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RPT-UPDATE 1-Paint maker Akzo Nobel Q4 weighed down by marine, energy markets
February 15, 2017 / 10:01 AM / in a year

RPT-UPDATE 1-Paint maker Akzo Nobel Q4 weighed down by marine, energy markets

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By Camille Raynaud and Alan Charlish

Feb 15 (Reuters) - Core profit for Dutch paints maker Akzo Nobel NV fell short of estimates in the last three months of 2016 as the marine and energy sectors weighed, while restructuring costs also put pressure on results.

The Dutch company, whose brands include Dulux paint, confirmed its financial guidance for 2016-2018 and expects improvements in Europe, Middle East and Africa, combined with stabilisation in Latin America in 2017.

Shares in the company were down 3.6 percent at 0950 GMT in heavy volumes.

Chief Executive Ton Buechner said that action was being taken to tackle weaker parts of the business.

“At the beginning of the year we told everybody that the marine and oil and gas activity was declining... We’re acting on these two segments which means that we are closing facilities, we are adapting the work force on these segments,” he told reporters on a conference call.

The company reported fourth quarter operating income excluding incidental items (EBIT) of 235 million euros ($248 million) on revenue of 3.46 billion euros. Analysts on average had expected revenues of 3.50 billion euros and operating income excluding one-off items at 252 million euros.

Morgan Stanley analysts said the earnings shortfall was attributable to the company’s performance coatings division, which was affected by costs linked to restructuring support functions and weakness in marine new build and oil and gas.

Morgan Stanley has an “Overweight” rating on the stock.

The company reported restructuring expenses of 62 million euros for 2016 with more than half of it taken in the final quarter.

The company’s results were also hurt by currency and rising raw material costs.

Theodoor Gilissen Securities analyst Joost van Beek said that the currency effects were due to weakness in the British pound, Mexican Peso and the Indian Rupee.

“In some cases they are now confronted with rising input prices because of the higher oil price...and probably they are not able to pass these on sufficiently to the clients,” he added. Theodoor Gilissen has a “Recommended” rating for Akzo.

Buechner said the company was in discussions with suppliers and was looking to optimise its production to tackle inflation, and then will consider passing additional costs to customers. ($1 = 0.9471 euros) (Reporting by Camille Raynaud and Alan Charlish in Gdynia; Editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan/Keith Weir)

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