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UPDATE 1-AkzoNobel says would benefit from weak euro, cheap oil
February 12, 2015 / 7:22 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-AkzoNobel says would benefit from weak euro, cheap oil

* Q4 EBITDA 330 million euros vs f‘cast 338 million

* Revenue 3.5 billion

* Says on track to meet 2015 target for 9 pct return on sales (Adds details, CEO quote)

AMSTERDAM, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Dutch paint and chemicals company AkzoNobel said on Thursday the weak euro and low oil prices should boost its performance in 2015, as it posted fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analyst expectations.

Volumes were up in all three of its major business lines over the full year, but a mixture of negative currency effects and slow growth moderated earnings in each segment over the full year.

The performance coatings business, which makes high-value products including protective coatings for deep-sea installations, was a bright spot, with fourth-quarter revenue up 4 percent due in part to favourable currency movements.

By contrast, revenue slipped 1 percent in the quarter in the special chemicals and decorative paints businesses.

“If currencies remain at the level of the fourth quarter there is positive effect for 2015, but predicting currencies is as hard as predicting oil,” chief executive Ton Buechner told journalists, noting: “Sustained low oil prices should have a positive impact.”

The company made earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 330 million euros ($373 million) on revenue of 3.5 billion. Analysts polled for Reuters had expected EBITDA of 338 million.

The company said it was on track to meet the 2015 targets it had set two years ago, of achieving 9 percent return on sales and 14 percent return on investment. ($1 = 0.8839 euros) (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Sunil Nair and David Holmes)

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