achieved a solid growth in profitability, with operating income and revenue both increasing. Revenue was up 3 percent compared with 2014, due to a 7 percent favorable currency effect, but offset by an adverse volume impact and the sale of the German stores. Operating income showed a clear improvement with an increase of 194 percent, mainly due to the benefits of our new operating model in Europe, strict cost containment, lower restructuring costs and favorable currency developments. Volumes for the first quarter were up in Latin America, but down in Asia and Europe due to a slow start of the season.
continued to benefit from the de-layering and simplification of its business structure. Revenue was up in all businesses, benefiting from favorable currency effects and price/mix. Operating income increased 35 percent due to cost reductions generated by improvement activities, including the simplification of the business structure, cost control measures, currencies and lower restructuring expenses. Volumes increased in North America but declined in other regions, with performance across segments being mixed regionally.
further improved its profitability. Revenue was up 6 percent as a result of favorable currency effects. Operating income rose 21 percent versus last year due to continuous improvement measures, cost focus, lower restructuring costs and favorable currency developments. Volumes were flat overall, with a mixed and volatile picture across segments and regions. Volumes in the US continued to perform well, while there was more modest growth in China.
We anticipate that exchange rate movements and lower growth rates in high growth economies will principally determine the dynamics of 2015. The preparations made in 2013 and 2014 form a sound basis for improved performance. AkzoNobel remains on track to deliver its 2015 targets*
*Overall targets for the full year 2015 are 9.0 percent return on sales and 14.0 percent return on investment.
The Q1 2015 report can be downloaded via the AkzoNobel Report iPad app
or read online at www.akzonobel.com/quarterlyresults