ST. PAUL, MN - 3M has announced third-quarter sales of $6.6 billion, an increase of 6.2 percent over third quarter of 2007. Net income was $991 million, or $1.41 per share, versus $960 million, or $1.32 per share, in the corresponding period last year. Excluding special items in both 2007 and 2008, net income in the third quarter of 2008 was $999 million, or $1.42 per share, versus $940 million, or $1.29 per share, in 2007, increases of 6.2 percent and 10.1 percent respectively.
“Our diversified business portfolio served us well in the third quarter, as 3M employees once again delivered consistent results with 23 percent-plus operating margins in a highly challenging economic environment,” said George W. Buckley, 3M Chairman, President and CEO. “Our many category-defining brands, 40-plus technology platforms, unmatched global distribution capability and relentless focus on our customers drove consistent and highly profitable growth.”
The company posted double-digit sales growth in its three largest businesses, namely Safety, Security and Protection Services, Health Care and Industrial and Transportation.
Segment trends were very similar to the first half of 2008 with continued growth across the company’s international operations. 3M sales in Latin America increased 26 percent over last year, while Europe and Canada achieved 8 percent and 9 percent sales growth, respectively. Sales in Asia Pacific were down 1 percent, or up 13 percent excluding the impact of the secular transition underway in the company’s optical film business.
“We will manage prudently in the remainder of this year as economic conditions remain volatile,” Buckley said. “Full-year 2008 earnings are expected to be in the range of $5.40 to $5.48 per share, an increase of 8.4 percent to 10 percent, and operating margins are expected to be between 22.5 and 23 percent.”