September 30, 2008

Chemicals Giant Akzo Nobel to Cut 3,500 Jobs

Chemicals giant Akzo Nobel to cut 3,500 jobs

BRUSSELS, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch-Swedish chemicals and paints concern Akzo Nobel announced on Monday that it is to cut 3, 500 jobs in the coming three years to create synergies with British chemicals group ICI which the concern bought last year.

In a statement released on Monday morning, the biggest paint producer in the world said it will also make additional net cost savings of 100 million euros.

The company said it needs to take aggressive action to accelerate the synergies of the new combination and to further improve operational effectiveness. Akzo Nobel has about 60,000 employees around the world.

"The world economy has now clearly entered a phase of lower growth, particularly in the mature markets," CEO Hans Wijers said. "In these challenging markets, only lean companies succeed. We have therefore started a rigorous drive to further reduce our cost base. "

Akzo Nobel said it has suspended its share buy-back program due to uncertainty in financial markets. However Akzo Nobel maintains its forecast for the rest of this year.

Operational results must be in the region of the 1.87 billion euros achieved in 2007, the company statement said.

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