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Share Name Share Symbol Market Type
3M Company NYSE:MMM NYSE Common Stock
  Price Change % Change Share Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  0.00 0.0% 207.33 312 10:51:52

3M Expects Sales Growth as Customers Return to Offices, Schools -- Update

26/01/2021 4:02pm

Dow Jones News


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By Austen Hufford 

3M Co. said it expects sales across its product lines to grow this year as vaccinations against Covid-19 allow people to start using more of its products at dental offices, workplaces and schools.

Demand for the St. Paul, Minn.-based manufacturer's products varied widely last year. The pandemic created enormous pressure on demand for the N95 face masks that medical workers wear to guard against the virus. But sales of other products such as Post-it Notes used by office workers and teeth-polishing discs used by dentists were hurt by social-distancing measures. In December, the company said it planned to cut nearly 3,000 jobs, reflecting slumping demand for some of its products.

For 2021, 3M said it expects revenue excluding acquisitions and currency fluctuations to grow up to 6%. 3M had pulled its guidance early in the pandemic; restoring it indicates the company has more confidence in forecasting how the months ahead will play out. 3M said it would restart buying back its shares, a common practice to return cash to shareholders.

"We expect a return to healthy growth," Chief Executive Mike Roman told analysts on a call Tuesday.

Shares rose 2.8% in morning trading to $175.17.

3M said logistics and labor costs have risen as the economy recovers, weighing on profit. 3M said prices for polypropylene, wood pulp and ethylene prices were rising, too.

3M, the biggest U.S. producer of N95 masks, said it has delivered two billion masks around the world and is making more than 95 million a month in the U.S., more than tripling pre-pandemic production.

3M recently joined an agreement with federal authorities and other mask makers to better coordinate and share data on medical goods needed to fight the pandemic. Mr. Roman said the company has had productive conversations with the new Biden administration.

"We will continue to do all we can to get respirators and other personal protective equipment to front-line workers and help America, and the world, beat the pandemic," he said.

3M said demand also remains high for filters that are being installed in public places and schools to reduce the spread of the virus. 3M has doubled its capacity to make its Filtrete brand of filters.

For its fourth quarter, 3M saw year-over-year sales gains in markets like personal safety, home improvement, general cleaning and semiconductor products. The declines in other areas continued, with sales of products aimed at elective health-care procedures, consumer electronics, hospitality and office supplies falling.

3M said it booked organic growth of 14% in China and 9% in the U.S. in its fourth quarter. The company's mask business drove a 13% increase in sales in the company's safety and industrial business unit, while transportation and electronics rose 2.3%, health care rose 5.4% and its consumer business increased 11%.

3M posted revenue growth of 5.8% to $8.58 billion in its fourth quarter. It had $2.38 in per-share earnings, compared with $1.66 in the same period a year before.

Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 26, 2021 10:47 ET (15:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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