Rio de Janeiro: Global paints and coatings major Akzo Nobel is keeping options open to explore acquisition opportunities in India as it seeks to tap potential of the country, which it has identified as one of the key emerging markets for its future.

"India has a lot of potential. It is a priority country for us. It is one of the fastest growing markets for us. We have a strong base there and we can grow further," Akzo Nobel CEO Ton Buchner told newspaper.

Asked if the company will be looking for acquisitions in India to fast track growth there, he said: "We need to evaluate if organic and inorganic growth opportunities can go together there. We will discuss with the local team if we should explore inorganic growth opportunities."

Buchner, who had recently taken over as the CEO of the company, further said India along with Brazil, China and Indonesia are the key emerging markets for the companies that are crucial for its future growth.

"The developed western markets, which account for about 60 per cent of our business, are not growing much. Brazil, India, China and Indonesia are growing fast and we will tap the potential (in these markets)," he added.

In the year 2011, Akzo Nobel's global revenue was up 7 per cent to 15.7 billion euro and the net income from continuing operations was at 469 million euro.

In India, the company has presence in decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. In the fiscal 2010-11, its sales stood at Rs 1,096.82 crore with a net profit of Rs 176.6 crore.

During the nine months period ended December 2011, the company's net sales grew by 22.83 per cent to Rs 1,016.1 crore as against Rs 827.2 crore in the year-ago period. Net profit for the period was at Rs 123.5 crore.

The company has set a target of becoming a one billion euros (about Rs 6,800 crore) entity in India by 2015. It has announced an investment Rs 200 crore to set up a new manufacturing plant in Madhya Pradesh that will be operational next year. At present, the company has five plants across India.

(Agencies)

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