Before we get started, I will remind everyone that forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.
Now, I would like to turn the call over to Maxine Clark. Maxine?
Thank you, Allison, and good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us to discuss our 2012 second quarter and first six months results. On our call today, I will read the progress that we've made on our key strategies as well as update on you store, product and marketing initiatives. Then I’ll turn the call over to Tina Klocke, our Chief Operations and Financial Bear to review our financial results in more detail. After my concluding comments, we will open the call to answer your questions.At the halfway mark of the fiscal year, we continue to show progress towards our 2012 objectives. We have positive comparable store sales for the first half of the year in North America, showed solid improvement in quarterly trend in Europe and drove significant growth in our e-commerce business. We also have improvement in our operating performance, reducing our pretax loss by nearly $5 million. As we begin the second half of the year, we fully expect further improvement in sales productivity and profitability. We continue to execute our long-term strategies to optimize our store base, increase shopping frequency and improve cost efficiency. Let me go into a bit more detail about our quarterly performance. In the second quarter, the Easter Shift had a negative impact on April sales as planned, but we returned to the positive column in May and June in North America. In Europe, where the macroeconomic climate is especially challenging, we saw marked improvement in trend and continue to focus on key initiatives to move this unit back to positive comp and we once again posted growth on the e-commerce side with a 5.5% increase coming on top of a 23% increase in last year’s second quarter. We continue to be in a strong cash position to execute our strategies ending the quarter with $26.5 million and no borrowings on our credit facility.
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