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July 26, 2012 4:00 am ET
Anthony Habgood - Chairman, Member of Remuneration Committee and Chairman of Reed Elsevier NV
Mark H. Armour - Chief Financial Officer, Member of Executive Council, Member of Executive Board and Executive Director
Erik Engstrom - Chief Executive Officer, Member of Executive Board and Executive Director
Sami Kassab - Exane BNP Paribas, Research Division
Andrea Beneventi - CA Cheuvreux, Research Division
Alastair Reid - UBS Investment Bank, Research Division
Nick Michael Edward Dempsey - Barclays Capital, Research Division
Alexander Christian DeGroote - Panmure Gordon & Co. plc, Research Division
Richard Jones - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division
Ian Whittaker - Liberum Capital Limited, Research Division
Mark Braley - Deutsche Bank AG, Research Division
Jonathan Helliwell - Berenberg Bank, Research Division
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, for battling you way in this morning and for those of you on the webcast, thank you for listening in. It gives me a particular pleasure today that we're reporting first half results, which are showing growth in sales and profits for all 5 of our businesses. With underlying revenues and constant currency growing on aggregate of 5%, earnings per share for the parent company has grew at 11% for PLC and 18% for NV. These are record results and mark an important step for us, in that they really reaffirm our positive momentum. We're also reaffirming our commitment to continuing to dispose of businesses that no longer fit our strategy and to do this for the benefit of our shareholders.
Our increase in dividends of 6% for PLC and 18% for NV reflect the earnings increases and our confidence in the future. The evolution of our boards is continuing with our announcement today that Linda Sanford will be joining us in December. As Senior Vice President of Enterprise Transformation and IT of IBM Corporation, Linda has over 35 years experience in technological businesses and in particular, in leveraging technology to achieve business transformation. She's also been a nonexecutive director of ITT for almost 15 years. And I'm sure she will bring valuable experience to our boards.