Before markets opened on October 27, 3M Co. announced it sold $8.4 billion for the quarter, an improvement of 4.5% year-over-year. The St. Paul, Minnesota-based conglomerate reported operating gash flow of $2.5 billion, up 23% year-on-year.
The COVID-19 pandemic helped drive 3M’s sales of health equipment. The group’s health care segment saw sales increase by 25.5% compared to last year, vastly outperforming all other segments. Sales in the safety and industrial segment climbed 6.9% and 5.6% in the company’s consumer segment. Transportation and electronics sales fell 7.4% instead.
According to the company, COVID has been a double-edged sword. Demand for personal safety, home improvement, general cleaning, semiconductor, data center and biopharma filtration products remained strong, but products related to elective medical procedures suffered, as did automotive OEM, general industrial, consumer electronics, hospitality, office supplies, healthcare IT, and traffic safety.
Total sales in the Americas grew by 7.7%, 4.4% in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, but fell 0.6% in Asia and the Pacific.
Mike Ronan, CEO of 3M, said the quarter demonstrated the strength of his company’s model. “We executed well, served customers and continued to fight the pandemic. Though economic uncertainty and challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic remain, we returned to positive organic sales growth with sequential improvement across businesses and geographies,” he said in a statement.
“We continue to take actions to transform 3M and position us to deliver strong results as our end markets recover,” Roman continued. “We will invest where demand is strong, aggressively manage our cost structure, and create new innovations that address customer needs and global market trends.”
Citing continued uncertainty of the COVID pandemic, 3M elected not to issue guidance for the next quarter.