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As usual I'll also begin with some of our commentary and highlights, Phil will follow with a more detailed financial report including some analysis of the improved performance achieved during the quarter as well as a few schedules that will help explain certain expenses in the period. Lastly, I'll review our outlook for 2012 including details on individual segment performance expectations as well as some insight into our overall thinking and our focus and strategy for the year. Following that as usual we'll open it up to your questions, we expect to enforce to one question and follow up a little. For this call we prepared a presentation to guide you through our commentary that is available to download from our website.Let me begin by referring to the forward-looking statement commentary on Page 2, I encourage you to read and review this, as well as all of our other disclosures available in our public documents. Let me begin by turning to Page 3. An overview perspective, we just completed our rather significant year in Terex's development. A year of both investment and improvement, investment in the high quality business of Demag Cranes now our material handling and port solution segment. This adds a first class business to our portfolio, improvements and real progress was made as we streamlined operations, reduced the manufacturing footprint and started generating meaning cash from earnings and working capital. The cost structure realignment is expected to improve profitability going forward, most notably within the cranes and construction segments. We've taken pricing actions to recapture margin loss in 2011 due to material cost pressures and to offset anticipated cost actions in 2012, most notably in Aerial Work Platforms and construction. The economic recovery is taking hold in many of our major markets with most markets healthier than a year ago. We do have some reservations about Europe, but the recovery in North America seemed solid.
In 2011, we recaptured growth in our core businesses with organic growth of 27% for the full year and overall net sales growth of 48% inclusive of acquisitions. However, for Terex in 2012 emphasis is clearly on margin improvement, cash generation and the integration of Demag Cranes AG is much less of our growth.Now, I'd like to discuss the market environment by segment on Page 4. The Aerial Work Platform business continues to recover with North America leading the way. Business with the largest rental companies is strong and we're now seeing independent and smaller regional players buying again. Our European AWP business has been a little bit better than we expected. In general we've been successful implementing a 4.5% price increase effective with shipments in January. The overall backlog remains strong, double last year's level. The construction products market outlook is generally positive, but North American housing and road building markets will remain weak in 2012. We expect continued solid demand for our material handlers mainly for the scrap steel market. The demand outlook for our Artic and rigid truck business is expected to improve and the compact business is slowly getting better. In general, a solid market where we can concentrate on margin and cash generation. The global crane market will be stable to positive. China is hard to predict right now, North America will be up strongly and Europe is a mixed picture by country. Australia remains very positive and is the specialty market. Latin America will continue to be strong in 2012. The port equipment business that is captured underneath our crane category these products are strengthening although as you know, the sales gestation period for these products is quite long. We're happy to highlight that after starting 2011 off quite poorly in Terex Port equipment, we did exit the year with a profitable quarter as we had promised.
For our new business the material handling and port solutions segment, the market environment is generally improving, but perhaps a bit softer than was previously thought particularly because of Europe. We do see improving trends in North America, India and the Middle East for port equipment and services. The domination in profit and loss transfer agreement that process continues in Germany. The vote at the Annual Shareholders Meeting on this will be in March.Lastly, our material processing business continues to supply large capacity machines worldwide most notably to Australia and South Africa, as small mining customers continue to look to our largest mobile equipment as a solutions provider for some of their needs. Our dealers are a bit more optimistic in general than a few months ago; finally we're excited about the many new products that this business will be introducing in 2012. Now, I'd like to turn it over to Phil to cover specific financial results and then I'll provide a more detailed review of our expectations for 2012 before taking your questions. Phil? Phillip Widman Thank you, Ron and good morning. Over the next several slides I'll cover the fourth quarter and full year performance with the continuing operations of the company. Please turn to Page 5 to discuss the fourth quarter. Our business continued to improve during the quarter reflecting the impact of restructuring and generally improving market conditions. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com