3M first quarter profits up 4 percentby Martin Moylan, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — 3M's net income for the first three months of this year jumped 4 percent to $1.1 billion.
Sales were strong in North and Latin America and to auto and aerospace manufacturers, suggesting growing strength in manufacturing.
Revenue was flat in Europe and fell in Asia, as did sales of optical films used in flat-panel TVs. Overall, sales rose 2 percent to $7.5 billion.
In his first conference call with analysts, 3M's new CEO, Inge Thulin, indicated he doesn't plan any big shake-ups at the company.
"My target and objective and focus is to deliver the plan for 2012," Thulin said. "I was part of the team to build the plan here, and that's important to us. This is a volatile time and we are absolutely focused to make sure we deliver what we have promised for this year."
Thulin said he sees great potential to grow 3M's oil and gas and aerospace businesses over the long term. 3M affirmed its sales growth expectations for the year and raised its earnings forecast.