Operating earnings were $288 million ($0.64 per share) in the second quarter of 2013, compared with $292 million ($0.65 per share) in the first quarter of 2013 and $232 million ($0.53 per share) in the second quarter of 2012.
Quarterly net sales were $7.3 billion compared with $7.1 billion in the first quarter of 2013 and $7.1 billion in the second quarter of 2012. Business segment operating profits before special items in the second quarter of 2013 were $622 million, compared with $571 million in the first quarter of 2013.
"International Paper delivered strong results this quarter. We expanded margins and benefited from seasonally stronger volumes and solid operating performance despite higher planned maintenance outage costs" said John Faraci, chairman and CEO. "As we move into the second half of the year, the company is well positioned to significantly improve earnings and free cash flow for the balance of 2013."
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. Second quarter 2013 business segment operating profits and business trends compared with the prior quarter are as follows:
• Industrial Packaging operating profits in the second quarter of 2013 were $477 million ($474 million including special items) compared with $369 million ($355 million including special items) in the first quarter of 2013. In North America, higher selling prices for boxes and containerboard, increased box shipments and lower operating costs drove improved results. In Europe, performance was weaker in challenged Western European markets.
• Printing Papers operating profits were $76 million (before and after special items) in the second quarter of 2013 versus $149 million (before and after special items) in the first quarter of 2013. The earnings decrease of ($73 million) was due to significantly higher planned annual outage costs in the second quarter in North America and Europe and the establishment of a reserve ($28 million) to cover potential credit exposure related to the National Envelope bankruptcy. Brazil's results improved compared to the first quarter due to seasonally stronger domestic volume and price.
• Consumer Packaging operating profits were $52 million ($51 million including special items) in the second quarter of 2013 compared with $51 million ($7 million including special items) in the first quarter of 2013. Earnings were impacted by higher sales volumes and lower manufacturing costs in North America, offset by higher annual outage costs in both North America and Europe.
• xpedx, the company's North American distribution business, reported operating profits of $17 million (break-even including special items) in the second quarter of 2013 compared with $2 million (a loss of $5 million including special items) in the first quarter of 2013. The second quarter results reflect lower costs, partly from the business's strategic restructuring efforts.
• International Paper recorded Ilim joint venture equity losses of $34 million in the second quarter of 2013, compared with equity losses of $11 million in the first quarter of 2013. Based on a stronger dollar versus the ruble, the after-tax impact of a foreign exchange loss in the second quarter of 2013 was $23 million compared with an $11 million loss in the first quarter. The impact in both quarters was due to non-cash adjustments associated with the Ilim Group joint venture's U.S. dollar denominated debt. Earnings were also negatively impacted by start-up costs related to two major capital projects.