And lastly, we have used pro forma results for certain metrics in the first quarter to aid in the comparison of our performance to historical combined metrics of Sealed Air and Diversey. These pro forma results are also available supplements in our earnings release, which also can be found on our website.Now I'll turn the call over to Bill Hickey, our CEO. Bill? William V. Hickey Thank you, Amanda, and good morning to everyone on the call. During this morning's call, I'll try to give our update on our progress in achieving our full year 2012 targets and highlights of our sales performance through the first quarter. Tod will then follow me with additional detail on the financial results, liquidity measures and key balance sheet items. We'll then follow that with opportunities for questions from both the callers on the telephone lines, as well as our webcast participants, who are invited to text in any questions you might have. Our first quarter ought to demonstrate to you our focus on 2012 objectives of integrating the Diversey business, achieving our adjusted EBITDA goals and on reducing our debt. We are realizing higher synergies as a result of the outstanding progress our teams have made in transitioning the organization into 3 new businesses, which will be leveraging shared platform of functional support, including optimized global supply chain network, as well as an integrated and shared R&D, HR and information technology functions among others. Additionally, we have increased the size of the overall benefits of the program in 2012, as well as through 2014 as our integrations teams continue to finalize the details of their respective programs. These cost synergies, combined with the focus on execution on core business plans, organic growth in all segments and regions, drove first quarter EBITDA results that are pacing within our plan and are still in line for us to achieve our 2012 targets for adjusted EBITDA, free cash flow, net debt and our adjusted and cash earnings per share guidance ranges.
Let me take a minute to look at some of the key metrics that we are following. In the quarter, we achieved an adjusted EBITDA of $236 million, or about 12.3% adjusted EBITDA margin for the quarter. This represents steady performance on $1 and margin basis versus pro forma results in the first quarter of 2011, even though market conditions and input costs have become more challenging in the first quarter of 2012. We're also comfortable with our free cash flow and net debt outlook and continue to expect to generate $450 million to $475 million of free cash flow in 2012. Tod will discuss additional details on our cash flow after my comments.Lastly, we prepay $31 million of our outstanding term loans in the quarter, staying a year ahead on our payment installments and remaining committed on using cash to pay down debt. Looking at earnings per share, we did report a loss of $0.03 per share in the quarter but that did include the impact of $0.21 of special items including integration costs and restructuring costs. Excluding the impact of the special items, adjusted earnings per share was $0.18 and of course, that does include the effect of purchase price amortization, which on an after-tax basis, approximately $0.11 per share. Reported sales for the quarter were $1.92 billion, reflecting a 4% increase in constant dollar sales from our legacy Sealed Air business. Two of that came from higher price, and 2% of that came from higher volumes. I'm particularly pleased that we're able to report positive volume in all of our businesses in what many industry peers have not been able to do. On a pro forma basis, sales increased 1% or approximately 3% on a constant dollar basis as currency was a headwind for us in the quarter. All regions reported growth with 2% constant dollar sales in the North America, 1% growth in the EMEA region and developing regions achieved a 9% growth with solid performance in Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East, which includes Turkey, Egypt and the UAE. Our volume growth reflected our ability to hold or expand our market presence in each of our businesses and largely perform above industry and customer production rates, as our market-facing teams continue to execute on their growth programs. These include achieving our targeted top line synergies where we have achieved just under $10 million to date on an annual rate, but we are tracking above plan as we only expected top line synergies to materialize in the second quarter and beyond. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com