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3M sees sales drop in every major category

3M reported a 41 percent decline in profits for the first quarter of 2009, with sales declines in every major division. CEO George Buckley blamed the global economic slowdown and said the company remains committed to R&D spending.

3M famously sells thousands and thousands of different products.

And in the first few months of 2009, it appears the company sold less of just about all of them.

3M reported this morning that first-quarter profits were down 41 percent, compared with the same period a year ago.

Sales were down in every major division: Industrial and Transportation, down 28 percent; Health Care, down 8 percent; Consumer and Office, down 7 percent; Safety, Security and Protection Services, down 15 percent; Display and Graphics, down 30 percent; Electro and Communications, down 35 percent.

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CEO George Buckley, in the company’s statement, attributed the declines to the global economic slowdown. The company lowered its expectations for 2009 but said it remains committed to maintaining R&D spending, he said:

“Our strategy will strengthen the company and position us for even greater success when global economies recover.”