Chuck BunchThank you Vince and welcome everyone. This afternoon, I will provide a brief overview of our second quarter performance. Bob Dellinger will review details of our financial results. I will make a few closing remarks and then we will take questions. PPG’s strong results this quarter benefited largely from a 10% increase in volumes. The breadth of geographies and end use markets that we serve is enabling us to leverage continuing positive momentum in global industrial demand. The performance of our portfolio is being elevated by higher industrial activity and strong demand across Asia/Pacific and Latin America which is more than offsetting weak construction in North America and Europe. Our performance and growth occurred consistently through the quarter and all of the major regions contributed. Our earnings per share were close to 2008 pre-recession levels as we leveraged the volume growth with our now lower cost structure. Our earnings this quarter were aided by an improved sales mix in some of our top performing businesses such as Aerospace, Auto Refinish and our Optical and Specialty Materials segment. As a matter of fact, both Optical and Specialty Materials and performance coating segments posted record earnings results. Our Optical segment posted sales growth rates approaching 20%, and it remained our top operating margin segment. Performance Coatings delivered record earnings as margins grew by over 200 basis points. Our auto refinish, aerospace and protective and marine coatings businesses, all delivered increased sales which more than offset the impact of lower volumes in our US Architectural Coatings business. Our Industrial Coatings segment continued to approach historical earnings levels. In the second quarter, the segment delivered 12% operating margins for the first time since 2006. Segment volume growth was more than 25% versus a recession-weakened prior year period. We achieved 40% growth in our automotive OEM Coatings business, easily outpacing the 25% year-over-year global industry growth and we continue to realize double-digit percent growth in our general industrial business in the emerging regions.
In architectural coatings, EMEA, our volume performance was consistent with the past several quarters, declining about 5%. Currency conversion negatively impacted sales and accounted for half of the earnings drop. Results in our commodity chemical segment improved nicely versus last year on higher demand and lower input cost. Most notable was the $50 million improvement versus the first quarter of 2010 due to improving pricing, higher demand and lower natural gas costs.Our glass segment benefited from substantially improved performance in our Fiber Glass business, including improved equity earnings from our Asian joint ventures. The strong and continued improvement in the company’s financial performance this past quarter occurred despite demand that still remains more than 10% lower than 2008 pre-recession levels. Our strong performance clearly reflects the benefits from our improved business portfolio along with our lower cost structure. We are positioned for further earnings growth opportunities as the global economy continues to recover and through utilization of our strong balance sheet. Now, I’ll turn the call over to Bob to provide additional details on our financial performance for the quarter. Bob Dellinger Thank you, Chuck. I will begin by reviewing the year-over-year bridge of our second quarter sales which is detailed in the accompanying slide pack on slide number four. Sales improved about $340 million or 11% versus the second quarter of 2009, which was negatively impacted by the global recession. Overall pricing improved modestly, by about $20 million. Higher prices in our coatings segment offset lower pricing in the glass businesses and more specifically in our performance glazing business, which remained impacted by weak US construction markets. Year-over-year pricing was also lower in commodity chemicals, however pricing levels in commodity chemicals this quarter have moved higher versus the first quarter of 2010. Compared to last year, currency conversion reduced sales by $9 million as the impact of a much weaker Europe was nearly offset by stronger currencies in Asia, Latin America and Canada. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com