On a non-GAAP basis, which excludes specified items, net earnings attributable to shareholders totaled $144.8 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2012, compared with $161.0 million, or $0.78 per diluted share, for the same quarter a year ago.
Third Quarter Segment Results
Sales in the Asia/Latin America segment were $639.9 million for the third quarter of 2012, up one percent from $636.1 million in 2011. Sales growth increased eight percent from price, offset by a decline of five percent from volume and a two percent reduction from foreign exchange. Sales growth for the segment was reduced by planned distributor inventory reductions in China, as well as a difficult comparison to the prior year period when customers made higher purchases in advance of our SAP launch in Asia. Excluding these factors, constant dollar sales would have increased by 11 percent. In addition, a sales loss from lower market share in China was more than offset by sales increases in the other markets of Asia/Latin America and from the Argentine acquisition in March 2012. EBIT totaled $190.7 million, down four percent compared with $198.4 million in the third quarter a year ago. The decrease in EBIT was mainly related to higher advertising and promotion investment to support new product launches.
The North America/Europe segment reported net sales of $281.4 million for the third quarter of 2012, down six percent from $297.8 million in 2011. Sales growth increased three percent from price, offset by a decline of seven percent in volume and a two percent reduction from foreign exchange. The volume reflected a challenging comparison in Europe from higher sales in the prior year after the transition to a new distributor model, and weak economic conditions in the current year. In addition, the decrease in volume reflected lower U.S. category consumption and births, as well as lower market share due to the impact of unfounded media reports in December 2011 of alleged product contamination. EBIT totaled $55.6 million, compared with $71.9 million in the third quarter a year ago. The decrease was primarily related to the sales decline, as well as lower gross margins from higher commodity costs and unfavorable manufacturing variances from lower production volumes.