This morning’s prepared remarks will be made by John Brock, our CEO, and Bill Douglas, our CFO. Hubert Patricot, President of our European Group is also with us on the call this morning. Following the prepared remarks, we will open the call for your questions. In order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to ask questions, please limit yourself to one question, and we will take follow-up questions as time permits.
Now, I will turn the call over to John Brock.
John F. Brock
Thank you, Thor and we thank each of you for joining us, particularly on a Monday rather than our traditional mid week day. We’re in London in conjunction with our Board of Directors meeting and the upcoming London Olympics. I can tell you this is a city filled with excitement in anticipation of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and we’re proud to have a significant role in the games. I will have more on this in a few moments.Turning to our second quarter results, overall the quarter was very challenging as we work through a combination of bad weather, economic and market factors as well as comparisons to strong growth in the same quarter one-year ago.Regarding weather, while we’re always reluctant to cite it as a factor in our results, we faced extraordinary weather related second quarter pressures in all of our territories. For example, this was the wettest second quarter in the United Kingdom in over 100 years and the wettest April in France in over 50 years. Reflecting these factors, our second quarter earnings per share totaled $0.73. Operating income was down 2% and net sales were flat, both on a comparable and currency neutral basis. Our net sales figure also includes a 2% gain from the French excise tax increase.
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