AkzoNobel announce plans to split its businesses, as it continues to fight a takeover bid.

AkzoNobel (AMS:AKZA) reported a record performance in its first quarter results, as it continues to resist a takeover bid from a US rival.

Pre income tax earnings rose 13 percent year-on-year to €376 million (£314 million), while sales were up 7 percent at €3.7 billion in the 24 weeks to the end of March.

Net profit for the period hit 240 million euros ($257.5 million), level with net profit during the same period a year earlier.

In addition, the company said it anticipates earnings before interest and taxes to be approximately €100 million higher than €1.5 billion ($1.61 billion) in 2016.

On Wednesday, AkzoNobel announced its intention to divide itself into two units specifically devoted to paints and the other on chemicals, in the view of boosting growth.

The company said that it expected the reconfiguration of their businesses to encourage €50 million in cost savings, and is to be completed within the next year.

AkzoNobel boss Ton Buechner said: “Now is the right time to create two focused, high-performing businesses.

“This strategy will create substantial value for shareholders, with significantly less risks and uncertainties compared to alternatives.”

This follows news of a takeover bid from US paint maker PPG (NYSE:PPG). PPG has offered in excess of $24 billion (£19 billion) for the Dutch firm, which owns the popular Dulux paint and Hammerite brands.

Thus far, AkzoNobel has rejected two bids from the US company, which has led for increased pressure from some stakeholders, who have called upon the chairman to resign over the matter.

A spokesperson for the company issued the following statement on the matter:

“The removal of Mr Burgmans would be irresponsible, disproportionate, damaging and not in the best interest of the company, its shareholders and other stakeholders,”. Nonetheless, he did add that the company intended to respond to the request within two weeks, as required under Dutch law.

Shares in AkzoNobel are currently up 1.30 percent as of 12.38PM (GMT).