Akzo Nobel Q2 profit misses forecasts, Burgmans to resign

  • Akzo said its core profit in the second quarter fell 6 percent to 461 million euros, due to weak demand in various markets and higher raw material costs.
  • Akzo Nobel reaffirmed its promise of better results, made when it rejected the bid by PPG earlier this year, a move which drew strong criticism from major shareholders.
  • The Dutch paintmaker said in a statement that Burgmans would step down when his current term ends in April 2018.

Dutch paintmaker Akzo Nobel, grappling with the consequences of rebuffing a 26.3 billion euro ($30.63 billion) takeover bid by U.S. rival PPG Industries, on Tuesday announced earnings below market expectations and said Chairman Antony Burgmans will resign at the end of his term in April 2018.

Akzo said its core profit in the second quarter fell 6 percent to 461 million euros, due to weak demand in various markets and higher raw material costs.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast operating profit, excluding incidental items, of 496 million euros.

Akzo Nobel reaffirmed its promise of better results, made when it rejected the bid by PPG earlier this year, a move which drew strong criticism from major shareholders.

Disgruntled shareholders, led by activist hedge fund Elliott Advisors, have been pushing for a shareholders meeting to vote on the position of Chairman Antony Burgmans, who they see as the mastermind of Akzo's refusal to talk to PPG.

Akzo said in a statement that Burgmans would step down when his current term ends in April 2018.

Plans to spin off its Speciality Chemicals division were on track, the company added.

Last week, the maker of Dulux paints said it would replace chief executive Ton Buechner with chemicals division head Thierry Vanlancker, after Buechner abruptly resigned due to health reasons.

An extraordinary shareholders meeting was scheduled for Sept. 8 to vote on the appointment of Vanlancker and provide further explanations about its refusal of PPG and seek approval for the spin off of the special chemical business, it said.

Akzo Nobel said it has created a committee devoted to improving relations with its shareholders, with a team from JP Morgan Cazenove appointed as advisors.