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3M REPORTS HIGHER SALES AND EARNINGS

 3M REPORTS HIGHER SALES AND EARNINGS
 ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 22 /PRNewswirw/ -- 3M (NSYE: MMM) today


reported that third-quarter net income rose 13.9 percent to $338 million, or $1.54 a share, from $296 million, or $1.35 a share, in the same quarter last year. Sales increased 6.6 percent to $3.600 billion from $3.378 billion.
 L.D. DeSimone, chairman and chief executive officer, said that "earnings benefited from a good performance in our U.S. manufacturing operations, a weaker dollar and a lower tax rate."
 The company's cost of goods sold improved to 60.0 percent of sales from 60.8 percent in the same quarter last year. Cost of goods sold includes manufacturing, R&D and engineering expenses.
 "We achieved this improvement even though R&D spending and depreciation expense both increased as a percent of sales," DeSimone said.
 During the quarter, 3M's unit sales rose about 3 percent. Volume increased about 2 percent in the U.S. and about 4 percent abroad. "While these gains were relatively modest, they were better than the growth of the economies we serve," DeSimone said. Currency translation added about 4 percent to sales.
 Profit growth for the quarter was led by the company's Life Sciences Sector. "Two of Life Sciences' product groups -- Traffic and Personal Safety Products and Pharmaceuticals, Dental and Disposable products -- posted particularly strong gains," DeSimone said.
 3M estimates that of the 19-cent a share increase in third-quarter earnings, about 7 cents came from operations, about 7 cents from currency effects, and about 4 cents from a lower tax rate.
 For the first nine months, 3M earnings increased 5.9 percent to $948 million, or $4.33 a share, from $895 million, or $4.08 a share, in the same period last year. Sales rose 3.9 percent to $10.510 billion from $10.116 billion. Currency effects reduced earnings for the nine months by about 5 cents a share.
 "Our financial position remains strong," DeSimone said. At Sept. 30, total debt was 22 percent of stockholders' equity, down from 26 percent at June 30, and down from 29 percent at the end of the third quarter last year.
 3M said that, assuming a continuation of the present economic situation, it looks for good earnings growth to continue in the fourth quarter.
 "We expect to benefit from new products, continued productivity- improvement efforts, and positive currency effects," DeSimone said.
 3M FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
 Third Quarter Ended Sept. 30
 1992 1991
 Net sales $3.600 billion $3.378 billion
 Income before income taxes
 and minority interest $528 million $482 million
 Provision for income taxes $184 million $179 million
 Tax rate 35.0% 37.0%
 Net income $338 million $296 million
 Average common shares 219.1 million 219.6 million
 Earnings per share $1.54 $1.35
 Nine Months Ended Sept. 30
 1992 1991
 Net sales $10.510 billion $10.116 billion
 Income before income taxes
 and minority interest $1.498 billion $1.463 billion
 Provision for income taxes $529 million $542 million
 Tax rate 35.3% 37.0%
 Net income $948 million $895 million
 Average common shares 219.1 million 219.7 million
 Earnings per share $4.33 $4.08
 -0- 10/22/92
 /CONTACT: Henry Owen of 3M, 612-733-8037/
 (MMM) CO: 3M Company ST: Minnesota IN: MNG SU: ERN


DS -- MN008 -- 3266 10/22/92 07:43 EDT
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Date:Oct 22, 1992
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