AkzoNobel investing EU50m in Western China, to meet growing demand

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Sept. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

AkzoNobel has announced plans to invest a total of more than €50 million in China to build new manufacturing facilities for its Powder Coatings and Decorative Paints businesses, adding further momentum to the company's strategic growth ambitions. Both new facilities will be located in Chengdu with the powder facility scheduled to open in 2014 and the deco site starting production in 2015. The announcement follows the recent start-up of commercial production of Bermocoll cellulose derivatives at the company's multi-site in Ningbo, which will serve the growing demand from customers throughout the region, as well as from AkzoNobel's own decorative paints business. Cellulose derivatives are used in water-based paints and building additives applications. "China is playing an increasingly important role in our growth strategy and by expanding production capacity we will further strengthen our position as a leading supplier to the Chinese market," said AkzoNobel CEO Ton Büchner. "We already have a strong manufacturing footprint in eastern, central and southern China," he added. "As demand and volumes continue to rise, we will extend our production and distribution westwards and the new sites will enable us to better serve our customers whenever and wherever they need our products." Chengdu is one of the fastest growing cities in south western China and has consistently delivered double digit growth over the last two decades. It has established itself as an important industrial hub, resulting in high demand for quality powder coatings and decorative paint, which is expected to remain strong as the area continues to develop. "Our investments in Chengdu underline our commitment to further developing our business in China and capitalizing on the business opportunities being created by growing domestic demand," said LIN Liangqi, President of AkzoNobel in China. AkzoNobel currently employs more than 7,700 people in China, including 500 in research and development. Revenue for 2012 was €1.7 billion, the majority being generated from local demand. - - - AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. We supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answers for our customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we are consistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability. With operations in more than 80 countries, our 50,000 people around the world are committed to delivering leading products and technologies to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing world. Not for publication - for more information Corporate Media Relations, tel. +31 20 502 7833 Corporate Investor Relations, tel. +31 20 502 7854 Contact: Kirstin Steffen Contacts: Jonathan Atack and Sheryl Stokes Safe Harbor Statement This press release contains statements which address such key issues as AkzoNobel's growth strategy, future financial results, market positions, product development, products in the pipeline, and product approvals. Such statements should be carefully considered, and it should be understood that many factors could cause forecasted and actual results to differ from these statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, price fluctuations, currency fluctuations, developments in raw material and personnel costs, pensions, physical and environmental risks, legal issues, and legislative, fiscal, and other regulatory measures. Stated competitive positions are based on management estimates supported by information provided by specialized external agencies. For a more comprehensive discussion of the risk factors affecting our business please see our latest Annual Report, a copy of which can be found on the company's corporate website www.akzonobel.com. AkzoNobel Press Release China Investments: http://hugin.info/130660/R/1731209/578738.pdf [HUG#1731209] Source:Akzo Nobel NV