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Next, our remarks today will include a discussion of the following non-GAAP measures. Adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow and the provision for income taxes, excluding the non-cash tax benefits discussed in our earnings release. These non-GAAP measures are defined in the footnotes to our release and are also reconciled to their most directly comparable GAAP measures in the financial tables at the end of our release. And finally, as a remainder, our discussion this afternoon should not be copied or recorded.With that, I'll turn the call over to Alan. Alan Ennis Thank you, Elise, and good morning everyone. The execution of our business strategy in 2011 has enabled us to achieve significant progress. Guided by our strategic goal of profitably growing our business, we are focused on executing our business strategies, specifically to build our strong brands, develop our organizational capability, drive our company to act globally, increase our operating profit and cash flow and improve our capital structure. So let me discuss some of the notable achievements in 2011 under each element of our business strategy. First, building our strong brands. From a topline perspective, we grew net sales in 2011 by 4.5% in the phase of continued uncertain economic conditions. We placed continued emphasis on innovation, effective brand communication and strong in-store execution. From a marketplace perspective, we introduced a number of innovative high-quality consumer preferred products across our entire portfolio, including Revlon ColorBurst Lipgloss, Revlon Top Speed Nail Colors and Almay Intense i-Color Smoky-i Kit. We also added the Sinful Colors brand to our portfolio, which has performed very well in the marketplace. In addition, we signed two of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses, Emma Stone and Olivia Wilde, as global brand ambassadors for our Revlon brand. Both of who, we believe will help us to continue to build meaningful connections with consumers.
The next element of our business strategy is to develop our organizational capability. We significantly strengthened the capabilities of our leadership team this year through a number of key appointments. Xavier Garijo, joined as Chief Supply Chain Officer, and brings broad experience in the consumer product space, having served in key leadership roles at top consumer products companies. Xavier replaces Art Franson, who retired in 2011. Through Xavier's leadership we are focused on more effectively globalizing our supply chain.Lauren Goldberg, joined as General Counsel, bringing over 20 years of broad legal experience to our team. Lauren has assumed the role from Bob Kretzman, who very capably led the legal function for over a decade. Bob remains in the role of Chief Administrative Officer and continues to be a key member of our leadership team. Also this year, we strengthened our marketing organization and our processes under the leadership of our Chief Marketing Officer, Julia Goldin, who has just completed her first full year with us. Julia was recently recognized as the New Comer of the Year by Women's Wear Daily, a formal honor in the marketplace, and recognizing the accomplishments that we have delivered with our brand. These individual complement a highly capable team, which is focused on achieving our strategic objective of profitably growing our business. The third element of our business strategy is to continue to drive our company to act globally. This guides how we think, plan and act across all of our brands and regions. We are leveraging our brand positioning, our portfolio planning process and our brand communication plans on a global basis. We are also focused on improving our operating efficiency through many activities including global supply chain management, which again delivered improved inventory turns in 2011. The last two elements of our strategy are to increase operating profit and cash flow and to improve our capital structure. In 2011 we increased profitability achieving adjusted EBITDA of $266 million and operating income of $203 million. We sustained highly competitive operating income and EBITDA margins.
We achieved our fourth consecutive year of positive free cash flow and we improved our capital structure by refinancing our credit agreements, which lowered our cost of borrowing and extended maturities. Additionally, in April 2011, our credit rating was upgraded by Moody's.Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com