Total sales grew 7.0% in Safety and Graphics; Industrial was flat; sales declined 2.8% in Health Care, 3.4% in Consumer and 4.8% in Electronics and Energy. Organic local-currency sales increased 2.3% in Electronics and Energy, 2.2% in Industrial, and 2.2% in Safety and Graphics; organic local-currency sales declined 1.1% in Health Care and 2.0% in Consumer.
“In the third quarter, 3M delivered a double-digit increase in cash flow and earnings-per-share, along with strong margins despite slower growth,” said Mike Roman, 3M CEO. “We also continued to deploy capital to invest in our future and return cash to our shareholders.
“Through nine months of the year, our global team posted organic growth of more than 3%, and we are positioned to deliver a solid 2018,” Roman continued. “Going forward, we remain focused on innovating for our customers and driving growth, while continuing to transform our enterprise.”
On a geographic basis, total sales grew 1.6% in Asia Pacific and 1.3% in the U.S.; total sales declined 3.9% in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and 5.5% in Latin America/Canada. Third-quarter GAAP earnings were $2.58 per share, an increase of 10.7% year-over-year. Operating income was $2.0 billion with operating margins of 24.7%.
The company’s operating cash flow was $2.1 billion, contributing to the conversion of 114% of net income to free cash flow. 3M paid $794 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $1.1 billion of its own shares during the quarter.