First quarter 2012 earnings, before significant items, were $1.61 per share versus $1.52 per share in 2011. Reported earnings per share were $1.57 versus $1.52 in 2011. Sales of $11.2 billion were up 12 percent versus the prior year. This reflects 8 percent higher local prices, 1 percent currency headwind, 2 percent lower volume and 7 percent net benefit from portfolio changes. Sales in developing markets grew 15 percent. Segment pre-tax operating income, excluding significant items, increased $252 million, or 12 percent versus the prior year, principally due to Agriculture, Performance Chemicals and the benefit of prior-year acquisitions in Nutrition & Health and Industrial Biosciences. Agriculture delivered 16 percent higher sales and an 18 percent increase in pre-tax operating income, excluding significant items, versus last year’s first quarter. This reflects strong global business performance and an early start to the North American and European selling seasons. The company’s productivity initiatives continued on track with improvements of approximately $100 million each for fixed costs and working capital. DuPont reaffirmed its full-year earnings outlook range of $4.20 to $4.40 per share, which represents 7 to 12 percent growth versus 2011, excluding significant items.
First quarter 2012 consolidated net sales of $11.2 billion were 12 percent higher than the prior year, including 7 percent attributable to portfolio changes. Local prices were 8 percent higher with increases in all regions. The 2 percent decline in total company volume principally reflects strong Agriculture segment volume gains in all regions offset by lower volume for most segments in Asia.
“DuPont’s market-driven science and commitment to innovation and productivity are winning in key markets, despite economic headwinds early in the first quarter,” said DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman. “Around the world, we are bringing our science closer to local markets by collaborating with customers and partners in our new DuPont Innovation Centers. We are prioritizing our R&D portfolio to deliver food, energy and protection solutions for the world's growing population.”