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3M PLANS FOR 'QUALITY' LONG-TERM GROWTH

 3M PLANS FOR 'QUALITY' LONG-TERM GROWTH
 ST. PAUL, Minn., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- To achieve sustainable,


quality long-term growth, 3M (NYSE: MMM) is emphasizing innovation, international expansion, productivity and quality.
 That's what L.D. DeSimone, chairman and chief executive officer, today told the company's annual meeting at the St. Paul Civic Center.
 "The major engine of our growth will be new products," DeSimone said. He noted that 3M is investing more than 6.5 cents of every sales dollar in research and development. That's "about double the average for American manufacturing companies."
 He described several promising new products. These include wool soap pads that look and feel like steel wool, but clean better and don't rust or splinter; ceramic braces for teeth that are nearly invisible and easy for orthodontists to apply; and a new paint roller that releases one-third more paint than conventional rollers and takes just one minute to clean.
 Expansion outside the United States also will fuel 3M growth, DeSimone said. While 3M already has a strong international presence (companies in 57 countries and $6.6 billion in sales), "international markets are larger than the U.S. market, and they're growing faster."
 He told stockholders that 3M is well-positioned for the move toward a unified market in Europe, as well as for solid economic growth in the Asia-Pacific area and Latin America.
 DeSimone also described "very aggressive 3M productivity goals." Over a five-year period, 3M is aiming for a 10 percent reduction in unit manufacturing costs and a 35 percent reduction in manufacturing cycle time. The company also is striving to reduce waste 35 percent and energy use 20 percent over the same period.
 "We also have a major effort under way to reduce the time it takes to design and develop our products," DeSimone said. "In the next few years, we intend to cut product development time all across the company by as much as half.
 "Underlying these strategies," he said, "is our determination to focus everything we do on satisfying our customers."
 He noted that 3M recently completed its largest customer survey ever.
 "So far, our customers are telling us that, in the areas most important to them, we do better than the competition," DeSimone said. "But they're also telling us how and where we can improve. That's going to make us a stronger company."
 DeSimone also reviewed the company's recent financial performance. First quarter results "were about what we expected," he said.
 Net income totaled $288 million, or $1.32 a share, a decline of 3.9 percent from the first quarter last year. The value of the U.S. dollar reduced earnings by about $15 million, or 7 cents a share. Sales totaled $3.4 billion, up less than 1 percent from the year-earlier quarter. Sales would have been up about 3 percent had there been no change in the value of the dollar.
 DeSimone reiterated that 3M looks for higher earnings in the second quarter and for all of 1992.
 In the second quarter, "our international business has held up well," he said, "and our U.S. business continues to improve slowly." "So despite negative currency effects, we look for higher earnings this quarter."
 For the year, 3M expects to benefit from "the modest improvement in the U.S. economy that we're beginning to see," as well as from "a steady stream of new products and continuous efforts to improve productivity."
 In 1991, net income totaled $1.154 billion, or $5.26 a share, a decline of 11.7 percent from 1990. This was 3M's first earnings decline since 1985. DeSimone said the earnings decline was due to weak world economies, combined with substantial investments in future growth.
 He noted, for example, that 3M's R&D spending increased 5.6 percent last year, compared with a 2.5 percent increase in sales. "Research at 3M isn't a yo-yo that goes up and down with the economy. Of course, we slow down increases in poor economic times. But research is our future, and we're not going to let up on it."
 -0- 5/12/92
 /CONTACT: Mark Fenner of 3M, 612-733-9242/
 (MMM) CO: 3M ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


DS -- MN005 -- 9062 05/12/92 11:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1992
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