AkzoNobel reports big loss on writedown
Dutch-Swedish chemical and paint maker AkzoNobel posted a loss of more than two billion euros for 2012 because of a slump in the decorative paints market, saying it expected another tough year ahead.
The Amsterdam-based multinational said in a statement Wednesday it posted a total loss of 2.169 billion euros ($2.89 billion) mainly resulting from a 2.1-billion-euro impairment charge relating to its decorative paint division in the third quarter of last year.
But it posted a five-percent rise in revenue, driven by favourable currencies and pricing, partially offset by the decline in volumes.
AkzoNobel proposed a 1.45 euro dividend for 2012.
The group, which makes paints including Dulux, said its decorative paints division was impacted by a weaker demand in European markets, while its speciality chemicals and performance coating arms continued strong performances, despite weaker demand and volumes.
The group however expected another tough year ahead.
Chief executive Ton Buchner said: "The economic environment remains challenging and we expect no fundamental changes in the trends that we have seen recently in our business."
AkzoNobel announced in December it was to sell its North American decorative paints division to US-based PPG in a 1.05 billion-dollar deal to focus more on Europe and "high-growth markets."
The group, which employs 55,000 people around the world, produces specialist paints and other chemical products used to make among other products detergents, paper and asphalt.
© 2013 AFP