AMSTERDAM — Akzo Nobel N.V. published results for fourth-quarter and full-year 2020, reporting net cash from operating activities significantly increased to €1,220 million for the year. Key highlights for full-year 2020 include 15.0% ROS excluding unallocated cost, delivering on the company’s 15 by 20 promise; ROI excluding unallocated cost up at 20.6%, exceeding AkzoNobel’s  2020 ambition; €243 million of cost savings, of which €115 million were structural savings; and a €545 million share buyback in 2020. For the fourth quarter of 2020, the company reported strong growth in volumes of 6%, the second consecutive quarter of volume growth. ROS excluding unallocated cost increased to 15.3% (2019: 11.0%) due to strong margin management and cost savings. The company reported total cost savings €34 million, of which €25 million structural savings related to transformation initiatives. The company announced the acquisition of Titan Paints in Spain and the completed acquisition of Nautical Coatings in the fourth quarter of 2020.

AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker, said, “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 15% return on sales and more than 20% return on investment.

“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 U.S. 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.”

Looking forward, AkzoNobel targets growth at least in line with its relevant markets. It reports that although trends differ per region and segment, with raw material inflation expected, margin management and cost-saving programs are in place to deliver 50 basis points increase in return on sales. The company targets a leverage ratio of 1-2 times net debt/EBITDA and commits to retain a strong investment-grade credit rating.

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