media release

AkzoNobel publishes Q4 and full-year 2016 results

Volume growth and record profitability in 2016

Akzo Nobel N.V. (AKZA.AS; AKZOY)

Full year:

  • Delivering on our strategy with volume growth and record profitability in 2016
  • Volume growth in Decorative Paints and Specialty Chemicals; flat in Performance Coatings
  • Revenue down 4% due to unfavorable currency and price/mix effects
  • EBIT1 up 3% at €1,502 million (2015: €1,462 million), positively impacted by volume growth,  continuous improvement and lower costs
  • Record profitability: Return on sales2 increased to 10.6% (2015: 9.8%) and return on investment2 improved to 15.0% (2015: 14.0%)
  • Adjusted earnings per share up 3% at €4.15 (2015: €4.02)
  • Total dividend proposed for 2016 up 6.5% to €1.65 per share (2015: €1.55)
  • Net cash inflow from operating activities up 14% at €1,297 million (2015: €1,136 million)
  • Acquisition of BASF’s Industrial Coatings business completed 
  • Ongoing investments in new capacity to support organic growth including in the US, UK, China and India
  • Sustainable innovation: Revenue from eco premium3 solutions reached 20%

Q4 report website
Q4 and full-year 2016 report
Q4 and full-year 2016 facts and figures
Download the full infographic

Outlook: In 2017 AkzoNobel anticipates positive developments for EMEA, North America and Asia, improving during the year, while Latin America is expected to stabilize. Some economic and political uncertainty is expected to remain. Market trends experienced in the second part of 2016, including for the marine and oil & gas industries, are expected to continue in the first half 2017. 

AkzoNobel has structurally improved its ability to respond to developments in its markets and is taking appropriate measures to deal with higher raw material prices in an inflationary environment. This stronger operational and financial foundation means AkzoNobel is more agile and better able to seize growth opportunities, including acquisitions. AkzoNobel maintains its financial guidance for 2016-2018.

CEO Ton Büchner:
“We achieved record levels of profitability in 2016 and are making further steps in delivering on our strategy of continuous improvement and growth.

“Our financial discipline also improved cash generation and our current share buyback program reinforces our confidence in this moving forward.

“We have structurally improved our ability to respond to developments in our markets and are better able to seize growth opportunities, including acquisitions. We completed the purchase of the BASF Industrial Coatings business in December 2016.

“We continued to invest to support growth, with new plants and research facilities in the US, UK, China and India.

“Throughout the year we introduced more innovative new products, advanced our digital agenda and made significant steps in sustainability with higher levels of revenue from our eco premium solutions. Our Human Cities program – everything we do for and with society – positively impacted millions of people around the world.

“We are now a stronger, more agile company, with excellent brands, a growing global presence and a solid financial and operational foundation. We maintain our financial guidance for 2016-2018.”

Full-year 2016 in € million   
 FY 2015FY 2016Δ %
Return on sales (ROS) %29.810.6 
Return on investment (ROI) %214.015.0 
Net income attributable to shareholders979970(1)


Q4 2016 in € million   
 Q4 2015Q4 2016Δ %
Return on sales (ROS) %27.56.8 
Net income attributable to shareholders203133*(34)

* Mainly due to lower incidental items compared to 2015

Performance Coatings: Full-year volume was flat as growth in some segments was offset by adverse conditions in the marine and oil & gas industries. Demand trends differed per segment and region. Revenue was down 5%, driven by adverse currencies and price/mix effects. AkzoNobel’s Vehicle Refinishes business launched Colorvation digital technology, a unique system to increase speed and accuracy in color matching for body shops, maximizing productivity and profitability.

Decorative Paints: Full-year volumes were up 3% overall with positive developments in Asia and EMEA, while volumes in Latin America were down. Positive volumes were more than offset by unfavorable currency effects and adverse price/mix. Revenue was down 4%. The company won a key award for its wet color tester in the Netherlands; it is now being rolled out into other markets, part of ongoing efforts to help consumers make more confident color choices.  

Specialty Chemicals: Full-year volumes were up 1%, with positive developments, mainly driven by Asia and Europe. Revenue was down 4% with positive volume developments more than offset by price deflation in several markets. Continuing the focus on growth markets, AkzoNobel inaugurated two new plants in Ningbo, China, and announced a further facility in Tianjin. The company also announced a joint venture with Atul to set up a monochloroacetic acid plant in India.

Continuous improvement
AkzoNobel is on track with a multi-year program to transform its global functions into a standard operating model to better support the business to drive growth and innovation. In addition, 75% of the company’s manufacturing sites have now deployed the AkzoNobel Leading Performance System (ALPS), designed to increase productivity and performance.

AkzoNobel completed the acquisition of BASF’s Industrial Coatings business in the fourth quarter. This business is expected to generate sales of around €280 million in 2017. It strengthens the company’s position as the global number one supplier in coil coatings, and gives it a full-service offering for the protection and maintenance of wind turbines. The deal includes manufacturing plants in the UK and South Africa.

Sustainability, Human Cities and Innovation 
AkzoNobel led a unique partnership with Google, Philips and DSM to jointly source power from renewable energy projects in the Netherlands. It also introduced an essential ingredient, Dissolvine M-40, to help detergent manufacturers meet strict environmental regulations. The company’s  Human Cities initiatives helped regenerate areas around the world, including Rotterdam, Shanghai, China, Quito, Ecuador; and Montevideo, Uruguay, making people’s lives more liveable and inspiring.


Decorative Paints      
Q4 2015Q4 2016Δ% FY 2015FY 2016Δ%
4.95.7 ROS %28.69.3 
Performance Coatings      
Q4 2015Q4 2016Δ% FY 2015FY 2016Δ%
13.010.9 ROS %213.313.4 
Specialty Chemicals      
Q4 2015Q4 2016Δ% FY 2015FY 2016Δ%
7.710.1 ROS %211.613.2

More information on our financial guidance can be found on

1.    Operating income excluding incidental items.
2.    ROS% is EBIT divided by revenue.  Moving average ROI% is 12 months EBIT divided by 12 months average invested capital
3.    Eco premium  solutions and services deliver environmental or social benefits for our customers when compared with competitive products



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