Also our first quarter results reflect the benefit of increased demand in many North American and European businesses as well as improving conditions in Thailand. Other income for the first quarter of $6.8 million reflects a net impact of $8.2 million of accounting gains on economic hedges, which are used to manage currency and commodity risk on our project businesses globally, partially offset by $1.4 million of transactional currency losses. This level of transactional currency losses is consistent with historical norms given the numerous currencies, in which we transact business around the world. Our adjusted EPS increased 60% sequentially from the fourth quarter. On the next 3 slides, 7, 8, and 9, we have provided segment information for your reference.
First in North America, sequentially, demand improved across most business units including our utility businesses, which benefited from a relatively mild winter and demand for cables used in wind farm applications. Specialty cables, particularly those used in natural resource extraction and transportation applications, continued to be a source of strength. Sequentially, first quarter operating income of $30.4 million was above our expectation as metal cost headwind subsided and demand improved sequentially 10%. In ROW, sequentially, demand driven by construction-related activity in Venezuela and the Philippines and normalizing conditions in Thailand was more than offset by a typical and seasonally slower start to the year in many Latin American countries. Also the fourth quarter of 2011 included elevated copper rod shipments in sub-Saharan Africa following the rapid decline of copper prices at the end of the third quarter as well as strong demand for electric utility products in Mexico. Sequentially, first quarter operating income of $18.5 million was above our expectation as metal cost headwind subsided and conditions in Thailand improved.
In Europe and Mediterranean, sequentially, demand improved for medium and high-voltage cables in France along with the supply of offshore specialty cables in Germany. Also, metal pounds shipped out of our Spanish facilities increased in the first quarter as compared to the significant decline experienced in the fourth quarter. Sequentially, first quarter operating income of $4.5 million was above our expectation as metal cost headwind subsided and the benefit of higher volume in most European countries helped to partially offset the ongoing weak pricing environment in Spain and a seasonally slower submarine and land turnkey project business.