Safety & Industrial Sales Remain Strong at 3M Through Q1

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Manufacturing conglomerate 3M reported its 2021 first quarter and financial results on Tuesday, showing an acceleration in overall sales growth year-over-year, including continued strong results in the company's Safety and Industrial segment.

The St. Paul, MN-based maker of adhesives, PPE, safety products and Post-It notes showed that its Q1 sales totaled $8.9 billion, up 9.6 percent year-over-year, with organic sales up 8.0 percent. Sequentially, those figures compare with Q4 2020 sales of $8.6 billion that grew 5.8 percent year-over-year and grew 5.5 percent organically.

3M's Q1 operating profit of $2.0 billion grew 20.0 percent year-over-year and improved upon Q4 2020's $1.85 billion. Q1 operating margin of 22.5 percent grew 1.9 percentage points year-over-year. The company's total Q1 profit of $1.62 billion jumped 24.2 percent year-over-year.

Geographically, sales grew 18.1 percent year-over-year in Asia Pacific, 10.4 percent in EMEA and 4.5 percent in the Americas. Organic local-currency sales grew 12.8 percent in Asia Pacific, 6.3 percent in the Americas and 5.5 percent in EMEA.

Safety and Industrial

In 3M's largest business unit, Safety and Industrial, Q1 sales of $3.3 billion grew 13.7 percent year-over-year, with organic sales up 10.3 percent. That compares with Q4 2020's 12.7 percent overall growth and 11.4 percent organic growth. On an organic basis, 3M said Q1 sales increased in electronics, automotive and aerospace and advanced materials, while sales were flat in transportation safety and sales declined in commercial solutions. Sales grew in Asia Pacific, were flat in EMEA and declined in the Americas.

Segment operating profit of $591 billion jumped 27 percent year-over-year, with operating margin of 23.3 percent. Those figures compare with a Q4 2020 operating profit of $869 million and operating margin of 27.7 percent.

Within Safety and Industrial, Q1 sales of personal safety products grew 25.1 percent year-over-year to $1.24 billion and held steady with Q4 2020's sales of $1.21 billion, showing that international demand for 3M's personal protective equipment for the COVID-19 pandemic remains highly elevated.

Here's how 3M's other Safety and Industrial product lines fared in Q1:

  • Abrasives: Sales of $352 million grew 6.7 percent year-over-year and topped Q4's $317 million
  • Automotive Aftermarket: Sales of $312 million grew 9.9 percent year-over-year and topped Q4's $306 million
  • Closure and Masking Systems: Sales of $243 million decreased 9.3 percent year-over-year and trailed Q4's $248 million
  • Electrical Materials: Sales of $307 million grew 6.6 percent year-over-year and topped Q4's $292 million
  • Industrial Adhesives & Tapes: Sales of $768 million grew 14.4 percent year-over-year and topped Q4's $689 million
  • Roofing Granules: Sales of $108 million grew 13.7 percent year-over-year and topped Q4's $95 million.

In 3M's other business segments in Q1: 

  • Transportation and Electronics sales of $2.5 billion grew 13.1 percent year-over-year, with organic sales up 9.7 percent. Organic sales increased in electronics, automotive and aerospace, and advanced materials. Sales were flat in transportation and safety, and declined in commercial solutions. Operating profit of $591 million jumped 27 percent year-over-year on margins of 23.3 percent.
  • Health Care sales of $2.2 billion grew 6.8 percent year-over-year, with organic sales up 9.3 percent. Organic sales increased in oral care, separation and purification, medical solutions and health information systems, while they declined in food safety. Operating profit of $509 million increased 13 percent year-over-year on margins of 22.7 percent.
  • Consumer sales of $1.4 billion increased 9.8 percent year-over-year, with organic sales up 7.8 percent. Organic sales increased in home improvement, stationery and office supplies, and home care, while sales declined in consumer health and safety. Operating profit of $289 million grew 9 percent year-over-year on margins of 21.1 percent.

3M said it is expecting full-year 2021 sales growth in the range of 5 to 8 percent, with organic sales growth between 3 to 6 percent.

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