Akzo Nobel N.V. recently reported first quarter revenue of €3.97 billion (~ $5.24 billion), an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2011, mainly driven by pricing actions to offset higher raw material costs. Net income from continuing operations was €70 million (~ $92 million), compared to €132 million (~ $174 million) in the same period last year, due to higher incidental charges.
Decorative Paints achieved a revenue increase of 4% in the first quarter, primarily driven by margin management in weak markets. Restructuring and cost reduction actions are reportedly under way in Europe and North America to offset weaker demand.
In Performance Coatings, revenue increased 11% and EBITDA was up 15% compared with the previous year. Industrial Coatings—boosted by acquisition activity—achieved the strongest growth, followed by Marine and Protective Coatings. Although overall activity levels were flat, there was significant variability between individual segments.
Specialty Chemicals revenue was up 4%, mainly due to the Boxing Oleochemicals acquisition and a positive price/mix effect. EBITDA was 2% lower, reflecting different trading conditions in certain businesses.
“We are continuing to focus on performance improvement,” said Hans Wikers, CEO. “Our global margin management efforts are also proving successful as we continue to mitigate the adverse effects of higher raw material costs. However, our volumes were down slightly, reflecting the volatile nature of the economic conditions. Despite these challenges, we have solid fundamentals, renowned brands and a strong geographic spread. Furthermore, the ongoing performance improvement program shows that we are taking the right steps towards achieving our medium-term ambitions.”
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