The 3M industrial group, manufacturer among other products of masks, respirators and ventilators, posted a net profit in the first quarter of 2020 of 1,292 million dollars (1,187 million euros), which is equivalent to an increase of 45% compared with the same period of the previous year.
The group’s net sales rose 2.7% between January and March, to $ 8,075 million (7,418 million euros), while expenses were cut 4.7%, to $ 6,412 million (5,890 million) of euros).
Specifically, the cost of products sold decreased 4.7%, to 4,109 million dollars (3,775 million euros), while the item of selling, general and administrative expenses contracted 9.2%, to 1,768 million dollars (1,624 million euros).
On April 1, 3M said it had doubled its worldwide production of respirators to 100 million units per month, of which 35 million will be in the United States. In the results report presented on Tuesday, he stressed that he is increasing capital investments to double his production capacity again.
“In the first quarter, we observed outstanding growth in [la división] for personal safety, as well as in other areas of our business that have experienced high demand due to the pandemic, “explained 3M President and Counselor Mike Roman.
On a financial level, the company has warned that it will undertake “aggressive cost reductions” in the second quarter of the year, which will mean savings of between 350 and 400 million dollars (322 and 338 million euros) between April and June.
Likewise, the share repurchase program has been suspended to prioritize the payment of dividends and organic investments and the capital expenditure plan (‘capex’) has been reduced to 1,300 million dollars (1,195 million euros) in 2020 , compared to the previous forecast range of between 1,600 and 1,800 million dollars (1,470 and 1,654 million euros).
“Looking ahead, 3M is undertaking actions that will help us weather uncertainty in the short term, generate solid cash flow, and guide us through the recession while serving our employees, customers, and shareholders,” he said. Apostilled Roman.