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Lincoln Electric's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

The Board thoroughly evaluated Chris's qualifications as a director candidate before he joined the Board in 2010. Many of the trades that made him an outstanding Board candidate are also the same trades that the Board and I look for in a CEO. I will be working closely with Chris into the next year to ensure a seamless transition for Lincoln shareholders, employees, customers, industry associations and community and government relationships. Chris will cover the regions in a minute, but first let me comment on the general numbers and some of the trends we see going forward.

Sales in the quarter were up 6.4% to $744 million and operating income rose 20% to $96 million or to 12.9% of sales. Net income, increased 16.3% to 66.3 million or $0.79 per diluted share, a very good result.

As we are focused on maintaining the strength of our business and improving our operations as evidenced by the margin improvements in our strong cash flow generation. Even with some of the economic contractions, especially in Europe and the moderating economies in China and India, we see several key areas and end markets where there is good activity and opportunity for us to continue to grow and to achieve our long-term success. Several of our key industrial segments continue to show good growth with the strongest industry segments being energy-related, namely oil and gas from exploration, extraction, to transportation, as well as all types of power generation. In the offshore segment, the market situation and the positive effects of ongoing funding for offshore projects improved with further investments by major international players and large nationalized oil companies. As backlog grows, for a number of large engineering and construction companies, Lincoln is and stands to benefit in the future globally.

Here in North America, business in the Gulf Coast was very positive in both consumables and new equipment orders. The trends for exploration and production including subsea activities remain very strong with significant investment and new contracts announced in the first half. We are having strong interest and ongoing success with our newly introduced high alloy welding consumables around the globe. In the pipeline segment, the first half of year was essentially flat. The global forecast for new pipeline construction is back on the upswing with 2013 and 2014 accepted to be exceptional years for both onshore and offshore projects.

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