Any said statements are forward-looking statements which reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and therefore are subject to risk and uncertainty. These risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statement.
These risks and uncertainties include without limitation those described under the caption “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed November 22, 2011. We do not undertake or plan to update these forward-looking statements even though our situation may change, and these forward-looking statements represent our views as of today only.
During this call, we will be referring to non-GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP measures are not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. A reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is shown in the press release issued earlier today, which is available in the Investor Relations section of our website, energizerholdings.com. Management believes these non-GAAP measures provide investors valuable information on the underlying growth trends of the business.
With that, I would to call – turn the call over to Dan.Dan Sescleifer Thanks Jackie. For the third quarter, GAAP earnings per share were $1.06 compared to $0.94 in the third quarter of 2011. As outlined in the table in the press release, adjusted earnings per share were $1.18 for the June quarter compared to a $1.37 in the same quarter last year. Net sales on an organic basis declined 6.6%, which I will explain in greater detail when reviewing the divisional results. Gross margin for the quarter was 47%, a 60 basis point improvement versus a year ago and 130 basis point improvement excluding unfavorable currencies due primarily to improved product costs and favorable product mix. Advertising and promotion expense was down 9% versus year ago but was roughly flat as a percentage of sales due to the sales decline in the quarter. SG&A, excluding a $13.5 million litigation provision, increased $5.1 million or 2% during the quarter but was up almost 200 basis points as a percentage of sales due to the sales decline.