The industrial giant 3M joins the wave of massive layoffs, which until now had mainly affected technology companies.
The American company based in Maplewood (Minnesota) announced on Tuesday the layoff of 2,500 industrial workers worldwide.
This is the largest downsizing undertaken by the company, which has some 95,000 employees, in more than a decade.
"We expect macroeconomic challenges to persist into 2023," company president and CEO Mike Roman said in a statement.
“Our objective is to execute the actions that we started in 2022 and offer the best performance to clients and shareholders.
Based on what we see in our end markets, we will reduce approximately 2,500 global manufacturing positions, a necessary decision to align with adjusted production volumes,” he added.
The maker of Post-it notes and numerous consumer and industrial products has informed the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it will take a pre-tax charge of $75 million to $100 million in the first quarter. 2023 due to the restructuring costs associated with the downsizing.
The company has published its annual results, which reflect a drop in revenue due to the strength of the dollar and the slowdown in demand.
Declines in consumer markets accelerated in December, coupled with a significant slowdown in China due to covid-related shocks.
“As demand weakened, we adjusted production and controlled costs, which allowed us to improve inventory levels,” the company says.
In the fourth quarter of the year, turnover fell 6.2%, to 8,079 million dollars (about 7,435 million euros at the current exchange rate) and in the whole of 2022 it fell 3.2%, to 34,229 million dollars.
Net profit plunged 60% in the fourth quarter to $541 million, partly due to a one-time charge for production abandonment of perfluoroalkyls (PFAS), a group of chemical agents that are not they degrade and can accumulate over time, with detrimental effects on human health.
Because of this collapse in profit in the fourth quarter, the result also fell for the year as a whole (2.4%, up to 5,777 million).
For the year that begins, the company forecasts a drop in sales of 2% to 6%.
Added to the weakening of demand in general is the effect of Russia's withdrawal, the lower production of disposable respirators, the impact of exchange rates and some divestments.
The company also expects a drop in adjusted earnings per share of close to 10%.