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Falls mill owners report lower net income in 2023.

By Randy Thoms Jan 25, 2024 | 2:43 PM

Packaging Corporation of America ends 2023 with a drop in earnings.

Net income for the owners of the mill in International Falls reached $765 million.

That is down $19 million over the year before.

The company reports it still finished out the final months with net income of $189 million during the fourth quarter, with sales exceeding $1.94 billion.

Both are almost what they were in the same period in 2022.

“Demand in the packaging segment was stronger than our expectations. In addition, the higher volume along with the operational benefits of our capital spending program and continued emphasis on cost management and process efficiencies across our manufacturing and converting facilities drove operating and converting costs lower as well,” states Mark Kowlzan, chair and Chief Executive Officer.

“The Paper segment had very good results with volume slightly higher than expected and costs managed extremely well.”

Kowlzan says they anticipate improvements in 2024, including in the packaging segment, where strong demand is expected to bolster shipments of corrugated products.

Containerboard volume will be lower as the company converts a machine at its Jackson, Alabama, plant and takes a scheduled maintenance outage at its mill in Counce, Tennesse.

Kowlzan says they are also preparing for higher recycled fiber and energy prices and weather impacts on operations.