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International Paper Reports Solid Q4 Results, Record Operating Earnings

February 4, 2014
MEMPHIS, TN—February 4, 2014—International Paper reported full-year 2013 net earnings attributable to common shareholders totaling $1.4 billion ($3.11 per share) compared with $794 million ($1.80 per share) in full-year 2012. In the fourth quarter of 2013, the company reported net earnings of $436 million ($0.98 per share) compared with $235 million ($0.53 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2012. Amounts in all periods include special items and non-operating pension expense.
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Full-year 2013 Operating Earnings were $1.4 billion ($3.16 per share) compared with $1.2 billion ($2.65 per share) in 2012. Operating Earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013 totaled $367 million ($0.83 per share) compared with $305 million ($0.69 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Annual sales totaled $29.1 billion in 2013 compared with $27.8 billion in 2012. Quarterly net sales were $7.2 billion in the fourth quarter compared with $7.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Full-year 2013 business segment operating profits were $1.8 billion compared with $2.0 billion in 2012.  Business segment operating profits in the fourth quarter were $59 million compared with $528 million in 2012, both of which included special items.

"International Paper delivered record operating earnings and cash from operations in 2013, largely driven by margin expansion across key businesses," said John Faraci, chairman and CEO. "In 2014, our businesses are well positioned to achieve another meaningful increase in EBITDA and Free Cash Flow."

Segment Information
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. Fourth quarter 2013 business segment operating profits and business trends compared with the prior quarter are as follows:

Industrial Packaging operating profits in the fourth quarter of 2013 were $486 million ($473 million including special items) compared with $517 million ($499 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2013. Box sales volumes improved relative to the market, however two less shipping days for the quarter and seasonally lower demand led to lower volumes. Profits for the segment benefited from the complete realization of the 2013 containerboard price increase.

Printing Papers operating profits were $143 million (a loss of $47 million after special items) in the fourth quarter of 2013 versus $144 million ($93 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2013. North America experienced fixed cost penalties and lower sales volumes resulting from Courtland's partial shutdown in the quarter, partly offset by lower maintenance outages and improved sales price/mix. Brazil's results improved largely driven by higher volume and better mix from seasonally stronger demand.  Europe was negatively impacted by higher outages, while India improved with stronger prices and volume, along with no maintenance outages in fourth quarter of 2013.

Consumer Packaging operating profits were $32 million ($30 million including special items) in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with $73 million (before and after special items) in the third quarter of 2013. Significant planned maintenance outage expenses and lower volume more than offset the impact of improved pricing.

xpedx, the company's North American distribution business, reported operating profits of $5 million (a loss of $397 million including special items) in the fourth quarter of 2013 as lower demand impacted results, compared with $19 million ($13 million including special items) in the third quarter of 2013.

International Paper recorded Ilim joint venture equity losses of $12 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with equity earnings of $11 million in the third quarter of 2013. The company recognized an after-tax foreign exchange loss of $6 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with an after-tax gain of $8 million in the third quarter of 2013 due to foreign exchange movement in the U.S. dollar versus the Russian ruble. The impact in both quarters was due to non-cash adjustments associated with the Ilim Group joint venture's U.S. dollar denominated debt.

Corporate items net, for the 2013 fourth quarter were income of $6 million compared with expenses of $13 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Effective Tax Rate
The effective tax rate before special items for the fourth quarter of 2013 was 31 percent, compared with an effective tax rate before special items of 24 percent in the third quarter of 2013.  The higher rate in the fourth quarter is primarily attributable to a one-time inclusion in the third quarter of a $30 million benefit related to the adjustment of the tax basis in certain of the Company's fixed assets.  The 2013 full year rate was 27 percent compared with 29 percent for the 2012 full year.

Effects of Special Items
Special items in the fourth quarter of 2013 included a net pre-tax loss of $79 million ($50 million after taxes) for restructuring and other charges, pre-tax charges of $12 million ($7 million after taxes) for integration costs related to the Temple-Inland acquisition and a pre-tax charge of $2 million ($1 million after taxes) for other items.   Also included in special items is a pre-tax charge of $127 million ($119  million after a $5 million tax benefit and a gain of $3 million related to non-controlling interest) for the impairment of goodwill and a trade name intangible asset of the Company's India Papers business and a pre-tax charge of $400 million ($366 million after taxes) for the impairment of goodwill of the Company's xpedx business.  In addition, a tax benefit of $651 million related to the closing of a U.S. federal income tax audit and a net tax benefit of $3 million for other tax items were recorded. Restructuring and other charges included a pre-tax charge of $67 million ($41 million after taxes) for costs associated with the announced closure of our Courtland, Alabama mill, pre-tax charges of $8 million ($5 million after taxes) for costs associated with the announced spin-off of our xpedx operations, and a net charge of $4 million (before and after taxes) for other items.

Special items in the third quarter of 2013 included a net pre-tax loss of $76 million ($47 million after taxes) for restructuring and other charges, pre-tax charges of $24 million ($15 million after taxes) for integration costs related to the Temple-Inland acquisition and a pre-tax charge of $1 million ($0 million after taxes) for other items. In addition, a tax benefit of $31 million related to the release of an income tax reserve was recorded. Restructuring and other charges included a pre-tax charge of $51 million ($31 million after taxes) for costs associated with the announced closure of our Courtland, Alabama mill, pre-tax charges of $15 million ($9 million after taxes) for debt extinguishment costs, pre-tax charges of $6 million ($4 million after taxes) for costs associated with the restructuring of our xpedx operations, pre-tax charges of $11 million ($7 million after taxes) for costs associated with the announced spin-off of our xpedx operations, a pre-tax gain of $9 million ($6 million after taxes) related to the sale of the Bellevue, Washington box plant facility that was closed in 2010, and charges of $2 million (before and after taxes) for other items.

Special items in the fourth quarter of 2012 included pre-tax charges of $21 million ($14 million after taxes) for restructuring and other charges, pre-tax charges of $28 million ($19 million after taxes) for integration costs related to the Temple-Inland acquisition, and a gain of $3 million (before and after taxes) for other items. Also included are a net tax expense of $14 million related to internal restructurings and a tax expense of $5 million to adjust deferred tax assets related to post-retirement prescription drug coverage (Medicare Part D reimbursements).  Restructuring and other charges included pre-tax charges of $9 million ($6 million after taxes) for debt extinguishment costs, pre-tax charges of $7 million ($4 million after taxes) for costs associated with the restructuring of our xpedx operations, and pre-tax charges of $5 million ($4 million after taxes) for other items.

Discontinued Operations
Discontinued operations in the fourth quarter and third quarter of 2013, along with the fourth quarter of 2012, included the write-off of capital investments and costs associated with the divestiture of the Temple-Inland Building Products business. The operating earnings from Building Products are also included in the third quarter of 2013, for the period prior to the date of sale on July 19, 2013, and the fourth quarter of 2012.

About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global leader in packaging and paper with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include industrial and consumer packaging and uncoated papers, complemented by xpedx, the company's North American distribution company. Headquartered in Memphis, TN, the company employs approximately 70,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2013 were $29 billion. 

Source: International Paper.
 

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