This call is not being immediately presented via webcast or any other medium. However, we will place an audio file of the recording or a transcript on our website at some point after the call.
I would now like to hand you over to Paul Hyland, AIXTRON’s President and CEO to start the actual presentation. Paul?
Paul Hyland – President and Chief Executive Officer
Thank you, Guido. Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon to those of you calling in from Europe, good morning to those joining us from the U.S., and good evening to investors calling in from Asia. I’d like to welcome you on behalf of AIXTRON’s Executive Board, to presentation of our 2012 first half year results.
I’m going to open the presentation by giving you an overview on the current market environment as well as some of the key financial elements in the last quarter. Wolfgang will then elaborate on some aspects of our half year financial and business performance, before I close the presentation by discussing our prospects for the rest of the year and beyond.
Let me start by making some general comments. During our Q1 call on April 26, we shared with you our expectation that Q2 would not be any better than Q1 and so it has proved to be. We also shared with you our expectation of a potentially better second half. At this stage, quotation levels suggest that we will see a gradual increase in demand in the second six months, and we continued to believe that we will see significant increased demand in 2013 providing the macroeconomic environment doesn’t deteriorate further.
So, let me set to the macro scene first. The current economic data suggest a much more moderate development of the global economy in the short-term, also evidenced by the latest news that China’s growth rate slowed to 7.6% year-on-year in Q2, the slowest since 2009. Potentially serious implications of this specific economic growth slowdown signal in the biggest end market for LED equipment, is emphasized by China’s recent announcements of a reduced bank interest rate and foreign dividend tax reduction measures clearly taken to encourage investments within China.