Akzo Nobel loses around quarter of sales in April-May lockdowns

AMSTERDAM, June 11 (Reuters) - Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel on Thursday said its sales declined by around a quarter in April and May as economic lockdowns across the globe hit demand.

Akzo said sales in April were 30% lower than a year before, while revenue declined 20% in May as measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic started to ease in some places.

Chief Executive Thierry Vanlancker said the picture had continued to improve in June, but added there were significant differences across regions and business segments.

Demand for decorative paints in China and Europe was returning to previous levels, he said, while the recovery in the industrial coatings industry was much slower, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries.

KBC Securities analyst Wim Hoste said the drop in sales had been worse than expected.

“Our second quarter top line forecast of -17% seems a bit too optimistic and we expect to lower our forecast to about -21%,” he said.

Akzo Nobel shares traded down 2% at 0830 GMT in Amsterdam.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; editing by David Evans