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(Jim Mone/The Associated Press)
(Jim Mone/The Associated Press)

China, India lift 3M profit Add to ...

Industrial and consumer goods conglomerate 3M Co. reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by sales to emerging markets, and raised its full-year profit forecast.

3M posted net earnings of $1.08-billion, or $1.49 per share, compared with $930-million, or $1.29 per share a year earlier. Analysts on average expected profit of $1.44 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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Sales rose 15 per cent to $7.31-billion, ahead of Wall Street forecasts of $6.95-billion.

"Our businesses are growing most everywhere in the world," chief executive officer George Buckley said in a statement.

3M said emerging markets account for more than a third of its sales. India sales jumped 30 per cent this quarter, China and Hong Kong sales rose 27 per cent and revenue from Brazil was up by a quarter.

Revenue at 3M's industrial and transportation segment, its largest by sales, rose 17 per cent, helped by demand from the aerospace and energy industries.

The maker of Scotch tape, Post-It notes, industrial abrasives and health care and electronics products expects 2011 profit of $6.05 to $6.25 a share, despite a negative impact from Japan's earthquake and nuclear crisis. In January, it forecast 2011 profit between $5.95 and $6.20 a share.

The crisis cut first-quarter earnings by about 3 cents a share and will reduce full-year profit by 10 cents to 13 cents, 3M said.

3M has a higher exposure to Japan than most of its industrial peers, with 9 per cent of sales generated there. It sells to auto and electronics businesses in Japan that have seen production disruptions since the March earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis.

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