In the first half of the year, our sales decreased by 2%. Sales from our ongoing European businesses declined by about $61 million during the first six months. Sealine sales during the first half of 2011 were approximately $32 million.
Operating earnings, excluding restructuring, exit, and impairment charges were $116 million for the quarter, an 8% increase compared to 2011. Operating margins, ex-charges increased by 110 basis points to 10.9%. The increased in operating earnings reflect gross margin improvements as well as the reductions in operating expenses that I previously mentioned.
Operating earnings, excluding restructuring, exit, and impairment charges were $184 million for the first half, an increase of 2% compared to 2011. Operating margins, ex-charges increased by about 40 basis points to 9%.
Net earnings for the quarter were $0.90 per share, including a $0.01 charge for restructuring, $0.05 of losses on debt retirements and a $0.03 benefit from special tax items. Excluding these items, our diluted earnings per share would have been $0.93 per share.This compares to net earnings of $0.75 per share in the prior quarter, which included a $0.01 of losses on debt retirements and the $0.02 benefit from special tax items. Again, excluding these items 2011's earnings per share would have been $0.74. In summary our adjusted EPS increased by $0.19 or 26%. I'm now going to Page 10. Net earnings for the first half were $1.34 per share, including $0.01 of restructuring charged, $0.05 of losses on debt retirement and a $0.02 benefit from special tax items. Excluding these items, our diluted earnings per share would have been $1.38 per share. This compares to net earnings of $1.05 per share in prior year, which included $0.05 of restructuring charges and $0.05 of losses on debt retirements, and a $0.02 benefit from special tax items. Excluding these items 2011's earnings per share would have been $1.13. As adjusted, our first half EPS increased by $0.25 or 22%. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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