3M will not alter its production strategy in Mexico, says chairman

Minnesota-based manufacturer 3M Co. isn’t planning to alter its production strategy in Mexico despite President Donald Trump’s criticism of U.S. companies operating in the country. “We are not changing anything,” Chairman and Chief Executive Inge Thulin said in recent days during a conference call with analysts.

Describing Mexico as “an important local market for us” where 3M’s business saw 10% growth in organic local-currency sales in the fourth quarter, Mr. Thulin said the company locates production near customers based on the local market opportunity.

The maker of Scotch tape, Post-it Notes and industrial adhesives reported stronger-than-expected growth in its core industrial business in the fourth quarter, offsetting declines in its consumer and electronics and energy segments.

The company reported sales of US$ 30.1 billion in all of 2016, down slightly from the prior year, with earnings of US$ 8.16 a share. In the fourth quarter, revenue edged up 0.4% to US$ 7.33 billion.

The industrial segment was boosted by the automotive sector, which offset declines in the aerospace business. Profit of US$ 1.16 billion, or US$ 1.88 a share, was up from US$ 1.04 billion, or US$ 1.66, a year earlier. 

3M’s electronics and energy business continued to face difficulties. Sales in this segment were off about 1% to US$ 1.2 billion amid flat electronics-related sales and declines in the energy market. Nevertheless, the segment posted US$ 326 million of operating income, a 61% year-over-year increase.

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