At this time, I would like to remind everyone that certain statements included in this conference call may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve unknown and known risks, uncertainties and other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. We refer you to the company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian securities regulatory authorities that may affect the company’s future results.I would now like to turn the call over to Laurence Sellyn. Laurence Sellyn Good morning. This morning, we announced very strong financial results for our March quarter. Our results reflected a strong recovery from the second quarter of last year and continuation of our positive momentum over the past four quarters, with EPS of $0.41 a share versus EPS of $0.06 a year ago. Earnings were a record for the second quarter of the fiscal year, and were better than our internal expectations for the quarter, as well as being ahead of analyst estimates due to more favorable than anticipated market conditions, which we had not assumed in our projections. In addition, we announced that we had received two major vendor awards from Walmart at its Annual Supplier Summit in New York. These much-prized awards reinforce the recognition we have now built with Walmart and other retail partners for product quality, innovative product development and supply chain excellence. We have announced further new retail programs and continue to feel very positive about our positioning with retailers and our pipeline of opportunities in the retail channel. Our EPS growth compared to the second quarter of last year was driven by strong growth in unit sales volumes and more favorable product mix for activewear and underwear, which together positively impacted EPS by $0.22 per share and more favorable manufacturing costs and in energy costs, which impacted EPS by $0.21 a share.
These positive factors were partially offset by the $0.03 per share negative impact of transitional manufacturing efficiencies due to the Haiti earthquake and higher selling, general and administrative expenses, which impacted EPS by $0.07. Selling, general and administrative expenses declined as a percentage of sales compared to the second quarter of last year.Sales in the second quarter amounted to $327 million, up 33.5% from last year. Sales of activewear and underwear increased by 51% due to higher market share in the U.S. wholesale distributor channel; the non-recurrence of distributor destocking, which occurred in the second quarter of fiscal 2009; a 3.4% increase in overall industry demand in the U.S. distributor channel; a 55% increase in unit shipments in international and other screenprint markets; more favorable activewear product mix, reflecting a higher proportion of fleece products and a lower proportion of second quality products; and a significant increase in shipments of underwear and activewear to retail customers, which more than tripled compared to the small base in the second quarter of last year. Gildan's market share for all product categories combined according to the S.T.A.R.S. report was 64.4%, up from 57.3% in the second quarter of last year and 50.1% in the second quarter of fiscal 2008. The second quarter was the first fiscal quarter for over two years to benefit from positive growth in overall industry demand in the U.S. distributor channel. The positive trend in industry demand continued to strengthen every month during the quarter and has continued into April. Preliminary S.T.A.R.S. data for April shows 6.6% growth in total industry shipments. However, industry shipments in the U.S. distributor channel were still approximately 20% lower than in the second quarter of fiscal 2007, and our gains in market share are expected to provide us with significant future sales growth potential if overall demand in the U.S. distributor channel recovers to historical levels. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com