AkzoNobel, the world’s largest manufacturer of paint and coatings, has reported that its 2012 revenue was up 5% to Eu15.4bn.
The company is accelerating its strategic plan for the growth that has been implemented since the arrival of CEO Ton Büchner in 2012.
AkzoNobel have achieved their position as the largest paint and coatings manufacturer through a large number of acquisitions. Mr Büchner plans to move the company to a more organic growth model and away from continued acquisitions of smaller firms.
Mr Büchner also promised to tackle the complexity within the company that the large number of acquisitions has produced. “We are going to be driving simplicity within AkzoNobel by aligning products, standardising processes and driving best practice through the organisation to become more efficient.”
“It will need innovation spend both on processes and on the product and sometimes replacing several products with a new one to reduce the complexity of manufacturing.”
Mr Büchner claimed that the targets in the plan, “are better, we have an underlying expectation of growth but we are moving away from revenue targets and we are looking at quality of earning over revenue growth.”
The sale of Decorative Paints North America to PPG Industries for $1.5bn was also addressed during the press conference. Mr Büchner said that the North American outfit was “not in a strong position and was a logical sale.” The company are looking to focus on their European operation and continued growth in emerging markets.
High growth markets already account for 44% of the company’s revenue and could go above 50% by the end of 2015. AkzoNobel has seen growth returning to China, not to pre-recession rates, but at levels that are significantly higher than Europe and North America.
AkzoNobel owns Dulux and broke ground on their new £100m factory in Ashington, Northumberland in June 2012. The factory, which is replacing facilities in Prudhoe and Slough, is currently being built and will be at full production by 2014.
Keith Nichols, AkzoNobel’s CFO said that, “surprisingly some of capital expenditures over the last 18 months have been in the UK.”
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