International Paper Reports Record 3rd Quarter 2013 Operating Earnings on Pricing, Margins

Oct. 24, 2013 - International Paper today reported third quarter 2013 net earnings attributable to common shareholders totaling $382 million ($0.85 per share), compared with net earnings of $259 million ($0.57 per share) in the second quarter of 2013 and $237 million ($0.54 per share) in the third quarter of 2012. Amounts in all periods include the impact of special items.

Record operating earnings were $471 million ($1.05 per share) in the third quarter of 2013 compared with $288 million ($0.64 per share) in the second quarter of 2013 and $358 million ($0.81 per share) in the third quarter of 2012.

Quarterly net sales were $7.4 billion compared with $7.3 billion in the second quarter of 2013 and $7.0 billion in the third quarter of 2012.

Business segment operating profits before special items were $753 million in the third quarter of 2013, compared with $622 million in the second quarter of 2013 and $634 million in the third quarter of 2012.

"International Paper delivered record operating earnings in the third quarter, as our margins continued to expand. Results were driven by solid operational performance and higher prices. . ."
— John Faraci, Chairman and CEO, International Paper.

"International Paper delivered record operating earnings in the third quarter, as our margins continued to expand. Results were driven by solid operational performance and higher prices that more than offset a spike in wood costs," said John Faraci, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Looking ahead, the company is well positioned going into 2014 and we continue to focus on growing free cash flow and generating above cost of capital returns."

SEGMENT INFORMATION

The performance of the company's business segments are measured quarter to quarter without variations caused by special items, as management focuses on business segment operating profits excluding those items. Third quarter 2013 business segment operating profits and business trends compared with the prior quarter are as follows:

Industrial Packaging operating profits in the third quarter of 2013 were $517 million ($499 million including special items) compared with $477 million ($474 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2013. In North America, higher selling prices for boxes and containerboard, operational improvements and fewer maintenance outages favorably impacted the quarter. Wood and waste fiber costs were higher than anticipated. Third quarter industry year-over-year box growth was approximately 0.5 percent, a modest improvement from flat growth in the second quarter of 2013. In Europe, sales volumes were seasonally lower and sales margins were down, reflecting higher board costs.

Printing Papers operating profits were $144 million ($93 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2013 versus $76 million (before and after special items) in the second quarter of 2013. The earnings increase of $68 million from the second quarter was primarily due to fewer planned maintenance outages in the U.S. and Europe and the non-recurrence of a $28 million bad debt reserve posted last quarter. This increase was partially offset by higher wood costs due to wet weather in the southeastern U.S.

Consumer Packaging operating profits were $73 million (before and after special items) in the third quarter of 2013 compared with $52 million ($51 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2013. In both North America and Europe, the business benefited from lower maintenance outage costs and favorable pricing.

xpedx, the company's North American distribution business, reported operating profits of $19 million ($13 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2013 compared with $17 million (break-even including special items) in the second quarter of 2013. Seasonally higher sales volumes drove the earnings increase.

Ilim joint venture
International Paper recorded equity earnings of $11 million in the third quarter of 2013, compared with an equity loss of $34 million in the second quarter of 2013. The earnings improvement was partially due to foreign exchange movement of the U.S. dollar versus the Russian ruble. The Company recognized an after-tax foreign exchange gain of $8 million compared with a $23 million loss in the second quarter of 2013. The impact in both quarters was due to non-cash adjustments associated with the Ilim Group joint venture's U.S. dollar denominated debt. Additionally, operating earnings improved during the third quarter as ramp-up efforts related to two major capital projects progressed.

International Paper's full third quarter 2013 financial report can be found at: www.internationalpaper.com.

International Paper (IP) is a global leader in packaging and paper with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include industrial and consumer packaging and uncoated papers, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs approximately 70,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2012 were $28 billion.

SOURCE: International Paper