UPDATE 1-International Paper profit tops estimatess; box sales up
Oct 24 (Reuters) - International Paper Co reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by strong sales of corrugated packaging for shipping boxes.
John Faraci, the chief executive, said in an interview the global economy continued to improve, but at a pace below its potential. Given IP's broad exposure to a range of industries, its results can offer a barometer of economic health.
For the third quarter, the company posted net income of $382 million, or 85 cents per share, compared with $237 million, or 54 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding a pension charge and other one-time items, the company earned $1.05 per share. By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 93 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 5 percent to $7.41 billion. Analysts expected $7.48 billion.
Developed markets are starting to recover at a slow pace, and emerging markets are growing, though more slowly than in previous years, Faraci said in the interview.
"I believe most of the worst is behind us," he said. "But in this slowing global growth environment, we're well below our potential."
IP said sales of industrial packaging, the business that sells shipping boxes to Amazon.com Inc and other giant e-commerce companies, jumped 13 percent.
Demand for printing paper, especially in North America, continued to slip, harming profit for its segments in that market.