Akzo Nobel recently announced a third quarter net income of EUR 232 million, 3% below last year. The company reported that all groups achieved autonomous growth, sales and operating income were significantly affected by unfavorable currency movements, and pension charges were EUR 20 million per quarter higher than in 2001. Fritz Frohlich, Akzo Nobel's CFO, said, "Third-quarter net income for the company declined 3% compared to last year. On the one hand, the company had to absorb the impact of currencies and pension costs. On the other hand, we were able to grow the sales volume of all three business groups. Pharma's performance reflects a temporarily slowing growth. Autonomous sales growth was 5%. Pharma's operating income declined 9%, also due to heavy investments in important new products to secure future growth. Expenses for R&D and launch costs were significantly up. Coatings continued its strong performance with autonomous sales growth of 4% and an operating income increase of 5%. Chemicals' results were again stable despite difficult business conditions. In both these sectors, performance is clearly benefiting from the aggressive restructuring measures we initiated last year. Of course, we too are facing difficult business conditions in major parts of the world. However, Akzo Nobel's performance gives us confidence in our outlook that net income for 2002 will end slightly below last year's level."
The company's website is located at http://www.akzonobel.com .