Georgia-Pacific's ( GP) third-quarter profit fell nearly 40% as higher raw-material and energy costs pulled down profits.

The building and paper products company's earnings dropped to $145 million, or 55 cents a share, from $240 million, or 91 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges related to repatriating earnings, restructuring and other items, Georgia-Pacific earned $200 million, or 76 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call had an average estimate for earnings of 70 cents a share, before items.

The Atlanta-based company said revenue fell to $4.71 billion from $4.74 billion a year earlier. Still, the results topped analysts' mean estimate of $4.66 billion.

"Higher costs and lower prices continue to negatively impact both our packaging and bleached pulp and paper businesses," said Chairman and Chief Executive A.D. Correll in a statement. "Raw materials and energy inflation companywide increased our costs for the quarter by approximately $105 million vs. the same period last year."

In addition, Hurricane Katrina added $15 million to costs for the quarter, while transportation costs rose about $35 million, the company said.

Despite lower results at its building, packaging and pulp and paper operations, Georgia-Pacific did post an improved operating profit at its North American consumer products operations. The company, which makes products ranging from Dixie cups to Brawny paper towels, said operating profits for the segment rose 11% before charges, driven by a combination of price, higher-margin products and cost cuts.

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