GP posts disappointing Q4

1 February 2005 – Atlanta (GA): Georgia Pacific (GP) has reported a fall in net profit by almost half for its Q4, as a result of costs relating to asbestos lawsuits.

Net income fell to $16 million, or EPS of $0.06, from $31 million, or EPS of $0.12, in last year’s Q4. Results included a pre-tax related asbestos charge of $159 million.

Sales rose 3 per cent to $4.5 billion, down from $5.2 billion a year earlier.

For the full year, net income was at $2.44 billion, up from $1.01 billion in 2003. Sales were posted at $19.656 billion, exactly equal to the figure recorded in 2003.

Sales for the year of bleached pulp and paper were $2.230 billion, compared to $2.053 billion in 2003. Operating profit for the sector was at $51 million in 2004, against a loss of $48 million a year earlier.

Commenting on the year as a whole, chairman and CEO Pete Correll said: "This has been an outstanding year for GP. We’ve successfully implemented our consumer products strategy, posted record profits in our structural panels business and saw improving conditions in our packaging and papers business.

"In 2005, we will continue to deliver on our promise to improve our financial strength and flexibility, and increase value for our shareholders by reducing debt, maximising cash flow and improving returns on capital," he added.