International Paper Tops Quarterly Sales On Higher Prices, Demand Rebound

By Reuters
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International Paper Tops Quarterly Sales On Higher Prices, Demand Rebound

Packaging company International Paper beat Wall Street's expectations for first-quarter sales, capitalising on higher prices, improved production and a rebound in demand for its products.

Initially buoyed by a surge in online shopping during the pandemic, paper and packaging firms faced a slowdown when economies reopened.

However, demand is on the rise again and costs - notably for energy, input, freight and wood - have moderated from previous highs.

Elsewhere, Peer Packaging Corp of America reported a quarterly revenue beat from higher pricing, improved production and a recovery in demand for its corrugated packaging products.

Earlier in the year, European packaging giant Smurfit Kappa, said the worst of the slowdown in terms of demand for paper and containerboard seemed behind it.


Quarterly Highlights

International Paper's total net sales fell about 8%, to $4.61 billion in the first quarter, but topped analysts' estimate of $4.56 billion, according to LSEG data.

On an adjusted basis, the company's operating earnings came in at 17 cents per share, missing an expectation of 22 cents per share, sending shares down 2% in premarket trading.

The world's leading paper company by revenue, it agreed to an all-share deal to buy DS Smith earlier this month, valuing the British packaging firm at £5.8 billion ($7.2 billion) and edging out an offer by Mondi.

Mark Sutton, chair and chief executive officer stated, "International Paper made progress executing our strategic initiatives in the first quarter. We saw commercial benefits from our business strategies, as well as cost benefits from mill system optimisation.


"Although costs remain elevated and volumes were seasonally lower in the quarter, market trends continue to improve."

News by Reuters, additional reporting by ESM.

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