AkzoNobel’s first quarter volumes above expectation with robust pricing; Europe resilient and China rebounding

26 April 2023

Akzo Nobel N.V. (AKZA; AKZOY) publishes results for Q1 2023.

Highlights Q1 2023 (compared with Q1 2022)

  • Revenue up 5% and up 8% in constant currencies1
  • Pricing up 7%, more than offsetting increase of raw material and freight costs
  • Volumes 3% lower; Europe showing resilience, China rebounding
  • Operating income at €182M (2022: €232M); adjusted operating income2 at €218M (2022: €230M); ROS3 at 8.2% (2022: 9.1%)
  • Net cash from operating activities negative €50M (2022: negative €102M)
  • Intended acquisition of Chinese Decorative Paints business from Sherwin-Williams announced in April 2023; completion expected in the second half of 2023

AkzoNobel CEO, Greg Poux-Guillaume, commented: “In the first quarter of 2023, our key markets proved to be resilient despite unfavourable macroeconomic conditions. We delivered higher volumes than expected with healthy pricing dynamics, leading to further margin expansion.

“We were able to achieve a strong sequential improvement in profitability based on solid margin management, better than anticipated volumes in Europe and rebound in China, benefiting both Paints and Coatings. We also announced our intention to acquire a small but complementary decorative paints business in China, which will further strengthen our number two retail position in this important and profitable market.”

AkzoNobel in € millions Q1 2022 Q1 2023 Δ% Δ% CC1
Revenue 2,525 2,657 5% 8%
Operating income 232 182 (22%)  
Adjusted operating income2 230 218 (5%)  
ROS3 9.1% 8.2%    

Recent highlights

Colourful project lights up Rotterdam’s Euromast

The Euromast in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, was recently at the center of a special art installation – with help from AkzoNobel. The structure, which already features our Sikkens and International products, became a towering backdrop for Jacco Olivier’s animation Perpetuum – part of the AkzoNobel Art Foundation collection. The projection was staged during Rotterdam Art Week 2023.

Taking aircraft maintenance to new heights of efficiency

Airlines and operators now have the opportunity to optimise the paint maintenance schedules for their entire fleets thanks to the Aerofleet Coatings Management system developed by our Aerospace Coatings business. The data-driven service helps to ensure that aircraft are only repainted when needed, resulting in cost savings for airlines and less waste.

Atlantis the Royal hotel opened in Dubai

Dubai’s newest luxury resort hotel – Atlantis the Royal – opened its doors recently after being coated with products supplied by the Powder Coatings business. The impressive hotel features the Interpon D2525 range, which gives a stunning natural glow to the aluminium girders without the weight, cost and installation difficulties that come from using traditional core materials, such as natural stone and glass reinforced concrete.

2023 Outlook*

AkzoNobel expects the ongoing macroeconomic uncertainties to continue and weigh on organic volume growth. The company will focus on margin management, cost reduction, working capital normalisation and de-leveraging.

Cost reduction programmes are expected to mitigate the ongoing pressure from inflation in operating expenses for 2023. AkzoNobel expects declining raw material costs to have a favourable impact on profitability.

Based on current market conditions, AkzoNobel targets to deliver €1.2 to €1.5bn adjusted EBITDA.

The company aims to lower its leverage ratio to less than 3.4 times net debt/EBITDA, including the impact of the Kansai Paint Africa acquisition, by the end of 2023 and return to around 2 times post-2023.


*Targets are based on organic volumes and constant currencies and assume no significant market disruptions

1 Constant currencies calculations exclude the impact of changes in foreign exchange rates

2 Adjusted operating income = operating income excluding identified items

3 Return on sales (ROS) is adjusted operating income as percentage of revenue

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