International Paper Co., the world’s largest maker of forest products, said it swung to a first-quarter net profit, but higher energy costs and only a modest rise in sales pressured the bottom line.
The forest products industry has suffered from a downturn for more than two years due to a lackluster global economy. During that time, International Paper has sold more than $3 billion in assets to counter falling prices and lagging demand for paper, packaging and building products. The first-quarter net income of $44 million, or 9 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $1.1 billion, or $2.31 a share, last year. Sales were up 1.6 percent at $6.1 billion.
Earnings from its printing papers unit were much higher than the year earlier quarter. However, International Paper’s industrial and consumer packaging, distribution and forest products unit all reported earnings lower than last year’s.
History of The Day
First flight of the Martin 4-0-4 - 21st October 1950