As I explained when we spoke last quarter, our themes for 2012 are execution and transformation. Both require focus and discipline, and the entire SuperMedia team demonstrated these skills during the first 3 months of the year.
The financial results provide a summary perspective of our performance. We continue to reduce expenses and find more efficient ways of operating the business in order to increase productivity. As a result, total expenses decreased by 24.3% compared to Q1 of 2011.
On a Q1 2012 to Q1 2011 comparison, adjusted EBITDA declined by 3.9% to $148 million. As the expense control largely offset a 17.1% decline in operating revenue from $438 million to $363 million.
Adjusted EBITDA margin improved by 560 basis points to 40.8%.
During the first quarter, we also made progress in reducing company debt. The total reduction was $64 million, resulting in a total debt of $1.681 billion at the end of the quarter, down from $1.745 billion at the end of 2011.
The reported financials show immediate impact of strong execution on the expense side of the business. What does not translate as immediately to the financials is the progress we have made to transform our business to address top line performance. Let me bring you up-to-date on those efforts.
As a reminder, our approach is to transform SuperMedia from a provider of Yellow Pages products to a trusted marketing adviser, helping small- and medium-sized businesses retain and add customers using the full spectrum of digital and traditional media. We characterize this as relationships and results.
First, getting to know individual business owners and their business objectives. Second, providing local media solutions that deliver cost-effective leads to meet their objectives, whether from search engine optimization or social media promotion, or print or online Yellow Pages or other digital media on the Web, or on mobile devices. And third, measuring and reporting the results to prove value and sustain our client relationships. We feel good about our approach to the market and the alignment and excitement that we are receiving from our media consultants and clients.