THE HAGUE -- The world's top paint maker AkzoNobel (IW 1000/226) on Thursday said net profits leaped by almost half for the first quarter of 2014, backed mainly by lower financing costs for debt repayments.
The Dutch-Swedish group said net profit jumped by 45% to 129 million euros (US$178 million) year-on-year.
"Net income attributable to shareholders ... have increased significantly, benefiting from lower financing costs as a result of recent debt repayments," AkzoNobel's chief financial officer Keith Nichols said.
Turnover however dipped by 2% to 3.38 billion euros from 3.4 billion euros last year, due to negative currency effects.
The Amsterdam-based group in February posted an 88% rise in net profit for 2013, pointing to early signs of stabilization in the market.
The company warned however that the weakness in Europe was "ongoing" and that it would continue to cut costs owing to low demand.
AkzoNobel said it was "on track to deliver its 2015 targets, despite the expected continued fragile economic environment and continued volatile currencies in 2014."
Formed in 1994 in a merger between Akzo and Nobel, the group employs 50,000 people worldwide and counts Dulux and Trimetal among its brands.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014