3M’s Global Focus, by Brian Gorman

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The St. Paul, Minn.-based firm indicated that it is seeing slowing growth in the developed world and is getting “mixed signals” from economic indicators. As a result, 3M is counting on the developing world to provide for its future growth. Countries like China, Russia, Brazil, and India will account for almost half of the firm’s total growth in coming years, according to company CEO W. James McNerney, Jr. Of course, 3M is no stranger to international sales, as 60.6% of total revenue in 2004 came from overseas.
The emphasis on developing markets, though, presents new opportunities and challenges. 3M has had success in these countries in most of its business units, which include consumer products, communications, and health care. This fact suggests that growth in developing countries is broad-based. Nor is 3M’s success the only indicator of developing countries’ growing importance — many of Boeing’s recent sales successes have come from India and China, while Monsanto is seeing growing sales in places like Brazil and India.
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Source: The Motley Fool