Akzo Nobel issues profit warning, CFO to step aside

Finance


Akzo Nobel issued a profit warning on Friday and announced a revamp that will include the chief financial officer stepping aside and a shake-up to its paints and industrial coatings businesses.

The Dutch company, citing cost inflation and currency headwinds, said it would not achieve the 100 million euros ($121 million) in 2017 operating profit it promised when rejecting a recent takeover.

In May the company rejected a 26.3 billion euro takeover by U.S. rival PPG Industries, an offer worth 95 euros per share. Akzo shares were down 2.9 percent at 76.4 euros in early trade on Friday.

Akzo said CFO Maelys Castella would take a leave of absence due to health reasons and return “in a senior management position” when she is better.

Castella will be replaced on a temporary basis by group controller Hans De Vriese.

CEO Ton Buechner in July also quit for health reasons. “It is extraordinary that these cases follow each other so rapidly, but it is purely coincidental. They are for entirely different reasons, and are in no way related,” Chairman Antony Burgmans said on a call with reporters.

New CEO Thierry Vanlancker will meet with shareholders on Friday to defend the company’s strategy following a court order to repair relations damaged under Buechner and Burgmans.



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