EBITDA for the year was 4 percent higher at €1,901 million (2011: €1,834 million) helped by the performance improvement program, which contributed €276 million to EBITDA. As a consequence of the impairment charge of €2,106 million in Q3 related to Decorative Paints, we recorded a full-year operating loss of €1,244 million. Excluding this impairment charge, operating income was €862 million positive (2011: €1,145 million).
“AkzoNobel delivered a strong set of results in difficult markets, underpinned by the performance improvement program which exceeded our intermediate targets,” said CEO Ton Büchner.
Commenting on the outlook Büchner said: “The economic environment remains challenging and we expect no fundamental changes in the trends that we have seen recently in our businesses. We will continue to focus on performance improvements and operational efficiencies in order to benefit from our strong portfolio of businesses with many leading market positions and exposure to growth markets.”
Decorative Paints was impacted by weaker demand in the European markets. Specialty Chemicals delivered a robust performance, despite weaker demand in the second half of the year. Performance Coatings recorded a strong performance driven by margin management and operational efficiency actions, despite weaker volumes overall.
On December 14, 2012, AkzoNobel announced the sale of Decorative Paints North America to PPG. On December 28, 2012, the company completed the sale of Chemicals Pakistan, which was subsequently deconsolidated. In early 2012, AkzoNobel acquired Boxing Oleochemicals in Specialty Chemicals – the leading supplier of nitrile amines and derivatives in China and throughout Asia. The Schramm/SSCP acquisition accounted for the positive acquisition effect in Performance Coatings as these activities were consolidated from Q4 2011.
AkzoNobel incurred higher restructuring costs, mainly in mature markets, as the company implemented its performance improvement program. Restructuring activities are ongoing across the businesses, with the restructuring being stepped up in the European Decorative Paints business in Q4.
On average, raw material costs were stable compared with the previous year, with the upward pressure on oil prices offsetting softer titanium dioxide prices. Proposed Dividend
AkzoNobel will propose a total dividend for 2012 of €1.45. A final dividend will be paid in cash unless shareholders elect to receive a stock dividend.
The 2012 full-year and Q4 report can be read on www.akzonobel.com/quarterlyresults.