Mark W. Kowlzan
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Packaging Co. of America
Thank you, Matt. Good morning, and thank you all for participating in Packaging Corporation of America's Third Quarter 2022 earnings release conference call. I'm Mark Kowlzan, Chairman and CEO of PCA. And with me on the call today is Tom Hassfurther, Executive Vice President, who runs our packaging business; and Bob Mundy, our Chief Financial Officer.
I'll begin the call with an overview of our third quarter results, and then turn the call over to Tom and Bob, who will provide further details. I'll then wrap things up, and then we'd be glad to take any questions.
Yesterday, we reported third quarter net income of $262 million or $2.80 per share. Excluding special items, third quarter 2022 net income was $266 million or $2.83 per share compared to the third quarter of 2021 net income of $257 million or $2.69 per share. The third quarter net sales were $2.1 billion in 2022 and $2.0 billion in 2021. Total company EBITDA for the third quarter, excluding the special items, was $477 million in 2022 and $464 million in 2021.
Third quarter net income included special items expenses of $0.03 per share, primarily for certain costs at the Jackson, Alabama mill for the paper to containerboard conversion-related activities. Details of all special items for the third quarter of 2022 and 2021 were included in the schedules that accompanied the earnings press release.
Excluding the special items, the $0.14 per share increase in third quarter 2022 earnings compared to the third quarter of 2021 was driven primarily by higher price and mix in our Packaging segment of $1.60 and Paper segment, $0.23; lower interest expense, $0.04; a lower share count resulting from share repurchases $0.04; and the lower tax rate, $0.02. These items were partially offset by operating costs, which were $0.70 per share higher, primarily due to inflation-related increases in the areas of energy, repairs, materials and supplies, chemicals, labor and benefits expenses as well as several other indirect and fixed cost areas. We also had inflation-related increases in our converting costs, which were $0.04 per share higher.
The negative impact of lower volume was $0.52 per share in our Packaging segment and $0.05 in our Paper segment. Freight and logistics expenses were $0.20 above last year and scheduled outage expenses were $0.10 higher. We also had higher depreciation expense of $0.07 and other expenses of $0.04. The results were $0.03 above the third quarter guidance of $2.80 per share, primarily due to the very sound implementation processes around our previously announced price increases in the Packaging and Paper segments as well as the continued benefits generated from our mills and plants through process efficiency optimization efforts and material usage initiatives.
Looking at our Packaging business, EBITDA, excluding special items in the third quarter 2022 of $467 million with sales of $1.9 billion resulted in a margin of 24.1% versus last year's EBITDA of $467 million with sales of $1.8 billion and a 25.5% margin. Our teams did a tremendous job of implementing our previously announced price increases. However, demand in our Packaging segment was well below our expectations for the quarter. Tom will discuss this further in a moment.
The containerboard mills operated in an efficient and cost-effective manner as we balanced our supply with current domestic and export demand. As part of the effort, we began the scheduled maintenance outage in the first phase of the Number 3 machine conversion to containerboard at our Jackson, Alabama mill, a few weeks earlier than originally planned. Total economic related downtime for the third quarter was approximately 128,000 tons. The outage and conversion work at Jackson will be completed in the fourth quarter, and we will remain committed to ramping up our internal capacity according to our customers' demand requirements.
Finally, although we are still experiencing historically high inflation within our operating and converting costs, our mills and plants continued to remain focused on delivering numerous cost reduction initiatives, efficiency improvements and integration and optimization enhancements and capital benefit -- capital project benefits that helped to minimize the impact.
I'll now turn it over to Tom, who'll provide more details on the containerboard sales and corrugated business.