Full-year 2016 adjusted operating earnings were $1.4 billion ($3.35 per share) compared with $1.5 billion ($3.65 per share) in 2015. Adjusted operating earnings in the fourth quarter of 2016 totaled $303 million ($0.73 per share) compared with $361 million ($0.87 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Annual net sales totaled $21.1 billion in 2016 compared with $22.4 billion in 2015. The year-over-year revenue decline was primarily due to the sale of the IP-Sun joint venture and the Asian Corrugated Packaging business, as well as the sale of the Carolina Coated Bristols business. Quarterly net sales were $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Full-year 2016 business segment operating profits were $2.2 billion compared with $2.4 billion in 2015. Business segment operating profits in the fourth quarter of 2016 were $464 million, compared with $483 million in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Cash provided by operations was $2.5 billion for the full-year 2016 and $912 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. Free cash flow (non-GAAP) was $1.9 billion for the full-year 2016 and $467 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“I’m pleased with another year of strong cash generation and returns solidly above the cost of capital,” said Mark Sutton, chairman and CEO. “While we experienced margin pressure in 2016, we enter the new year with an improving economic climate and several catalysts which we expect to improve profitability across International Paper.”