Tikkurila Finds Russian Bright Spot as Paint Skirts Slowdown

Tikkurila Oyj (TIK1V) said it will increase investment in sales and marketing of its paint brands in Russia after first-quarter sales volumes in the nation grew, shrugging of a wider slowdown ignited by the crisis in Ukraine.

The Finnish maker of Teks and Vivacolor paint pushed through price increases in Russia and benefited from the early arrival of spring in Europe, it said today. Shares of the Vantaa, Finland-based company climbed as much as 8.7 percent, the most in 2 1/2 years, after first-quarter sales rose 2.2 percent to 141.5 million euros ($197 million), beating analyst estimates of 133.3 million euros.

“Despite the crisis, our sales volumes grew,” Chief Executive Officer Erkki Jaervinen said in a statement. “Our year got off to a good start. We achieved a strong result in the challenging market situation.”

Jaervinen has streamlined Tikkurila’s operations to lower costs. Manufacturing the bulk of its paint sold in Russia locally helped lessen the impact of the weakening ruble. Tikkurila also indicated there are signs of improvement in its other key markets spanning Sweden, Poland and the Baltic region.

The shares traded 7.2 percent higher at 18.73 euros as of 11:31 a.m. in Helsinki.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Noel in London at anoel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net Kati Pohjanpalo, Tom Lavell

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