I'd also note that we'll make comments today about future expectations, plans and prospects of the company such as our general expectations for 2012. These statements constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those described in Tuesday's press release and our slide presentation and in our SEC filings. The forward-looking statements represent our view as of today, March 14, 2012, and we specifically disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Lastly, on this call, we plan to discuss supplementary non-GAAP financial measures, such as adjusted EBITDA that are key metrics for our credit facility covenants and that we use internally to assess liquidity and financial performance, and therefore, believe will assist you in better understanding our company. Reconciliations of these metrics to the comparable GAAP numbers are available on our press release and in our materials, which are each posted in the Investor Relations section of our website at www.xerium.com.
With that, I'd like to turn the call over to Stephen
.Stephen R. Light Thanks, Kevin. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for joining us this morning to discuss Xerium's fourth quarter and, full year results for 2011. This morning, I'm going to speak mostly about the full year. And Cliff and I will take your questions on our quarter and year, once we finish our prepared remarks. 2011 can best be reviewed as 2 separate periods, each with markedly different customer demand dynamics. The first half of 2011 was characterized by month-over-month increases in paper production tonnage in all regions, with significant strength in Europe. In fact, through the end of the first quarter, according to the Confederation of European Paper Industries, or CEPI, European paper tonnage had increased over the same period in 2010 by 2.6%. And according to Bracelpa, South American tonnage had increased by 1% over the same period in 2010. North America was also strong in the first half, where newsprint exports to Europe buoyed tonnage production. While Asian data is more difficult to acquire, our internal estimates placed production growth well above 5%.