We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement. Please refer to the earnings release for a discussion of some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially. In an effort to provide investors with additional information regarding the company’s results of operation, we will refer to certain non-GAAP information. We ask that you refer to the earnings release for a reconciliation of this non-GAAP information to our GAAP financial statements.
I will now turn the call over to Steve.
Steven L. Watson
Thank you, Janet, and welcome to everyone participating on this conference call. In addition to Janet and Greg, with me today are several members of our management team: Rob Graham, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer; Kelly Luttmer, Vice President, Global Tax Director; John St. Wrba, Vice President, Treasurer; Tim Hafer, Vice President, Controller; and Brian Christian, Vice President, Strategic Business Development.I also want to again give special recognition to our operating management team, including Doug Weaver, Dr. Ulfert Fiant, Klemens Schluter, Joe Maas, Ben Corona, and all the individuals working in technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing, who together make our team exceptional. Our operating and financial results for the second quarter 2012 remained solid. As we had expected and previously reported, our production costs have increased significantly, driven primarily by substantially higher feedstock ore costs. Lower customer demand for our TiO2 products particularly in Europe and certain export markets resulted in lower sales volumes in the second quarter and first six months of the year. Although our average selling prices were significantly higher in the second quarter and first six months of 2012 as compared to the same periods in 2011, our segment profit declined for the quarter primarily as a result of the lower sales volume and higher production cost. The company’s average TiO2 selling prices at the end of the second quarter 2012 were comparable to the end of the first quarter of this year.