AkzoNobel "cautiously optimistic", reports earnings rise

21st October 2010, Comments 0 comments

The world's largest paint maker, Dutch-Swedish group AkzoNobel, reported a 21 percent rise in third-quarter net income Thursday to 238 million euros and expressed "cautious optimism" for the future.

While construction and housing markets remained "soft", evidence of sustained industrial demand "give reason for cautious optimism", a company statement said.

"Although there is reason for caution in mature markets, we are confident that we are in good shape to benefit from our geographic spread and leading positions," it quoted chief executive officer Hans Wijers as saying.

"AkzoNobel is confidently entering a period of accelerated and sustainable growth."

The company reported revenue of 3.87 billion euros (5.4 billion dollars) -- up 13 percent thanks partly to a four percent increase in volumes.

Revenues increased in all three business categories; decorative paints by eight percent, performance coatings by 18 percent and speciality chemicals by 15 percent.

Revenue in decorative paints was boosted by 30 percent growth in Asia and 25 percent in Latin America, offset by lower volumes in Europe, the statement said.

In mature economies, the weak housing and construction markets "show no signs of improvement", said the statement.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) was 574 million euros -- up nine percent from the same quarter of 2009.

AkzoNobel announced in September its ambition to achieve annual revenue of 20 billion euros (13.9 billion in 2009) -- half of it from developing countries like China and India.

The company employs more than 55,000 people in more than 80 countries, and makes well-known household paint brands like Dulux. It also makes industrial paint for planes, boats, mobile telephones and washing machines.

© 2010 AFP

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