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3M CEO expects Covid demand for the corporate’s N95 masks to be robust all through 2021

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3M Chairman and CEO Mike Roman stated Tuesday the commercial large anticipates demand for its N95 respirator masks to be sturdy all through 2021, even because the administration of Covid vaccines drive hopes that the pandemic’s depth will start to wane.

The medical-grade masks are thought of the best choice to guard in opposition to an infection, they usually have been in want — and at instances, in scarcity — all through the well being disaster. St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M began to ramp up manufacturing of N95s a few 12 months in the past, simply because the novel coronavirus, which first emerged in China in late 2019, started to seize international concern.

“We do anticipate demand in our N95 respirator masks to be robust as we undergo the 12 months,” Roman stated Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Avenue.” “We see the demand, the necessity, from frontline health-care staff and first responders. That is nonetheless our precedence. We’re centered on delivering to their demand and in addition to some essential industries that require that N95 safety.”

Roman’s feedback got here after 3M reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter outcomes. Revenues of $8.58 billion beat Wall Avenue forecasts for $8.four billion, whereas earnings per share of $2.38 have been 23 cents above estimates.

For the complete 12 months, 3M reported 12.3% gross sales progress in its health-care section, which incorporates its respirator masks and merchandise akin to hand sanitizers. The corporate’s general gross sales of $32.2 billion in 2020 have been up 0.1% in contrast with 2019 figures.

3M stated it distributed 2 billion respirator masks throughout the globe final 12 months.

Along with the near-term want for its masks, Roman stated one other issue seemingly driving sustained demand is governments trying to replenish their stockpiles. For instance, in August, the Related Press reported that the U.S. authorities’s nationwide stockpile of private protecting gear for health-care staff on the time was almost depleted.

Shares of 3M have been increased by about 3% Tuesday to virtually $176 apiece — principally flat year-to-date and down barely over the previous 12 months.

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