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Conglomerate 3M weathered 2020 thanks to its diverse slate of businesses. While sales in many segments tumbled because of the pandemic, they rose in others. In the positive column were home improvement products (credit all those renovations during lockdown); personal safety items (production of N95 respirators tripled); and filters for biotech labs (as pharma companies pushed to create COVID-19 vaccines). But some of 3M’s other big businesses suffered, including industrial products and office supplies. That’s partly because corporate customers slowed their manufacturing and consumers switched to remote work and therefore didn’t need as many Post-it notes. The result: flat revenue of $32.2 billion in 2020 and profits of $5.38 billion, up nearly 18%.
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