ST. PAUL, Minn. — 3M has reported 2008 sales of $25.3 billion, an all-time record for the company. Sales were up 3.3 percent from a year ago. Reported net income for 2008 was $3.5 billion, or $4.89 per share, versus $4.1 billion, or $5.60 per share, in 2007. Excluding special items, 2008 earnings were $5.17 per share versus $4.98 per share in 2007, up 3.8 percent.
Fourth-quarter sales were $5.5 billion, a decrease of 11.2 percent. Fourth-quarter net income was $536 million, or 77 cents per share, versus $851 million, or $1.17 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2007. Excluding special items, net income in the fourth quarter of 2008 was $676 million, or 97 cents per share, versus $863 million, or $1.19 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2007.
“3M drove record sales in 2008 despite a dramatic fourth-quarter economic downturn,” said George Buckley, 3M chairman, president and CEO, “and we are responding to lower demand with aggressive cost management and operational discipline. 3M employees are doing an outstanding job managing through worldwide market challenges and are positioning our company to seize the upside when growth resumes.”
Buckley continued, “We streamlined our operations throughout 2008 and we will continue to optimize to protect against the downside throughout 2009. In addition, we plan to reduce capital expenditures by about 30 percent and aggressively attack working capital in order to conserve cash. Finally, we remain focused on gaining share by delighting our current customers and winning new ones. Throughout our 106-year history, we have weathered many economic storms, and expect to emerge from this one stronger and more competitive than ever.”
Reflecting the ongoing global economic uncertainty and continued challenges in many of its end-markets, 3M adjusted its 2009 sales and earnings expectations. The company is now planning for organic sales volumes to decline between 5 percent and 9 percent in 2009, versus a previous planning assumption of negative 3 percent to negative 7 percent. As a result, the company is now planning for 2009 earnings to be in the range of $4.30 to $4.70 per share, down from a previous range of $4.50 to $4.95. These estimates exclude any potential special items.