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Mead Johnson Nutrition Reports Third Quarter Earnings; Year To Date Constant Dollar Sales Up 7 Percent

On a non-GAAP basis, which excludes specified items, net earnings attributable to shareholders totaled $483.4 million, or $2.36 per diluted share, for the first three quarters of 2012, compared with $466.5 million, or $2.27 per diluted share, for the same period a year ago.

Nine-Month Segment Results

Sales in the Asia/Latin America segment were $2,036.4 million for the first nine months of 2012, up 12 percent from $1,824.6 million in 2011. Sales growth increased eight percent from price and five percent from volume, offset by a one percent from foreign exchange. The majority of the markets in the segment had double-digit constant-dollar sales growth from pricing and market growth, with market share gains in select markets. In China/Hong Kong, the rate of growth slowed compared to the prior year as a result of lower market share in China. Sales growth for the segment also benefited from the Argentine acquisition in March 2012. EBIT for the segment totaled $707.2 million, up 13 percent compared to $625.0 million in the third quarter a year ago. The EBIT increase was primarily related to sales growth and improved gross margin, partially offset by increased demand-generation investments.

The North America/Europe segment reported net sales of $883.8 million for the first nine months of 2012, compared to $941.1 million in 2011. Sales growth increased four percent from price, offset by a decline of nine percent from volume and a one percent reduction from foreign exchange. The volume decline was primarily in the United States and is attributed to lower market share, category consumption and births. Market share was lower in comparison to the prior year, when we benefited from a competitor’s recall, and due to the current-year impact of the unfounded media reports in December 2011 of alleged product contamination. EBIT totaled $163.9 million, compared with $251.2 million in the same period a year ago. The decrease was primarily due to a decline in sales and lower gross margin from higher commodity costs and unfavorable manufacturing variances from lower production volumes.

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