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Akzo Nobel positioned for new growth

Published on 2004-11-16. Author : SpecialChem

Arnhem, the Netherlands -- Akzo Nobel, the international pharmaceuticals, coatings and chemicals company, is set for a return to growth over the coming years, benefiting from the Company's successful restructurings, investments in innovative products and growth markets, and its strengthened financial position.

Speaking at Akzo Nobel's annual Fall Analyst Meeting in London, CEO Hans Wijers, said: "Akzo Nobel has reached a turning point for renewed growth. Our efforts to fix Pharma and increase the cash generation and growth potential of our businesses have put the Company in a strong position for the future.

"Our medium-term human pharmaceuticals pipeline is promising and the growth of Coatings will accelerate as we expand our global leadership organically and through acquisitions, while continuing to improve financial returns. Also, following the completion of the recent divestment program and the wide-ranging restructuring efforts, Chemicals is now showing a satisfying performance.

Wijers - who is scheduled to address investors at a similar meeting in New York - also took the opportunity to discuss plans for accelerating the growth of Coatings, expanding on Akzo Nobel's global number one position. "Growth in mature markets will be powered by technological innovation, delivering superior new products to our customers, and by in-fill and bolt-on acquisitions where we see an opportunity to add value to our portfolio," he said. "In emerging markets, we will aggressively expand our position, mainly by greenfield investments. China is our fastest growing market, with sales set to double in the next five years."

With regards to Chemicals, Wijers stated: "While enjoying the benefits of the ongoing restructuring efforts, under new leadership we are now having a detailed look at various chemicals activities, focusing on strong leadership positions and improved financial performance."

He added: "The Company faces the future from a position of strength, and will maintain a solid financial position. We have streamlined the businesses, increased efficiency, reduced debt and focused our investments on the most promising areas. We will continue to assess the best avenues for long-term value creation, while maintaining excellent business performance and preparing the foundation for renewed growth."

Source: Akzo Nobel

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