But overall our margin improvement resulted from better price realization, securing some supplier cost reductions and harvesting the restructuring activities taken in 2011. We will continue on this path for the remainder of this year as well as staying on course with Demag integration in the MHPS segment.
Lastly, as EBITDA and earnings performance improves, we expect this will result in further cash generation allowing us to improve the balance sheet by a combination of both debt reduction and the lowering of our cost to capital.
Excluding our newly acquired businesses, we experienced our strongest growth in North America. Our European businesses did grow in the high single digits for the first six months of the year and our developing markets business was stable.
We understand that the markets are nervous and, although, we do see signs of some weakness, we believe the strong markets will offset the weak ones.
This environment has been factored into our guidance. We are increasing our full-year 2012 outlook from a range of $1.65 to $1.85 per share to $1.95 to $2.05. We believe at this point in time the strength from our crane and aerial work platform segments will offset whatever weakness we see in our construction, materials processing and overhead industrial crane businesses.
Now I'd like to turn it over to Phil who will cover the numbers in detail and I'll review some of the segment information following Phil's commentary. Phil?
Thank you, Ron, and good morning. On Slide 4, we provide a summary of our net sales by geography and segment. While North America represents 37% of total net sales, it has been the strongest market mainly for our AWP, cranes and material processing segments with the MHPS service business also contributing to growth.
While problems facing the Euro zone economies are widely reported, overall our European net sales increased modestly year-over-year when excluding MHPS. We expect and are seeing European softness in materials processing and construction for the second half business and are adjusting our production schedules accordingly.
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