Akzo Nobel CEO outlines new strategy and targets at company’s Fit For the Future conference
Arnhem, the Netherlands, October 19, 2006 — Akzo Nobel has announced strategic plans designed to accelerate profitable growth and drive the company’s ongoing commitment to establishing leadership positions in key coatings and chemicals markets around the world.
Speaking to investors, analysts and the media at the company’s Fit For the Future conference in London today, CEO Hans Wijers unveiled the company’s growth strategy and new targets for the next three years.
“We have developed a comprehensive, highly focused strategy for our Coatings/Chemicals activities which will launch Akzo Nobel into an exciting new era,” said Wijers. “We have successfully turned around a number of underperforming businesses and implemented several highly successful restructuring programs and the company is now ready to accelerate growth across the portfolio.”
He added that dedication and skilful management had been vital in steering the company into the current position of financial strength.
Key drivers for profitable growth
Commenting on the company’s growth strategy, Wijers said that having created room to maneuver, Akzo Nobel can now take full advantage, with innovations, acquisitions and greenfield investments being three of the key drivers for top-line growth.
“Organic growth—such as various expansions in China—and acquisitions—including the recent Coatings deals involving Sico and Flood—are the backbone of our expansion strategy and are helping to create strong, profitable businesses,” continued Wijers. “We already hold a number of leading positions and implementation of our highly focused strategy should enable us to make further investments and deliver on our growth ambitions. We are committed to developing all areas of our portfolio, as well as investing more in innovation and enhancing our customer focus.”
New strategic targets
Outlining the new targets, Wijers explained that over the next three years, Akzo Nobel intends to outpace growth in its chosen markets and is also aiming for an operational ROI (return on capital) of more than 20 percent, as well as maintaining its A- rating. Further reducing the cost base in mature markets by EUR 100 million is an important element of this strategy. These targets, said Wijers, are geared towards creating substantial shareholder value.
Fit for the future
“These are exciting times and we are fit for the future” added Wijers. “But our focus is not purely on numbers. Because Akzo Nobel is committed to excellence in all aspects of its global activities and we will strive to continue improving and setting challenging targets, be that in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility, employee development or further enhancing our reputation for high class customer service.”