The Decorative Paints business achieved significant growth throughout Asia during 2010, capturing market share in many regions while maintaining strong profitability. It was the best year on record for the company’s South East Asia & Pacific activities – which strengthened its number one position – and it was a similar story in the increasingly important markets of India and South Asia, where growth was robust and most regions booked record sales. Growth also soared in China, where we considerably outpaced the market, even though the Chinese market decelerated in the second half of the year due to unprecedented measures introduced by the central government to curb rising property prices.
We benefited from an aggressive growth strategy for Asia, which included improving distribution channels and making significant investments to build the Dulux brand. In India and South Asia, a revival in the real estate sector on the back of GDP growth and a record performance by the Dulux Pro institutional business helped drive double digit volume growth. In China – where we increased brand awareness and now have a presence in more than 600 cities – we successfully penetrated more tier two and tier three cities, with the mid-tier product range enjoying the highest growth rate among all product segments. A healthy economy in South East Asia & Pacific kept the paint market buoyant and we took full advantage.
The global Let’s Color campaign was launched in selected cities in China, which helped to further extend our color leadership. We also opened and upgraded close to 1,000 stores this year to accelerate the expansion of our controlled Chinese distribution footprint. We continued to launch a series of eco-premium products throughout 2010, notably our Dulux Weathershield Keep Cool heat reflective exterior paint with energy-saving and greenhouse-lessening properties, which was introduced throughout South East Asia & Pacific. A similar product, Dulux Weathershield SunReflect, was named Green Innovation of the Year in India. Along with the continued roll-out of the Singapore Green Label standard throughout our Dulux portfolio in South East Asia, this contributed to a very high percentage of eco-premium products in the business. Another highlight was the teaming up of Decorative Paints and Marine and Protective Coatings as the leading coatings suppliers to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
In India, AkzoNobel took the lead in driving sustainability by partnering with government, industry bodies, media and the artisan community. This was done by conducting workshops and heading panel discussions and forums. We also teamed up with Women on Wings, an organization dedicated to creating employment for a million low income women in rural areas of India before 2017. AkzoNobel will look for ways that paint can be used to help create some of these much-needed jobs. In China, we have continued to build the capability of our new Dulux Easy Paint service, a total service solution designed to unlock the potential of repainting millions of old homes in China. The Chinese business has also been focusing on building organizational and system capabilities to facilitate future growth. A relaunched mid-tier offering was successfully introduced in Indonesia under the Dulux brand, while consumers continued to be actively engaged through initiatives such as the I Love My City campaign in Vietnam and the Dulux Paint Bank safe paint disposal system in Malaysia.
Revenue in € millions