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AkzoNobel targets repainting jobs after new property dries up

By Zheng Xin | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-27 10:36
Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of the Amsterdam. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Strong prospects for repainting jobs will likely offset sluggish paint and coating sales in the new property sector, thus helping AkzoNobel to maintain its overall sales growth in China, its top executive said.

Thierry Vanlancker, CEO of the Amsterdam, Netherlands-based paints and coatings company, said sales of new homes in China have slowed, but the cooling of China's real estate market will have limited negative impact on the company's business.

Although the property market in a number of cities displayed signs of cooling in early October, "we are still confident of the Chinese market in the medium and long term, as China has been a country with massive potential for the repainting sector with plenty of space to explore", he said.

In 2017, AkzoNobel's sales revenue in China was nearly 1.5 billion euros (almost $1.7 billion).

According to AkzoNobel, the China market currently accounts for some 15.6 percent of its global annual revenue.

"China is one of the most important markets for the company, with a double-digit growth rate during the past 10 years, thanks to the country's economic growth," said Lin Liangqi, president of AkzoNobel China, the local unit.

The latter will continue investing in China. Focus will be on improving its sustainability operations as burgeoning middle-class consumers are attaching more importance to environmental protection and quality, Vanlancker said.

Lin said a large number of buildings have not been repainted for decades. The company sees substantial potential in this area, he said.

In the past, consumers in China barely repainted their apartments. Now, however, amid the ongoing consumption upgrade and all-round quality consciousness, repainting homes for the feel-good factor is common. "We see substantial opportunities from it," he said.

"We expect the business growth in the Chinese market to maintain the current momentum in the coming years despite concerns about the tightening housing policy."

AkzoNobel makes paints and coatings for both industry and consumers worldwide. It currently owns a number of established brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka.

It supplies coatings to many famous buildings and iconic structures in China, including the IFC in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

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