Luther C. Kissam, IV
We appreciate the opportunity to share our second quarter financial results with you today. I’ll begin by commenting on the company’s quarterly results and share the updates related to some of our capital expansions as well as touch on our views for the rest of the year. John Steitz will then walk you through the business segment performance before Scott Tozier reviews select financial highlights. As usual, at the end of our prepared remarks we’ll open it up for your questions.
I’m pleased to report second quarter results that reflect the continuation of our solid start to 2012 across each of our segments. For the quarter, our net income before special items was $111 million or $1.24 per share up 1% year-over-year. Net sales were $685 million down 8% year-over-year. Year-to-date our earnings have exceeded levels achieved in 2011 despite what I would categorize as a more challenging economic environment this year. EBTIDA for the quarter before special items was $181 million up 2% year-over-year and for the first six months EBITDA was $357 million before special items, also up 2% year-over-year.
In the first half of 2012 volume gains in FCC catalysts and performance catalyst solutions coupled with strategic pricing moves and great cost management and execution on the manufacturing side offset lower volumes in polymer solutions and HPC catalysts allowing us to deliver a better financial performance than in the first half of 2011.As John will discuss in more detail later, during the second quarter record fine chemistry results reflected continued strength in bromine & derivatives and continued growth in our contract manufacturing franchise. Polymer delivered its second straight quarter of meaningful sequential earnings and margin improvements. Catalysts delivered year-over-year earnings growth but slipped sequentially and versus our expectations at the beginning of the year as HPC catalysts saw more pronounced seasonal decline in volume of fresh catalyst than usual.