Income from operations for the first nine months of 2012 was $266.8 million, a decrease of $17.4 million, or 6.1 percent, from the same period in 2011. This decrease was primarily a result of income of $25.2 million included in the first nine months of 2011 in corporate selling, general and administrative expenses for proceeds received as a result of the termination of the Graham Packaging merger agreement, net of costs attributable to certain corporate development activities, volume declines and price pressure in Europe due to weak economic conditions, the unfavorable impact from inventory reductions in the metal container business, start-up costs of $4.3 million for new metal container production facilities in eastern Europe and the Middle East and higher rationalization charges. These decreases were partially offset by the favorable comparison of the year-over-year resin pass through lag effect, higher unit volumes in the metal container and closures businesses and improved manufacturing efficiencies and ongoing cost controls across all businesses. Rationalization charges were $5.8 million in the first nine months of 2012 as compared to $4.8 million in the first nine months of 2011, and results for 2011 included a $3.3 million charge related to the resolution of a past product liability dispute.
Interest and other debt expense before loss on early extinguishment of debt for the first nine months of 2012 was $47.6 million, an increase of $0.9 million as compared to the first nine months of 2011. This increase was primarily due to higher average outstanding borrowings largely attributable to the refinancing of the senior secured credit facility in July 2011 and the issuance in March 2012 of $500 million of 5% Senior Notes due 2020, partially offset by lower average interest rates. The first nine months of 2012 included a loss on early extinguishment of debt of $38.7 million related to the early redemption of the 7¼% Senior Notes due 2016.