Akzo Nobel N.V. published its results for the fourth quarter and full-year 2020.


Highlights full-year 2020

  • 15% ROS excluding unallocated cost1, delivering on its 15 by 20 promise;
  • ROI excluding unallocated cost up at 20.6%, exceeding the company’s 2020 ambition;
  • €243 million of cost savings, of which €115 million structural savings;
  • Net cash from operating activities significantly increased to €1,220 million;
  • €545 million share buyback in 2020
  • €1 billion share buyback announced, to be completed in Q1 2022;
  • Final dividend proposed of €1.52 (2019: €1.49) per share


Highlights Q4 2020

  • Strong growth in volumes of 6%; second consecutive quarter of volume growth;
  • ROS excluding unallocated cost increased to 15.3% (2019: 11%) due to strong margin management and cost savings;
  • Total cost savings €34 million, of which €25 million structural savings related to transformation initiatives;
  • Acquisitions of Titan Paints in Spain announced and New Nautical Coatings completed in Q4 2020


“Our 2020 results demonstrate structural performance improvement from the first phase of our transformation. Despite COVID-19 headwinds, we rose to the challenge and delivered our 15 by 20 promise, achieving a 15% return on sales and more than 20% return on investment,” AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker said. 


“We continued to look after our customers and everyone at AkzoNobel deserves enormous credit for their passion and commitment, especially in such a challenging year. We’ve now achieved organic growth for two quarters in a row and announced acquisitions including Titan Paints in Spain and New Nautical Coatings in the US,” the CEO continued. “We transformed our systems and processes and expanded our industry-leading Paint the Future innovation ecosystem. We’ve also accelerated our People. Planet. Paint. approach to sustainability and been recognized by key benchmarks as the leader in the paints and coatings industry.


“What’s really exciting is that we’re literally only half-way through our transformation to reclaim our position as the reference in the industry. Our new Grow & Deliver strategy represents the second stage of our journey – which began in 2017 – to double the profit of AkzoNobel,” Vanlancker concluded.

Recent highlights


AkzoNobel launched a new instant drying solution: The RUBBOL 100% UV cured exterior range of Sikkens wood coatings.


Thousands of solar panels were installed at two of the company’s sites on two continents. The two recent projects took place in Garcia, Mexico – where 1,650 solar panels have been installed – and Barcelona, Spain, where work to install 1,600 roof panels is well underway. 


AkzoNobel launched a new bio-based wall paint in Vietnam. Dulux Better Living Air Clean BioBased is enhanced with Pure Air technology. It contains natural sustainable ingredients, such as bamboo charcoal.


The company’s Coral brand in Brazil partnered with Aerospace Coatings colleagues to help create South America’s most colorful airplane. They worked with Azul Airlines and Embraer to pay tribute to the Spix’s macaw, a national symbol in Brazil. The design features 58 colors, half of which were custom-made.


AkzoNobel will launch its next regional startup challenge in China in March 2021. 


The challenge joins a series of programs for startups, academia, research institutes and suppliers to collaborate and test, launch and scale revolutionary solutions together with AkzoNobel. 


The company first kicked off Paint the Future in 2019 with an industry-first global startup challenge. In 2020, it staged the first regional startup challenge in Brazil. 



A breakthrough innovation that involves a more sustainable method for making resins has been discovered thanks to a research collaboration between AkzoNobel and the Dutch Advanced Research Center Chemical Building Blocks Consortium (ARC CBBC). The new process involves using bio-based monomers to make resins, which could pave the way for the introduction of futuristic functionality. 

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