AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands - Akzo Nobel N.V. (AkzoNobel) has reported a 16 percent gain in first-quarter revenue compared with the same period in 2010. Group revenue of EUR 3,762 million (first quarter 2010: EUR 3,246 million) reflects a seven percent increase in volumes and a four percent positive price effect.

Double-digit revenue growth was achieved in all three business areas, driven by the company's continued strength in high-growth markets and demand recovery in mature economies.

Raw material price inflation has been significant. Pricing and cost reduction actions are on-going to mitigate the impact of this, and AkzoNobel remains confident that it will be able to compensate for these increases.

During the quarter, EBITDA improved by 10 percent to EUR 437 million, although overall EBITDA margins declined slightly compared with the first quarter of 2010, reflecting the lag effect of pricing and margin management actions to compensate raw material price increases. Sequentially, from the fourth quarter of 2010, the EBITDA margin increased from 10.4 percent to 11.6 percent as mitigating actions took effect. The company has a seasonal pattern in that revenue and profitability are lowest in the fourth and first quarters of the year.

CEO Hans Wijers commented, "These results demonstrate further progress in working towards our medium-term strategic goals and in managing the current inflationary headwinds. I am particularly pleased with the strong volume and pricing behind our 16 percent revenue growth, which gives me confidence that we have been able to maintain or improve market share across the portfolio."

AkzoNobel expects to make further progress on its medium-term strategic ambitions. The company is aiming for more than five percent revenue and EBITDA growth in 2011.