AkzoNobel sees early signs of recovery in 2013 second half

Paint maker AkzoNobel was hit by a 5% drop in sales in 2013, due to difficult market conditions and the expensive euro.

However, there were signs of improvement in the second half, the company said on Thursday. Sales over the year reached €14.6bn while net profit was up  €724m.

‘While the first half of 2013 was impacted by weaker trading conditions and specific one-off events in specialty chemicals, the second half has shown early signs of stabilisation in several end markets,’ chief executive Ton Büchner said in a statement.

The company will ‘further restructure our business, reduce our costs and drive organic growth’ in 2014, Büchner said.

The company also announced that Karel Vuursteen, who has been on the supervisory board since 2002, is leaving as chairman. Vuursteen, a former chief at Heineken, will be replaced by former Unilever CEO Antony Burgmans.

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