Akzo Nobel N.V. recently reported a 7% revenue decrease in the 2013 first quarter compared with the same period last year, reportedly due to weak demand in European markets and divestments. Operating income for the first quarter was 8% lower at €217 million (~ $282 million). Revenue in Decorative Paints declined 5%, reportedly due primarily to lower volumes in Europe, price/mix effects and currencies. Operating income was €43 million (~ $55 million), an increase compared to the same period 2012, reflecting lower restructuring charges and lower costs in mature markets.

Performance Coatings revenue declined 3% compared with the previous year’s first quarter. Revenue in Specialty Chemicals was 11% lower due to divestments and lower volumes, mainly in construction-related products and the pulp bleaching and plastics industries.

“The economic environment remains challenging and we do not expect an early improvement in the trends that we see in our businesses,” said Keith Nichols, chief financial officer. “The acceleration of our performance improvement program and the strategic priorities announced in February are the right focus to have in these markets.”

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