QIAGEN disclaims any intention or obligation to revise any forward-looking statements. For a complete description of the risks and uncertainties, please refer to our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
I would now like to hand the call over to Peer.
Thank you, Al. Hello. I would like to welcome you to our conference call and the opportunity to discuss our results for the second quarter and first half of 2012. As you saw in our release last night, we are achieving our goal to deliver faster growth in 2012 despite a continued challenging macro business environment. We are very pleased with our strong performance for the first half of the year. The success of our actions we are taking to drive growth and innovation at a faster pace, alongside a solid outlook for the remainder of the year, allowed us to raise our full year outlook.In the second quarter net sales rose 14% at constant exchange rates to $307 million on growth across all customer classes and regions. Adjusted operating income grew 10% to approximately $86 million and adjusted diluted earnings per share rose to $0.25 per share from $0.23 in the second quarter of 2012. As you can see on the slide, we achieved similar growth rates for the first half of the year as well, led by a 14% improvement in sales and adjusted earnings per share of $0.48 per share. These results were again ahead of our targets, but what were the reasons? Demand for our product among customers and pharma, applied testing and academia continues to be strong, especially in light of these challenging macro economic conditions. We also continued to see solid gains among our growth drivers in molecular diagnostics. These include companion diagnostics for personalized healthcare and tests in our profiling portfolio, both of which are underpinned by QIAsymphony.