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AkzoNobel Industrial Finishes


Our focus during the year was on cost control, maintaining strong margin performance and improving operational efficiency in order to contend with falling demand in most of our key markets. We continued to position ourselves for long-term growth and realized general market share gains, while our efforts to develop sustainable technologies resulted in several important innovations.

Business performance

Overall demand was down in most of our key markets – particularly wood coatings – stemming primarily from the US housing recession, which was the catalyst for a global industrial downturn. The situation in the US also impacted our Asia business because a lot of outsourced manufacturing related to North American residential construction takes place there. By the third quarter we started to see this slowdown shift to our Wood Coatings business throughout Europe, where a dip in commercial construction also affected our Coil activities. However, Wood Adhesives achieved good market share gains.

Operational efficiency

We were fully focused on managing our business within the demands of the challenging new global economic environment. Due to tight cost control, capacity rationalization and a strong focus on margin management, we achieved a respectable financial performance under severe economic constraints. Our people deserve a lot of credit. They stepped up to the plate under adverse conditions and have done an excellent job of managing cost and margins. In addition, general market share gains were realized and we secured a number of significant contracts in many of our businesses for 2009. Our businesses are structurally sound and we are well positioned for the long-term and any global economic rebound.

Bob Taylor, Managing Director Industrial Finishes (photo)

Bob Taylor
Managing Director Industrial Finishes

Revenue Industrial Activities1
In € millions

Revenue – Industrial Finishes (bar chart)
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