SANDEFJORD, Norway - The Jotun Group increased revenues by 5% in the first four months of 2014, with investments in growth markets continuing at full force.

For the first four months of 2014, Jotun reported operating revenues of NOK 4,091 million, up 5% from the same period last year (T1 2013: NOK 3,901 million). The growth was driven by increased sales in Northeast Asia and Eastern Europe.

The group’s operating profit for the period was NOK 435 million, down 16% compared to the same period last year (NOK 517 million), which was primarily caused by changes in product mix and increased sales and marketing costs. Profit for the period was NOK 300 million, down 5% (NOK 316 million). Jotun’s equity ratio was 47% at the end of April.

Jotun invested NOK 254 million during the tertiary (NOK 167 million). Construction of new factories and buildings in Russia, Brazil and Indonesia represents the major part of the investments.

Jotun invests around one billion NOK in new markets each year. “Asia and Africa are growth markets where we will continue to invest going forward,” said Jotun’s CEO Morten Fon.

Fon believes in growth in Africa, where Jotun has been present since 1962. The company currently has a presence in five African countries: Egypt, Libya, South Africa, Algeria and Morocco. Kenya is next on the list of planned investments. “We see great potential for Jotun’s products in several African countries. Kenya is one of these interesting markets,” said Fon.

“Several of the African countries have oil and gas industry, which fits our products in the protective coating segment. We also see continued growth possibilities in Asia, and with our recent investments in Myanmar, Cambodia, Bangladesh and the Philippines, we cover the whole region,” continued Fon.

The company’s long-term goal is to build factories in these countries, although it plans to first enter targeted countries by establishing sales offices and building its market position. This is in line with its organic growth strategy.