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Akzo Nobel publishes results for fourth quarter and full-year 2021

Highlights Q4 2021 (compared with Q4 2020)

• Pricing up 12.5%; December pricing up 14%

• Revenue up 9% and 7% higher in constant currencies1. Compared with Q4 2019*, revenue was up 12% in constant currencies

• Volumes 6% lower, flat compared with Q4 2019

• Operating income at €205 million (2020: €243 million)

• Adjusted operating income2 at €209 million (2020: €294 million) despite raw material and other variable costs increases of €325 million

• €1 billion share buyback completed in January 2022

• €500 million share buyback announced, to be completed by Q1 2023
• Final dividend proposed of €1,54 per share (2020: €1,52 per share)

Highlights full-year 2021 (compared with full-year 2020)

• Pricing up 7%

• Revenue up 12% and 14% higher in constant currencies. Compared with 2019, revenue up 9% in constant currencies

• Operating income up 16% at €1,118 million (2020: €963 million)

• Adjusted operating income at €1,092 million (2020: €1,099 million) despite raw material and other variable costs increases of €769 million

*The 2019 comparatives are included in this release to allow for proper comparison in light of the COVID-19 impact in 2020.

AkzoNobel CEO, Thierry Vanlancker, commented:

“With our full-year 2021 results we delivered a sixth consecutive quarter of revenue growth. Our teams were quick to act with strong pricing in response to around 770 million euros of raw material inflation. This extraordinary achievement allowed us to deliver a 2021 profit in line with prior year. As we continue to drive forward, we are on track to offset this headwind by Q1 2022.

“I’m proud of the resilience of our people and the energy we’re putting into delivering on our Grow & Deliver strategy. AkzoNobel being named a Top Employer in eight countries this year is a great example of how our organization is well placed to deal with the challenging business environment. At the same time, we’re continuing with our widely recognized People. Planet. Paint. approach and are setting the standard by being the first paints and coatings company to have sustainability targets officially validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.”

Recent highlights
Preserving sporting history

We have coated the impressive Centenario Stadium in Uruguay, which was built to host the first-ever FIFA World Cup in 1930. The stadium has just been renovated and our Inca brand provided a valuable assist by supplying 12,000 liters of paint. An important consideration was using colors that respected the essence of the original project by architect Juan Antonio Scasso. As well as coating exteriors and the stands, our products were also used in the changing rooms, the tunnel and the interior warm-up areas.

Leading the way in sustainability

In 2021, we became the first paints and coatings company to receive official validation for setting science-based sustainability targets. The commitment we’ve made – a 50% carbon reduction by 2030 (2018 baseline) – covers the full value chain and is aligned with the 1.5˚C pathway in the Paris agreement. The validation was confirmed just a few weeks before we became one of the first recipients of the Terra Carta Seal, a major new sustainability award launched at COP26. We were the only paints and coatings company to receive the honor.

Membership of Responsible Mica Initiative formalized

We formalized our membership of the Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI), having been one of the founding members when it was launched in 2017. Used in a wide range of industries, mica minerals are mined extensively in India, where a variety of factors contribute to poor working conditions, including the use of child labor. The RMI’s mission is to establish responsible and sustainable mica supply chains that are free of child labor. Following the RMI’s pilot year, we continued to focus on the issue and a commitment was made to conduct serious due diligence and look for creative ways to contribute to the initiative – which has now resulted in full membership.   

Bringing color to the community

As part of our global “Let’s Colour” program, we teamed up with a community of mural artists in Bandung, Indonesia, to paint the walls of the Saparua Sports Center. The venue is a cultural heritage hub for sports, creativity, arts and music.

Protecting a record breaker

We coated the hugely impressive Ain Dubai, the world’s highest and largest Ferris wheel. It’s now officially open to visitors, who get a stunning 360˚ view from its 48 passenger capsules. Measuring a dizzying 250 meters and featuring more than 9,000 tons of steel, we were sole supplier of protective coatings for the massive structure. The specification – from our International brand – is designed to deliver maximum protection, as well as offering outstanding color and gloss retention

World’s brightest startups join Paint the Future bootcamp

Our latest Paint the Future global startup challenge has invited 10 finalists to participate in a three-day bootcamp due to take place in Amsterdam in March 2022. They’ll meet our experts face-to-face to explore potential collaborations together. The jury-selected winners will be announced during the event’s closing ceremony. They will receive a prestigious Paint the Future award and a collaboration agreement to work together with AkzoNobel on sustainable business opportunities.

Endless powder coating possibilities

Our new Interpon W range of innovative powder on wood coatings achieved its first commercial successes in 2021. Designed for heat-sensitive substrates (both indoors and outdoors), it’s a smart system which enables a variety of heat-sensitive materials to be coated in a durable, sustainable and more efficient manner. Suitable for interior design, automotive and architecture, the product range also includes special solutions for anti-microbial surfaces and food contact.

Outlook:

AkzoNobel targets to grow at or above its relevant markets, in line with its Grow & Deliver strategy. Trends differ per region and segment, while raw material cost inflation and supply constraints are expected to gradually ease by mid-2022. Plans are in place to deliver the €2 billion adjusted EBITDA target for 2023, and an average annual 50 basis points increase in return on sales over the period 2021-2023. AkzoNobel targets a leverage ratio of 1-2 times net debt/EBITDA and commits to retain a strong investment grade credit rating.

The report for the fourth quarter and full-year 2021 can be viewed and downloaded https://akzo.no/results-2021

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Source: AkzoNobel

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