U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 41 mins

Graphic Packaging 2Q profit rises 32 percent

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) -- Graphic Packaging Holding Co. said Thursday that its second-quarter profit rose 32 percent thanks to cost controls, higher prices and benefits from acquisitions.

The company, which is based in Marietta, Ga., provides packaging products to food, beverage and consumer products companies.

CEO David Scheible said the company is becoming more profitable, in part because of the expansion of a beverage plant, even though demand from customers has not improved.

"While a pickup in market demand would be nice, this is not factored into our near-term outlook," he said.

Net income for the April-through-June period was $42.4 million, or 11 cents per share, up from $32.1 million, or 8 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2011. That was 2 cents per share better than the average estimate of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue was $1.11 billion, up 3 percent from a year ago. Higher prices caused $12 million of that increase. The company said the additions of Delta Natural Kraft LLC and Mid-America Packaging LLC also helped lift sales. Analysts expected $1.13 billion.

The company's costs to make its products were flat at $915.5 million, while its general expenses rose 6 percent to $95.3 million.

Graphic Packaging shares rose 34 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $5.58 in late afternoon trading.