3M cuts 2022 profit outlook amid decline in mask demand By Reuters

© Reuters. The 3M logo is seen at its global headquarters in Maplewood, Minnesota, U.S. on March 4, 2020. The company has been contracted by the U.S. government to produce extra masks in response to the country’s novel coronavirus outbreak. Picture taken March 4, 20

(Reuters) -3M Co on Tuesday trimmed its full-year profit outlook as demand for its disposable N95 masks slumped in the face of waning COVID cases and the industrial giant continues to grapple with surging inflation.

The biggest U.S. producer of masks saw a decline in disposable respirator sales amid lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

The company’s challenges around supply chain constraints, semiconductor shortages and raw materials also aggravated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

3M last month joined other Western firms in halting operations in Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukraine war caused the company to face increased costs, with shortage of raw materials and semiconductors straining its auto builds.

In February, Chief Financial Officer Monish Patolawala had warned of an about 2% fall in global auto builds in the first quarter from a year earlier.

3M now expects full-year profit to be in a range of $9.89 to $10.39 per share, down from its prior expectation of $10.15 to $10.65.

Net income attributable to 3M fell to $1.29 billion, or $ 2.26 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $1.62 billion, or $2.77 per share, a year earlier.

However, the Saint Paul, Minnesota-based company’s adjusted earnings of $2.65 per share beat analysts’ estimate of $2.31.

Sales fell marginally to $8.8 billion in the quarter.