International Paper Reports Higher Earnings, Packaging Profits Mixed

MEMPHIS, TN | International Paper has reported preliminary second-quarter 2008 net earnings of $227 million, compared with net earnings of $133 million in the 2008 first quarter and $190 million the second quarter of 2007. Earnings from continuing operations and before special items in the second quarter of 2008 were $235 million, compared with $175 million in the 2008 first quarter and $223 million in the second quarter of 2007. Quarterly net sales were $5.8 billion, up from $5.7 billion in the first quarter and up from $5.3 billion in the second quarter of 2007.

The company reported that consumer packaging operating profits were $13 million (including a $13 million charge relating to the reorganization of Shorewood's Canadian operations) compared with $9 million in the 2008 first quarter (including a $5 million charge related to the Shorewood reorganization). Price and favorable operating performance offset higher input costs and planned outages. Volumes in the converting business improved seasonally.

At the same time, industrial packaging operating profits were $87 million, down from $97 million in the prior quarter largely because of higher input costs, more maintenance outages and lower profitability due to a boiler accident. Containerboard inventory levels remain low. Both the US and European box volumes were under pressure due to weaker economic conditions, according to the company.


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