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Akzo Nobel, the Dutch coatings and chemicals company, reported earnings fell in the first quarter compared with a year earlier as price rises failed to keep up with higher raw material costs.
The world’s largest paint manufacturer said revenues rose 6 per cent year on year to €3.97bn. But earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation fell 3 per cent to €423m, largely because of higher prices for fuel and titanium dioxide, a key ingredient.
Hans Wijers, chief executive, said the company had raised prices to “mitigate the adverse effects of higher raw material costs. However, our volumes were down slightly, reflecting the volatile nature of the economic conditions.”
Volume fell 3 per cent year on year, with declines in each of the company’s three divisions – decorative paints, performance coatings, and speciality chemicals. However, performance coatings was a bright spot, with ebitda up 15 per cent.
The company said that in addition to the ongoing economic troubles in Europe, weak consumer demand in North America had hurt sales of decorative paints.
Net profit fell to €70m, down 47 per cent from a year earlier.
Shares were down 2 per cent to €42.25 at the close of trading on the Amsterdam exchange.