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Product innovation

It was a very successful year in terms of introducing exciting new paints to the market, with innovation and sustainability being hallmarks of our latest products. The biggest success was in the UK, Ireland and South Africa region, where the award-winning Dulux PaintPod easy roller system enjoyed one of the most successful launches in the history of do-it-yourself (DIY) in the UK. It surpassed forecasted sales targets within six months. The launch of Dulux Ecosure for the trade sector also proved to be particularly successful in this region. Ecosure reduces environmental impact without compromising performance and was used to coat the UK’s first carbon-neutral house. Other major launches included Hammerite Metalmaster – the first ever product which can paint both sides of railings and intricate metal surfaces at once – and Dulux Trade Light & Space, which uses Lumitec, the latest in paint technology to reflect substantially more light back into a room by reducing the amount of light the painted surfaces absorb.

The relaunch of Dulux Valentine wall paints in France proved to be very successful for our Central Europe organization. The business also introduced the VOC1 compliant Sikkens Rubbol Plus range and is poised to launch a number of innovative products during early 2009, including the Dulux Ecosure paint range and the Dulux PaintPod system.

In Northern and Eastern Europe, new equipment was installed at the Rapla facility in Estonia for the manufacture of next generation resins for low VOC woodcare products. A number of special effect coatings are also being prepared for launch. All our major products will meet the planned 2012 VOC legislative requirements at least two years before required. In Building Adhesives, the development of dust-reduced cement products played a major role in innovation. With the tile adhesives Schönox PFK-Plus and Schönox SLK, and the floor leveling compound Schönox SP-X, we launched three products based on the new technology.

1 Volatile Organic Compound.

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