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CEO Hans Wijers: "Akzo Nobel is now a stronger company"

Published on 2005-01-14. Author : SpecialChem

Arnhem, the Netherlands -- "Akzo Nobel has become a better and stronger company over the last 12 months and is poised for a return to growth over the next few years." They were two of the key messages which Chairman Hans Wijers delivered to the Company's employees during this afternoon's traditional New Year's address, when he added that the strategic focus will be on targeting profitable growth opportunities around the globe without embarking on a reckless spending spree.

Speaking at Akzo Nobel's Arnhem HQ in the Netherlands, the CEO said that the Company outperformed its initial outlook for 2004 and financial room to maneuver had been created by selling three Chemicals businesses. Future growth will also be carefully mapped out in an effort to strengthen existing leadership positions and expand in selected markets that offer attractive investment potential.

Significant steps will also be taken during the coming years to develop Akzo Nobel into a 'Talent Factory' designed to move the Company further towards a high performance culture and create a more professional and efficient organization in which employees can thrive. Wijers, who will announce Akzo Nobel's annual results for 2004 early next month, stressed his commitment to maintaining Akzo Nobel's Business Units as the key operating building blocks of the Company. However, he also highlighted the significance of eliminating fragmentation in IT, HR and other support functions and underlined the importance of fully complying with regulatory demands in line with the Company's business principles.

"Regulators require more consistency and transparency in finance, control and compliance," he said. "We are building a culture which focuses on high performance and deep alignment with our business principles. We have established a more professional company over the last 12 months. 2005 will continue to be challenging, but we are well prepared to make this year a turning point for growth and build a company which we are all proud to work for."

Source: Akzo Nobel


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