AkzoNobel provides plan update

AkzoNobel has forecast a €100m increase in operating profit for 2017, as well as revealed plans to separate its chemicals unit.

The Dutch firm, which has been the target of a PPG takeover, revealed first quarter earnings before income tax rose 13% year-on-year to €376m, while sales were up seven per cent at €3.7bn. It also revealed plans to split the business into two units – one focused on paints and the other on specialty chemicals – a move it claims could be completed within 12 months and would boost growth and achieve €50m of cost savings.

Head of AkzoNobel, Ton Buechner said, ‘Now is the right time to create two focused, high-performing businesses. This strategy will create substantial value for shareholders, with significantly less risks and uncertainties compared to alternatives.’

US rival, PPG Industries has offered to pay more than €22bn for AkzoNobel.