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UPDATE 1-International Paper profit down on weak packaging sales

Ernest Scheyder
Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 11:40 AM ET

Oct 25 (Reuters) - International Paper Co posted a lower-than-expected profit on Thursday due to weak sales of consumer packaging in North America and Asia.

IP, one of the world's largest producers of corrugated packaging and paper, does not expect the global economy to improve in 2013.

``The world seems to be moving in slow motion,'' Chief Executive Officer John Faraci said in an interview. ``It's still moving ahead, but it's definitely in slow motion.''

The company posted net earnings of $237 million, or 54 cents per share, compared with $468 million, or $1.08 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 75 cents per share. By that measure, analysts on average expected 77 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose 6 percent to $7.03 billion. Analysts expected $7.08 billion.

Shares of Memphis, Tennessee-based IP, which closed Wednesday at $36.38, have gained roughly 23 percent this year.

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