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.
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.