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Revenues plateau for International Paper

International Paper has published its first quarter financial results with revenues falling flat at $5,634m (approx. £4,311m) compared to $5,621m (approx. £4,301m) in Q1 of 2018.

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The global paper manufacturer publishes Q1 results

The printing papers section of the business showed operating profits of $143m (approx. £109m) in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $192m (approx. £147m) in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Decreased volumes in North America were partially offset by improved sales prices in the region, where manufacturing operating costs increased.

In Brazil, earnings decreased for the company due to “seasonally lower demand” and “unfavourable geographic mix”, which was slightly offset by improved domestic sales prices.

Meanwhile in Europe and Russia, earnings benefited from higher sales prices for uncoated freesheet paper and lower input costs, with sales volumes increasing in Europe but lowering in Russia.

"International Paper delivered solid earnings and generated strong cash from operations in the first quarter," says Mark Sutton, chairman and chief executive officer.

... we anticipate improved seasonal demand and we are well positioned to continue generating strong cash flows in 2019

He continues: "Operational performance was strong; we managed costs well and leveraged the strength and flexibility of our manufacturing system. In the first quarter, we also returned nearly $400 million (approx. £306m) to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases."

The operating profits of industrial packaging were down at $404m (approx. £309m) compared with $647m (approx. £495m) in Q4 of 2018.

The company attributed the decrease to a lower demand for boxes and export containerboard in North America, whilst Europe’s decreased sales were driven by lower sales prices due to “weaker economic conditions, primarily in Turkey and unfavourable foreign currency impacts.”

Sutton concludes: “Looking ahead to the second quarter, we anticipate improved seasonal demand and we are well positioned to continue generating strong cash flows in 2019."

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