As the global pandemic continues to evolve, AkzoNobel has given an update on steps it is taking toward ensuring employee health and safety and maintaining business continuity.
AkzoNobel says the various steps it has taken to continue operating and to reduce costs are working, while also keeping the company intact and able to respond quickly to changes in market demand.
During the first quarter, the pandemic reduced company revenue by around five per cent with Asia the most affected, while other regions were affected more from the second half of March onwards. The company says it successfully predicted customer demand for recent months, and that market headwinds were strongest during April which resulted in revenue being almost 30 per cent lower from 2019.
AkzoNobel says distribution channels for Decorative Paints have mostly reopened in China and Europe, with demand returning toward previous levels, however Asia and South America are still facing varying degrees of market disruption. Automotive and aerospace industries continue to be more impacted than others, but the company believes market headwinds will ease further throughout June but will differ per region and segment.
The company is continuing to implement its cost-saving measures and strict margin management and intends to maintain a strong balance sheet due to its cash management and working capital controls.
“We’re weathering the COVID-19 storm, taking care of our employees while protecting our business,” said Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of AkzoNobel. “Thank you to everyone at AkzoNobel for working hard to continue serving our customers and provide many essential products for critical industries, while following all necessary health and safety measures.
“Although the pandemic situation forced us to pause key parts of our transformation, our teams have focused on minimising all discretionary costs, as well as carefully managing cash and working capital. The actions we’ve taken, together with our strong balance sheet, provide a solid platform for AkzoNobel to perform as an industry frontrunner.”