CEO Ton Büchner on AkzoNobel's 2016 performance: "In a year of record profitability in terms of return on sales and return on investment, our purpose of creating everyday essentials to make people's lives more liveable and inspiring was brought to life. We continued to build on our solid foundation of operational excellence to drive growth and sharpened our focus on delivering more value for our people, our customers and our shareholders.
"One of the most inspiring aspects of 2016 was seeing examples of our purpose being brought to life. Our Human Cities initiative played a major role in this, underlining how we welcome our responsibility to play an important role in the communities where we operate. During 2016, more than 300 projects were launched around the world, impacting over nine million people.
"Our strategic focus on driving innovation to support organic growth gathered momentum. We launched a series of products, many offering major benefits in terms of their sustainability profile. Digital innovation is a major area of attention and is playing an increasingly important role in product development and how we work with customers.
"Our sustainability agenda was brought into sharper focus as we stepped up our activities in all areas. As well as conducting a company-wide review of operational eco-efficiency, we compiled a detailed assessment of our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This will help us accelerate progress towards our strategic sustainability ambitions."