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Excluding non-core items, net earnings were up 16.5% in the second quarter to $59.9 million from $51.4 million in the prior year. Second quarter diluted net earnings per share were 64 cents compared to 55 cents in 2005 excluding the non-core items.
Sales for the fiscal 2006 first half grew by 6.6% to $1.85 billion. Net earnings for the first half including non-core items increased 10.6% to $109.0 million. Diluted net earnings per share for the current six month period were $1.17, after the deduction of 7 cents for stock option expense and 4 cents for Sally spin/merge transaction costs, versus $1.06 per share in the prior year after a 5 cent deduction for the non-cash charge relating to the conversion to a single class of stock.
Excluding non-core items, net earnings increased 15.2% in the first half to $119.0 million from $103.3 million in the prior year. First half diluted net earnings per share improved to $1.28 from $1.11 last year excluding the non-core items.