Income from operations of the plastic container business for the third quarter of 2012 was $6.2 million, an increase of $2.4 million as compared to $3.8 million in 2011, and operating margin increased to 4.3 percent from 2.4 percent over the same periods. These increases were primarily attributable to continued improvement in operating performance, the favorable comparison of the year-over-year resin pass through lag effect which benefited the third quarter of 2012 and lower rationalization charges, partially offset by a decrease in unit volumes.
Net income for the first nine months of 2012 was $122.0 million, or $1.74 per diluted share, as compared to net income for the first nine months of 2011 of $156.1 million, or $2.22 per diluted share. Adjusted net income per diluted share for the first nine months of 2012 was $2.22 versus $2.07 in the prior year period, after adjustments increasing net income per diluted share by $0.48 for the first nine months of 2012 and adjustments decreasing net income per diluted share by $0.15 for the first nine months of 2011.
Net sales for the first nine months of 2012 increased $56.2 million, or 2.1 percent, to $2.73 billion as compared to $2.67 billion for the first nine months of 2011. This increase was primarily due to the inclusion of net sales from acquisitions, higher average selling prices in the metal container and plastic container businesses due to the pass through of higher raw material costs, higher unit volumes in the metal container and closures businesses principally in the U.S. and a favorable mix of products sold in the plastic container business. These increases were partially offset by the impact of unfavorable foreign currency translation of approximately $46.6 million, lower unit volumes in the plastic container business and lower net sales in Europe due to weak economic conditions.