Research, selling and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales were down 10 basis points as a result of ongoing cost control and modest benefits from our restructuring. However, as we have previously indicated, adjusted operating profit and adjusted EPS declined versus the prior year period, but results are in line with our expectations.
After Nicolas, Hernan and Kevin finish their respective sections, I will give you some perspectives on our outlook for the full year.
And with that, I would like to introduce our group President of Fragrances, Nicolas Mirzayantz.
Nicolas MirzayantzThank you, Doug, and good morning and good afternoon, everyone. Comparing to a 7% local currency growth rate in the year ago period, which was a record first quarter and our strongest quarterly growth in 2011, local currency sales in the first quarter declined 3% as new business wins and pricing benefits were more than offset by volume declines on existing business. Volume in Fine & Beauty Care remained under pressure, down 2% versus 14% growth last year, particularly in Western Europe, as we compared to a 2011 period which included both new wins and volume that was stronger than historical averages. Sales in our EAME region decreased 7% on top of 22% growth last year. However, local currency sales increased 4% in North America, and 5% in Latin America. Fine & Beauty Care sales trend improved versus the fourth quarter of 2011, primarily driven by an improved win rate in Fine Fragrance. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com