July 23, 2014 / 5:51 AM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-AkzoNobel Q2 core profit beats expectations

* Q2 EBITDA 509 mln euros vs 482 mln avg in Reuters poll

* Q2 sales drop 4 pct on divestments and currency headwinds

* Says on track to meet 2015 targets (Adds CEO comment, details outlook)

AMSTERDAM, July 23 (Reuters) - AkzoNobel reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, helped by growth in its decorative paints business in Asia and Europe.

The Dutch paints and chemicals firm also said it remained on track to meet its 2015 targets despite a fragile economic environment and a strong euro.

AkzoNobel reported 7 percent higher quarterly earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of 509 million euros ($685.27 million) due to cost cutting.

These offset a 4 percent drop in revenue to 3.71 billion euros as a result of divestments and the strong euro, the company said.

Analysts in a poll commissioned by Reuters had forecast EBITDA of 482 million euros on sales of 3.82 billion euros.

“We are on track to deliver on our 2015 financial targets,” said AkzoNobel Chief Executive Ton Buechner in a statement.

By 2015 AkzoNobel wants to reach a 9 percent return on sales, 14 percent return on invested capital and a ratio of net debt to EBITDA of less than 2. ($1 = 0.7428 euros) (Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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