During the third quarter, as a result of rising raw material costs, we announced price increases to our customers for needle coke and graphite electrodes. In September 2012, we announced an increase of approximately 15 percent year-over-year from current pricing for normal premium grade needle coke. In early October 2012, we also announced an eight percent increase to the current prevailing prices for standard-sized melter graphite electrodes. While we do not expect a material impact to 2012 results from these price increases as our 2012 business is substantially booked, they better position us in 2013 to manage margins amid rising costs.
Engineered Solutions Segment
Net sales for the Engineered Solutions segment were $61 million in the third quarter of 2012 versus $43 million in the third quarter of 2011. The increase was largely driven by continued growth in our advanced consumer electronics products and the incremental revenue associated with acquisitions.
Operating income for the Engineered Solutions segment was $6 million in the third quarter of 2012, or 10 percent of sales. This compares to operating income of $3 million, or 8 percent of sales in the same period in 2011. The increase is due to a more favorable product mix as we continue to penetrate high-growth end markets with attractive margin profiles.Mr. Shular commented, "Our Engineered Solutions segment continued on its growth path, achieving record sales in the quarter. We expect to exit the year with approximately $220 million in annual revenue for this segment, representing a cumulative growth rate of 22 percent over the past three years." On August 6, 2012, GrafTech celebrated the successful landing of the Mars Rover Curiosity. The thermal solutions that were used in the Mars Rover's heat shield, which protected the Curiosity from the intense heat and friction generated during descent through the Martian atmosphere, were developed and manufactured by a subsidiary in our Engineered Solutions' segment.