We will make some brief comments and then go to Q&A.

I would now like to turn the call over to Nino.

Gioacchino De Chirico

Thank you, Michele. Good morning. I'll begin this morning with a discussion of overall industry condition in both the United States and Europe.

In the United States, the market continues to experience softness due to macroeconomic environment. Consistent with our previous expectations, we continue to believe that demand for blood from hospital in our fiscal year 2011 will be down between 3% and 4% from the depressed level since fiscal 2010. We believe that the lower blood demand in the United States is primarily driven by the economy and is heavily influenced by the number of uninsured and underinsured people.

Blood demand is an important factor in the volume of testing performed in the industry and the volume of our reagents used by our customers. We believe that demand for blood in the United States market may stabilize in our fiscal 2012 even though it will be at depressed levels.

Over the longer term, due to the aging population and with an improvement in the macroeconomic conditions, we believe that the industry in the United States will return to its historic low single-digit growth rates.

Turning to Europe. We are seeing ongoing macroeconomic issues with continued delays in the tender process in some countries. Having said that, Germany, a major market for us, continues to be strong, and we had another strong quarter for NEO orders in Europe.

Let me give you the details on instrument orders in the third quarter, starting with NEO. We had 39 NEO orders in the third quarter with 22 orders in United States and Canada and 17 orders in rest of the world including distributors. Our competitive takeaway rate for NEO on a launch-to-date basis is more than 40%. NEO continues to generate excitement with end-users worldwide because of its functionality, turnaround time and what we believe is the highest volume throughput available in the market. We take NEO orders on year-to-date basis. We now expect to be near to high end of our previous NEO order guidance range of between 80 and 120 orders for fiscal 2011.

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