Akzo sees net decline on North American sales

Akzo Nobel, the Dutch paint and coatings manufacturer, saw earnings decline in the third quarter to 281 million euros (US$400 million), down 10.2 percent from 313 million euros (US$450 million) in the same period last year.

Total revenue rose slightly to $2.6 billion from $2.55 billion in the same period last year, a 2 percent gain.

The company called this a “transformational year,” noting particularly its $16 billion buyout bid for Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), the United Kingdom-based parent of Dulux, Glidden and Liquid Nails.

The company said it expects the acquisition of ICI to create the second largest paint company in the United States, next to Sherwin-Williams. Still, Akzo’s third-quarter earnings primarily were hurt by the decline in the U.S. housing market.

Higher demand and commensurate higher unit costs in Asia and Europe helped offset lost business in the United States, the company said.

“The prolonged correction in the North American residential construction industry has led to soft demand in the North American-based and the Asian export driven businesses,” the company said in a statement. “Nevertheless, all key financial measures remained sound.”

Akzo’s bid for ICI has yet to gain shareholder and regulatory approval. Akzo manufactures paints and coatings under the names Crown, Sikken and Schoenox, among others, with operations in 60 countries.

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