April 21, 2021, 1:23 a.m. EDT

Akzo Nobel profit jumps, to start $1.2B buybacks

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By Ian Walker

Akzo Nobel NV on Wednesday said that it plans a new one billion euro ($1.20 billion) share-buyback program as it reported 90% rise in net profit for the first quarter of the year, beating market expectations.

The Dutch paints company--which houses the Dulux, Polycell and Cuprinol brands--reiterated that it expects to grow at least in line with its relevant markets this year.

Net income for the quarter ended March 31 was EUR217 million, compared with EUR114.0 million a year earlier and a forecast of EUR170.5 million, taken from FactSet and based on two analysts' estimates.

Adjusted operating income--the company's preferred metric, which excludes exceptional and other one-off items--was EUR307 million, compared with EUR214.0 million a year earlier and a consensus of EUR281.2 million, taken from FactSet and based on five analysts' forecasts.

Quarterly revenue rose to EUR2.26 billion from EUR2.06 billion, which the company attributed mainly to strong end-market demand. Consensus revenue was EUR2.13 billion, taken from the company's website and based on 14 analysts' forecasts.

The company said it plans to start the new share-buyback program on April 27.

Write to Ian Walker at ian.walker@wsj.com

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