UPDATE 2-MeadWestVaco turns profit as sales rise

Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:57am EDT

* Q1 EPS 14 cts versus loss of 46 cts/shr year ago

* Revenue up 3.5 pct to $1.4 bln

(Adds analysts forecast)

NEW YORK, April 28 (Reuters) - Packaging producer MeadWestvaco Corp (MWV.N) posted better-than-expected first-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by rising sales volumes and lower costs.

The company reported net income of $24 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $79 million, or 46 cents per share.

Excluding one-time items, the company posted earnings per share of 11 cents, topping the breakeven mark that analysts had on average forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 3.5 percent to $1.4 billion, but fell slightly short of the $1.45 billion that analysts had forecast.

Overall demand trends were improving, the company said in a statement, but the pace of the recovery in the United States into the second half of the year remained uncertain.

(Reporting by Matt Daily and Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Dave Zimmerman)