Avery Dennison Corp. recently announced preliminary, unaudited first quarter 2012 results. Net sales for the first quarter were $1.48 billion, down 3% from $1.52 billion in the previous year’s first quarter. Net sales for the Pressure-Sensitive Materials sector were $990 million, down from $1,009 million in the same period last year.

“As expected, first quarter sales declined modestly on an organic basis, reflecting the slowdown in volume we began to experience in the second quarter of last year,” said Dean Scarborough, chairman, president and CEO. “Despite the lower sales and impact of raw material inflation, we increased operating profit through productivity initiatives and pricing. We are delivering on our commitment to return more cash to our shareholders, through share repurchases and the increased dividend. For the full year, we expect to increase earnings per share and free cash flow in line with our previous guidance, and to continue returning more cash to shareholders while maintaining our strong balance sheet.”

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