Now, let me turn the call over to Tim.
Thank you. Welcome everyone and thank you for joining us this morning. As we typically do on these calls, I will provide you with some overview commentary on the results we announced this morning and then, Dave will provide you with a more detailed discussion of our financial performance. I will then share some early thoughts 2012 and then we will open up the call for your questions.
We will refer to presentation materials that you can find on our website, I will start on page 3. We are very pleased to report that the positive momentum from the first half of the year continued into the third quarter. Our sales increased by 12% with growth being realized and virtually all of our businesses.
We reported operating margins of 16.4% which represented an impressive improvement from the second quarter was as expected was below the prior year due to a less favorable product mix and higher commodity costs. I am very proud of our results in the quarter as half of our markets remain at trot levels and working through a challenging pricing and commodity cost environment.
Looking at our end markets, we continue to experience strong demand on incoming orders during the quarter. The utility market strength was broad with higher demand in distribution products and increase in spending on larger transmission projects as well as improved international demand.
The industrial market continued to improve with most of our businesses including those tied to the energy markets realizing higher sales in the quarter. The new construction spending in the US non-residential market remains quite challenging, but we continue to benefit from higher demand for renovation and relight projects. On the residential side demand remains weak. I will share an early view of our 2012 end markets towards the end of my comments.