Highlights for Q4 2020 included: strong volume growth of 6%, ROS (excluding unallocated costs) increased to 15.3% (due to strong margin management and €34 million in cost saving, of which €25 million structural savings related to transformation initiatives. In addition, the acquisitions of Titan Paints in Spain and New Nautical Coatings in the US were completed.
Highlights full-year 2020 included: a 15.0% ROS, delivering on the 15 by 20 promise, and a 20.6% ROI (both excluding unallocated cost). There were €243 million of cost savings, of which €115 million structural, and net cash from operating activities significantly increased to €1,220 million. There was also €545 million share buyback in 2020 and a €1 billion share buyback announced, to be completed in Q1 2022.
Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel CEO, commented: “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 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 recognised by key benchmarks as the leader in the paints and coatings industry,” added Vanlancker.
“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,” he concluded.”
The company also provided guidance on 2021, saying that AkzoNobel targets to grow at least in line with its relevant markets. 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.
To view the full report, visit: https://www.akzonobel.com/.