Akzo Nobel N.V. has reported third quarter results which show profitability in all three Business Areas, despite what it describes as a challenging market environment. Operating income was up 30 percent at €436 million (2014: €335 million), and revenue was up two percent to €3.8 billion (2014: €3.7 billion), due to four percent favorable currency effects, offset by divestments and slightly lower volumes. There was improved performance with return on sales at 11.6 percent (2014: 9.1 percent); and return on investment at 12.5 percent (2014: 10.5 percent). Net income attributable to shareholders was up 39 percent at €285 million (2014: €205 million), with adjusted earnings per share (EPS) up 35 percent at €1.24 (2014: €0.92) Net cash inflow from operating activities was €583 million (2014: €489 million), and the interim dividend was up 6 percent to €0.35 per share (2014: €0.33). The company ranked number one on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the materials industry group for the fourth consecutive year. CFO Maëlys Castella said, “We continue to see the benefits of our ongoing business transformation, including our new organizational structure and focus on operational excellence. We remain on track to deliver our 2015 targets.” Decorative Paints operating income improved by seven percent due to the new operating model, lower costs and currency developments. Revenue was flat, with favorable currency effects being offset by adverse price/mix. Volumes were up in Asia, while volumes were down for Latin America and Europe, which includes amongst others Russia and Turkey. Performance Coatings operating income was up 56 percent, driven by cost reductions from performance improvement initiatives, lower costs, favorable product mix, lower restructuring charges and favorable currency developments. Revenue was up five percent, benefiting from favorable currencies and continued strong demand for premium products. Volumes declined in the quarter due to ongoing capital spending declines in the global oil and gas industry, and further weakening in some markets, most notably Brazil and China. Specialty Chemicals operating income was up four percent, supported by the benefits from further increased production at its new Frankfurt plant, lower costs and operational efficiencies throughout the business. Revenue was flat due to favorable currency effects offsetting the impact of the divested Paper Chemicals business and adverse price/mix in several segments. Volumes overall were flat. Growth in some segments compensated for lower demand in oil drilling segments, which mainly impacted Surface Chemistry and Functional Chemicals. The market outlook, the company said, is unchanged with positive trends in North America and no improvement for Europe overall as well as a challenging environment in some countries, including Russia, Brazil and China. Based on current rates, the positive impact of foreign currencies is expected to moderate in the fourth quarter. www.akzonobel.com