3M cuts 2022 profit outlook amid decline in mask demand

3M last month joined other Western firms in halting operations in Russia after the country's invasion of Ukraine. PHOTO: REUTERS

MINNESOTA (REUTERS) - 3M on Tuesday (Apr 26) trimmed its full-year profit outlook as demand for its disposable N95 masks slumped in the face of waning Covid-19 cases and the industrial giant continues to grapple with surging inflation.

The biggest United States producer of masks saw a decline in disposable respirator sales amid lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

The company's challenges around supply chain constraints, semiconductor shortages and raw materials also aggravated following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

3M last month joined other Western firms in halting operations in Russia after the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukraine war caused the company to face increased costs, with shortage of raw materials and semiconductors straining its auto builds.

In February, chief financial officer Monish Patolawala had warned of an about 2 per cent fall in global auto builds in the first quarter from a year earlier.

3M now expects full-year profit to be in a range of US$9.89 to US$10.39 per share, down from its prior expectation of US$10.15 to US$10.65.

Net income attributable to 3M fell to US$1.29 billion (S$1.78 billion), or US$ 2.26 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from US$1.62 billion, or US$2.77 per share, a year earlier.

However, the Saint Paul, Minnesota-based company's adjusted earnings of US$2.65 per share beat analysts' estimate of US$2.31.

Sales fell marginally to US$8.8 billion in the quarter.

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