MeadWestvaco more than doubles quarterly profit

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Specialty packaging company MeadWestvaco more than doubled its first-quarter profit as sales in its packaging and specialty chemicals divisions grew.

Quarterly profit jumped to $65 million, or 38 cents per diluted share, from $24 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, in the same period last year.

The Richmond-based company reported an 8 percent increase in revenues, up to $1.37 billion for the first quarter, compared with $1.26 billion in the first quarter of 2010.

The company reported sales increases among all of its business segments, with especially high growth in its packaging and specialty chemicals groups.

Sales at the company’s Resource Packaging segment, which includes paperboard for packaging for global food and beverage, tobacco and commercial print markets, grew 9 percent to $679 million. The segment is the company’s largest business division.

Revenue in the company’s Specialty Chemicals group, which includes chemicals used in asphalt, oilfield, adhesives, inks and paper sizing, grew 28 percent to $177 million.

“We generated record first quarter results by building our business in targeted markets, expanding market share for our most valuable products, and aggressively driving value-based pricing in the face of inflationary pressures,”  John A. Luke Jr., chairman and CEO of MWV, said in a statement. “The step-change in our performance stems from the work we have done over the past several years to reshape our market participation and our cost structure, and it has MWV off to a very good start in what we expect will be another year of progress for our company.”

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