With that, I'll now turn it over to Bob to review the financial results in more detail and provide additional explanations around our earnings estimates for 2012.
Robert B. Lewis
Thank you, Tony. Good morning, everyone. As Tony highlighted, 2012 is off to a strong start. Our 2011 acquisitions delivered results in line with expectations. We're making good headway with stabilizing our plastics operations, and volumes for the quarter were as expected.
Unit volumes were strong, and the closures operation is driven by solid demand in the U.S. operation and the benefit of the DGS acquisition in Europe. The metal container operations saw a volume benefit as a result of the full quarter of Vogel & Noot and the addition of the Nestlé Purina PetCare steel can assets in the U.S.
Volumes in our plastic business were comparable to a solid first quarter 2011. The first quarter also benefited from a larger-than-anticipated comparative year-over-year resin change.
On a consolidated basis, net sales for the first quarter of 2012 were $768.4 million, an increase of $65.3 million or 9.3%, primarily as a result of acquired businesses in containers and closures, higher average selling prices due to the pass-through of higher raw material costs and stronger unit volumes in the U.S. closures operations, partially offset by unfavorable foreign currency translation.
Net income for the first quarter was $32.8 million or $0.47 per diluted share compared to first quarter of 2011 net income of $26.1 million or $0.37 per diluted share. And results for 2012 included rationalization charges of $3.6 million or $0.03 per diluted share, but 2011 included rationalization charges of $1.7 million and costs associated with announced acquisitions of $1.8 million for an aggregate impact of $0.04 per diluted share. As a result, we delivered adjusted income per diluted share of $0.50 in 2012 versus $0.41 in 2011.
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