Page last updated at 07:54 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 08:54 UK

Akzo Nobel set to cut 3,500 jobs

Dulux paint
Akzo Nobel bought Dulux paintmaker ICI in January this year

The world's largest paintmaker, Akzo Nobel, is to cut 3,500 jobs by 2011 as part of a cost-cutting drive.

Akzo Nobel, which bought ICI in an 8bn deal earlier this year, said the move to trim costs would lead to extra savings of 100m euros ($144m; 79m).

Most of the job cuts will go in the Decorative Paints business in North America and Europe, the firm said.

It also said it was suspending a 1.6bn-euro share buyback programme because of the current financial market

turmoil.

Akzo Nobel has undergone a major transformation in the past year, selling its pharmaceutical business Organon in November and buying the UK's ICI in January.

The company's paint brands now include Dulux, Sikkens and Flexa.

"After a major transformation process which streamlined and refocused the company, it's now time for us to deliver on what we promised and, in today's very different economic landscape, significantly improve our performance," said chief executive Hans Wijers.

"The world economy has now clearly entered a phase of lower growth, particularly in the mature markets," he added.

"In these challenging markets, only lean companies succeed. We have therefore started a rigorous drive to further reduce our cost base."




SEE ALSO
Akzo Nobel ICI merger completed
02 Jan 08 |  Business
Akzo Nobel to sell Crown paints
14 Dec 07 |  Business
ICI predicts strong annual profit
01 Nov 07 |  Business
ICI agrees to be bought by Akzo
13 Aug 07 |  Business
ICI opens books as Akzo ups bid
06 Aug 07 |  Business

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