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AkzoNobel Decorative Paints
Europe


Antoine Fady: Managing Director Continental Europe; Ruud Joosten: Managing Director Northern and Eastern Europe; Richard Stuckes: Managing Director UK, Ireland and South Africa, Building Adhesives (photo)
Antoine Fady
Managing Director Continental Europe
Ruud Joosten
Managing Director Northern and Eastern Europe
Richard Stuckes
Managing Director UK, Ireland and South Africa, Building Adhesives

Revenue in € millions

Decorative Paints Europe – Revenue in € millions (bar chart)

Overview

Despite the significant market decline, AkzoNobel Decorative Paints Europe performed well in many regions, maintaining or increasing market share. Most of the negative impact of lower volumes was offset by tight cost control and restructuring. The integration of the former ICI businesses continued, with the related synergy benefits being achieved earlier – and in some cases to a higher extent – than originally expected.

Analysis

The early part of 2009 was particularly difficult, although there was some improvement evident as the year came to an end. Streamlining the portfolio – reducing the number of products to concentrate on key strategic brands – had a positive affect, while active margin management helped boost results in many countries, notably Sweden, Turkey and Poland. Although market conditions were unfavorable, we continued to invest in promoting our brands and in new innovations and this helped to protect margins and grow market share.

Downturn

Sales across Europe were heavily impacted by the downturn. The Baltics and the Ukraine were among the worst hit, while Ireland, South Africa and the Nordics also faced very tough trading conditions. The UK do-it-yourself market probably performed better during the recession in 2009 than any other major market in Europe. Our results there were driven by inspirational advertising and communication campaigns and new product launches. Furthermore, despite the challenging economy, we continued to expand our integrated approach to sustainability in all aspects of our business.

Actions

We completely refocused our activities in Continental Europe, where the economic climate forced us to reorganize deeper and broader than first anticipated. This was part of the strategic plan to move away from localized operations to a more Europe-wide organization. We shut down factories in the Ukraine and the Czech Republic and announced additional closures in Poland and France. There are also plans to continue reducing the number of product brands and formulations, which will bring about more savings and simplify our business. This will result in a further improvement in operating working capital, which fell significantly during the year.

Developments

The Dulux PaintPod Compact was introduced, while the Flexa brand was successfully relaunched in the Netherlands and a new range of Dulux trim paints went on sale in France. This year also saw the introduction of the unique Dulux online color testers service, which enables customers to choose from more than 1,900 colors online and then have tester pots delivered to their door. We also launched a variety of VOC compliant paints across the region ahead of the 2010 deadline. In Poland, we successfully scaled up our Pilawa plant, strengthening its position as one of the company’s key European sites. We also benefited from preparations for forthcoming high profile events, having supplied products for venues being used at the 2010 soccer World Cup in South Africa and the London Olympics in 2012. In addition, approval was obtained for a single one kit Schönox building adhesive waterproofing system which enables us to sell in all our European markets.

Key brands

Decorative Paints Europe – Key brands (logos)
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Copyright © 2010 Akzo Nobel N.V.