[Atlas] AkzoNobel: “One exceptional price increase was necessary to be announced”

Romain Thirion

How do you figure 2021 for your business and the European market?

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Josep Guiro: While we faced strong headwinds in quarter one due to the pandemic, on a full year basis we saw the general stabilization of workload in bodyshops across Europe. The speed of recovery has been slightly different from market to market, but in general we are looking at reasonably positive developments well in line with our expectations.

And for 2022?

J.G.: Our vision for 2022 is to further build on our strategy and continue to grow ou business in a sustainable way. We will continue to work together with all industry stakeholders from partners in distribution to bodyshops, with the car manufacturers or work providers jointly taking on our industry’s challenges as well as continued stringent cost management.


What level of tariff increase have you applied in 2021?

J.G.: Early 2021 we have seen unprecedented rising raw material costs throughout the global coatings market, being fueled by a very tight supply market for chemicals and packaging materials, freight, and technology cost, as well as continuous investments related to regulatory and environmental compliance. Despite a great commitment of our teams to adhere to strict cost discipline, we haven’t been able to fully balance everything. Therefore, one exceptional price increase was necessary to be announced mid 2021.

Are these difficulties coming to an end?

J.G.: Based on the feedback from the close follow up and hard work our procurement teams are undertaking, there are no obvious signs of respite from pressures of the raw materials shortage and/orlogistical issues. This means across all functions at local, regional, and global level working non-stop to seek alternatives and minimize any potential impact for our customers.

Doesn’t inflation risk calling your growth projections into question?

J.G.: We are managing cost and corresponding inflation risks very carefully and relate growth projections to a comprehensive set of KPIs. In this respect we include and review constantly, for example, driving behavior and customer spend which have a direct relation to rising costs in gas/fuel or the willingness to spend money on a repair job.

Has there been more concentration and consolidation in 2021 among your clients?

J. G.: We haven’t seen more concentration and consolidation in 2021 amongst our clients. 2021 might be more characterized by a “wait and see” attitude in this respect.

Romain Thirion
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