Issue Date: October 6, 2008
AkzoNobel And DSM Reap Fruits Of Restructuring
In separate briefings to investors and analysts in recent days, the CEOs of AkzoNobel and DSM, two top Dutch chemical companies, charted how their focus on specialty businesses has permitted strong performances this year despite difficult economic times. At an analysts' conference in London, AkzoNobel CEO Hans Wijers reviewed the sale of his company's pharmaceutical business and use of the proceeds to acquire ICI early this year. "It's now time for us to deliver on what we promised and, in today's very different economic landscape, significantly improve our performance," Wijers said. The company has set a new operating profit margin target of at least 14% for 2011, up from 12.9% in 2007. It aims to achieve all of the almost $500 million in savings predicted from the ICI acquisition by 2010 and plans additional cost savings of close to $150 million. By 2011, the company will have shed some 3,500 jobs out of its current 60,000. Meanwhile, at DSM's investor conference in Vaalsbroek, the Netherlands, Chairman Feike Sijbesma confirmed his company's targets for 2010 and raised its 2008 operating earnings forecast by about 5%, on the back of strength in businesses such as DSM Agro. DSM recently carved out most of the businesses that don't fit with its new focus. A controlled auction process has begun for DSM Agro and businesses in melamine, elastomers, and urea licensing, Sijbesma said.
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