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July 27, 2012 4:00 AM ET
Anthony Habgood – Chairman
Erik Engstrom – Chief Executive Officer
Mark Armour – Chief Financial Officer
Sami Kassab – Exane BNP Paribas
Andrea Beneventi – Cheuvreux
Alastair Reid – UBS
Nick Dempsey – Barclays
Alex DeGroote – Panmure Gordon
Richard James – Goldman Sachs
Ian Whittaker – Liberum
Mark Braley – Deutsche Bank
Jonathan Helliwell – Berenberg
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, for battling away in this morning and for those of you on the webcast, thank you for listening in. It gives me particular pleasure today that we’re reporting First Half Results which are showing growth in sales and profits for all five of our businesses.
With underlying revenues in constant currency growing on aggregate at 5%, earnings per share for the parent companies grew at 11% for Plc and 18% for NV. These are record results and mark an important step for us and that they really reaffirm our positive momentum.
We’re also reaffirming our commitment to continuing to dispose the 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 has also been a Non-Executive Director of ITT for almost 15 years and I’m sure she will bring valuable experience to our Boards.