Let me now turn the call over to Doros.
Thank you George and thank you to every one for joining our call today. I am pleased with our second quarter, first half 2010 results which demonstrate the resilience of our business to withstand continued economic challenges across a large part of our geography.
While volumes declined 2% in the first half the benefit of our already efficient initiatives, higher pricing and a favorable currency effect enabled us to grow comparable profits by 3%.
Our comparable earnings per share of $0.55 in the first half of 2010 was in line with last year although this also includes a $0.06 adverse impact from the source on our tax which has been imposed on great companies for the seventh consecutive year.
Rob will provide further details on this as well as our overall financial performance shortly.
Our results in the second quarter reflect the continuing difficult consumer environment in some of our key markets as well as poor weather conditions in parts of Central and Eastern Europe during April and May.
These led to a volume decline of 2% in the second quarter with solid performances in Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Russia more than offset by volume softness in key markets including Greece, Italy, Romania and Poland.
In addition, the earlier timing of these earnings of 2010 benefited our Q1 results at the expense of Q2. However during the quarter we also witnessed encouraging signs of improved trading conditions in several of our markets including Russia. This gives us grounds for some optimism and demonstrates the benefits of operating across a highly diverse geography.
While stock in beverages declined 3% in the quarter, Coca-Cola trademark products grew slightly supported by successful marketing programs and strong activation of the FIFA World Cup event particularly in future consumption channels.