Akzo Nobel reports record profitability

Akzo Nobel reports record profitability in 2016 with the return on sales increasing to 10.6% - up from 9.8% last time - and the return on investment improving to 15.0% from 14.0% in 2015.

Revenues were 4% down at €14,197m due to unfavourable currency and price/mix effects but earnings before interest and tax rose by 3% to €1,502m.

Chief executive Ton Buchner said: "We achieved record levels of profitability in 2016 and are making further steps in delivering on our strategy of continuous improvement and growth.

"Our financial discipline also improved cash generation and our current share buyback program reinforces our confidence in this moving forward.

"We have structurally improved our ability to respond to developments in our markets and are better able to seize growth opportunities, including acquisitions.

"We completed the purchase of the BASF Industrial Coatings business in December 2016.

"We continued to invest to support growth, with new plants and research facilities in the US, UK, China and India.

"Throughout the year we introduced more innovative new products, advanced our digital agenda and made significant steps in sustainability with higher levels of revenue from our eco premium solutions.

"Our Human Cities program - everything we do for and with society - positively impacted millions of people around the world.

"We are now a stronger, more agile company, with excellent brands, a growing global presence and a solid financial and operational foundation.

"We maintain our financial guidance for 2016-2018."