EBITDA margins are expected to remain around current levels with product mix and industrial efficiency improvements offsetting the impact of lower prices in less differentiated segments.
Analysis of 2012 Fourth Quarter ResultsTubes Sales volume (metric tons) Q4 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2011Seamless 669,000 642,000 4% 709,000 (6%)Welded 306,000 305,000 0% 301,000 1%Total 975,000 947,000 3% 1,010,000 (3%) Tubes Q4 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2011(Net sales - $ million)North America 1,155.0 1,260.0 (8%) 1,154.6 0%South America 692.9 610.3 14% 548.0 26%Europe 242.6 252.9 (4%) 264.8 (8%)Middle East & Africa 377.6 235.9 60% 384.7 (2%)Far East & Oceania 110.0 109.4 1% 173.6 (37%)Total net sales ($ million) 2,578.1 2,468.5 4% 2,525.6 2%Operating income ($ million) 572.2 559.8 2% 501.7 14%Operating income (% of sales) 22% 23% 20%
Net sales of tubular products and services increased 2% year on year and 4% sequentially. The sequential increase was led by higher demand in the Middle East and South America, partially offset by lower sales in North America. In North America, lower oil and gas activity in the USA was partially compensated by higher sales in Mexico and seasonally higher sales in Canada. In South America, sales increased mainly due to an increase in sales of line pipe products in Brazil. In the Middle East & Africa, sales increased following a higher level of OCTG shipments in the Middle East and higher sales to West Africa and the Caspian Sea.
Operating income from tubular products and services increased 14% year on year and 2% sequentially. Sequentially, operating income increased, despite a non-recurring gain of $49.2 million being recorded in the previous quarter, reflecting a higher proportion of seamless products and better industrial performance.
Others Q4 2012 Q3 2012 Q4 2011Net sales ($ million) 180.0 188.5 (5%) 225.0 (20%)Operating income ($ million) 13.8 23.8 (42%) 36.2 (62%)Operating income (% of sales) 8% 13% 16%
Net sales of other products and services declined 20% year on year and 5%sequentially, mainly due to lower sales of pipes for electric conduit in the USA and lower sales of coiled tubing. In addition to the lower revenues, operating income was negatively affected by lower operating margins at our industrial equipment business in Brazil.
Selling, general and administrative expenses, or SG&A, amounted to 17.9% of net sales in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to 17.3% in the previous quarter and in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Other operating income (expense) amounted to a net gain of $5.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with a gain of $44.2 million in the previous quarter and a gain of $0.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. In the previous quarter, Confab, our Brazilian subsidiary, collected $49.2 million from the Brazilian government, in interest and monetary adjustment over a tax benefit obtained in 1991.