MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — 3M posted a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit, although volatile exchange rates on foreign currency and weak growth in South America caused revenue to come in lower than Wall Street expected.
3M makes Post-it notes, health care products, and a wide range of industrial coatings and ceramics, and it gets some two-thirds of its revenue from outside the U.S., making it particularly susceptible to currency swings.
All five of its major divisions saw sales rise as measured in local currencies, but those gains were wiped out by foreign exchange rates in its consumer and its electronics and energy businesses. Revenue growth in its industrial, health care, and safety and graphics unit was dampened by the impact of currency issues.
At the same time, sales in the territory that covers Latin America and Canada fell 3.7 percent, despite a price hike of 6.5 percent. The main decline was in Venezuela, where political unrest and uncertainty about exchange rates have been a factor for many U.S. companies.
Revenue in its industrial business climbed 6.1 percent to $2.6 billion, driven by gains for advanced materials, aerospace and automotive aftermarket products.