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I would like to start by mentioning that we will host an investor plan visit in Veracruz on September 20th, and we look forward to seeing many of you there.The event will give us the opportunity to walk you through our new rolling and meet with Paolo Rocca and other members of our senior management. Before passing over the call to Paolo for his opening remarks, I would like to briefly comment our results. During the quarter, sales increased sequentially in each of our operating segments, but sales growth in our tubes operating segment was held back by lower sales in Canada and lower shipments of deepwater line pipe projects in the Middle East and Oceania. During the second quarter of 2011 sales increased 21% to 2.4 billion compared to 2 billion recorded in the second quarter of last year, and 3% sequentially. Our EBITDA reached 548 million, which was 3% higher than the corresponding quarter of 2010, but 4% lower sequentially. Our EBITDA was affected by some unexpected delays in shipments, mainly in Mexico, and some one-off events coupled with the continued cost increases that exceeded increases in average selling prices. Average selling prices were up 9% compared to the corresponding quarter of last year and 4% sequentially. During the quarter, our sales of high-end seamless products were 50% of our total seamless volumes compared to 46% posted during the second quarter of last year, and 47% recorded in the first quarter of 2011. Results of our project segments have also recorded significant year-on-year and sequential increase. However, this quarter the mix in our projects segment has been particularly favorable and may not be repeatable in the remaining two quarters of the year. Now, I will ask Paolo to say a few words before opening the call to questions.
Paolo RoccaThank you, Giovanni, and good morning to all of you. Our results for the quarter came in below where we were expecting due to some invoicing and cost affect, which we did not anticipate. However, the market outlook remains good and we look forward to better results in the second half. First, let me turn to North America, where we had seasonable impact from Canada this quarter. Sales in the US market have increased and we are successfully introducing our new premium connection and sour service product developed for shale application. We are also seeing sourcing activity for the Gulf of Mexico deepwater starting to pick up. In Canada, activity is also stronger this year, and the increase in thermal oil projects is driving a higher demand for our premium product. This somewhat mitigated that the seasonal effect. But sales in Canada still fell 38% compared with previous quarter. In Mexico, our invoicing was temporarily impacted by some changes that were implemented in our contract with Pemex. We now invoice when the pipe has been run in the well, and this is introducing some delay in our shipment. Additionally, tropical storm Arlene affected our operation and delayed some export shipments. Mexican drilling activity in the second half will be higher, as Pemex is increasing its investment. In the Eastern hemisphere, we will see the impact of higher activity in Saudi Arabia and Middle East in general with a rich mix of premium and sour product. This will flow into our results in the second half. In that region North Africa accepted, we’re seeing a gradual increase in sales and order, reflecting higher exploration activity in general and in deepwater and European shale plays in particular. This bodes well for demand in the medium term, particularly for more complex products as and when projects progress from the exploration to the development phase. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com