IP posts strongest Q2 in seven years


2 August 2007 — Memphis (TN): International Paper (IP) has reported preliminary Q2 net earnings of $190 million, or EPS of $0.44, compared with $83 million, or EPS of $0.17, a year earlier. The results include a $264 million from the sale of businesses in Q1.

Quarterly net sales fell to $5.3 billion, from $5.7 billion on the year ago period.


Operating profits for the printing papers segment were $249 million, up from $231 million in Q1. IP says the increase is due to improved results in the European papers, US pulp and Brazilian papers businesses.


Industrial packaging operating profits rose by 35 percent to $139 million, from $103 million in Q1, driven by higher containerboard and US box shipments, fewer planned maintenance outages than in Q1 and better manufacturing operations.


Consumer packaging operating profits declined to $48 million from $61 million in Q1, mainly due to more planned mill outages in the US coated paperboard business and higher input and other costs across the segment.


Forest products operating profits were $98 million, about flat with $100 million in Q1.


CEO John Faraci said: "We had a solid second quarter, our best since 2000. We’re seeing continued margin expansion quarter-to-quarter, because of solid operations improvement, improved pricing and stable volumes. In our business outside North America, demand for papers and packaging continues to grow. Earnings were impacted somewhat by higher raw material costs, planned maintenance outage costs, and expenses at our Pensacola, Florida, mill related to maintenance and the conversion of a paper machine to lightweight linerboard production. However, those factors were offset by ongoing results of profit-improvement initiatives."