Over the last few years, there have been two major phases in AkzoNobel’s corporate strategy. The first, from 2003 to 2007, was strongly focused on portfolio transformation. This phase included a series of divestments designed to transform our position in Specialty Chemicals, as well as the sale of our human and animal healthcare businesses, the acquisition of ICI and the on-sale of the ICI Adhesives and Electronic Materials business to Henkel. We completed the final step in this process in 2010 with the sale of National Starch to Corn Products International.
The second phase, which ran from 2008 to 2010, was focused on integration and restructuring. During this period, we were primarily occupied with improving efficiency in the business for two main reasons – to capture the synergy potential from the ICI acquisition and to respond to the global economic downturn. Both of these agenda items were essentially completed in 2010. Specifically:
- With regard to the ICI integration, we have now completed almost all actions. We delivered €340 million in synergy savings by the end of 2010. This exceeds, and was achieved faster, than our initial ambition of €270 million by 2011. Beyond the top line numbers, within Decorative Paints, we have reduced:
- Brands from 100 to 75 and will reduce to less than 50 by the end of 2012
- Stock keeping units (SKUs) from more than 90,000 to 75,000 and will reduce to less than 60,000 by the end of 2012
- Factories from 80 to 58 and will reduce to less than 50 by the end of 2012.
- With regard to restructuring, from 2008 to 2009, we promised €200 million in savings in partial response to the financial crisis. We over-achieved on this target, delivering €350 million by the end of 2009. During 2010, we continued our restructuring efforts in mature markets.
We have now started the next chapter of our strategy development, one of accelerated and sustainable growth. As has been the case throughout the two previous phases, the focus is on true leadership in Coatings and Specialty Chemicals. We continue to strongly believe that, to be the true leader, we must be the leader in terms of both value and values.