s business processes and to improve management information systems tools, increased SG&A expenses at non-U.S. operations resulting from changes in foreign currency exchange rates, and the costs of annual salary adjustments. SG&A expenses during the 2011 fourth quarter included special charges of $0.8 million, primarily related to expenses at sites that were closed during earlier restructuring initiatives. During the fourth quarter of 2010, SG&A expense included $4.6 million in charges, primarily related to manufacturing rationalization activities.
Restructuring and impairment charges were $13.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $19.6 million in the prior-year quarter. The fourth-quarter 2011 total included fixed asset impairment charges of $8.2 million and a $3.9 million impairment of goodwill in the Performance Coatings segment.
Interest expense was $7.2 million during the 2011 fourth quarter, down $0.2 million from the prior-year period as a result of slightly lower average borrowing balances.
Losses on extinguishment of debt were minimal in the 2011 fourth quarter, down from losses of $3.7 million in the 2010 fourth quarter which were related to debt refinancing.The net loss attributable to Ferro Corporation common shareholders for the 2011 fourth quarter was $28.8 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, compared with net income attributable to Ferro Corporation common shareholders of $1.8 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2010. The adjusted net loss attributable to Ferro Corporation common shareholders for the 2011 fourth quarter was $0.08 per diluted share, excluding special charges. A reconciliation of reported results to adjusted results excluding special charges is available in the supplementary financial data included in this press release.