President Mitsuyoshi Shibata's 2015 New Year's Impressions (Essentials for Employees)
- Demonstrating the comprehensive strength of the Furukawa Electric Group through Vertical and Horizontal Partnerships -
A very Happy New Year to you all! As we enter 2015, I would like to say a few words to our group members around the world.
Accelerating global expansion of the infrastructure and automotive markets
Looking back on the last year, while there were signs of weakness in the momentum of newly emerging economies, we saw growth in demand overall in the infrastructure and automotive markets, including a recovery in developed countries in Europe and the United States.
Under these circumstances, during 2014 - the second year of our medium-term management plan Furukawa G plan 2015 - the Furukawa Electric Group worked on the implementation of a variety of initiatives with a focus on “Growth Strategy” and “Building a platform for sustainable growth”.
We strengthened the position of our global business initiatives in the infrastructure and automotive markets, which are our priority markets. In the infrastructure market, for example, we opened a new optical cable factory in Colombia, South America, which will contribute to our telecommunications projects in Thailand and Indonesia. In the automotive market, in China and Southeast Asia we installed new facilities and expanded existing facilities for our harness factories, in Europe we established a representative office in Germany, and in Brazil we established a sales company for air-bag connectors, steadily expanding the sphere of the Furukawa Electric Group.
Demonstrating the comprehensive strength of the Furukawa Electric Group in 2015
In 2015, as we enter the last year of the medium-term management plan, firstly I want you all to do what is necessary to produce results, and then to make strategic moves for the future. There are three things that we need to do this year.
First of all, we need to improve our underperforming businesses. Although we have made a certain level of progress with structural reforms, there are still some businesses that are not performing adequately. We need these businesses to strive for tangible results as soon as possible.
The second thing we need to do is thoroughly strengthen our monozukuri capabilities. The Furukawa Electric Group has contributed to society for 130 years in the manufacturing industry, with monozukuri as our livelihood, so it goes without saying that the source of our competitiveness lies in monozukuri. With respect to strengthening our monozukuri capabilities, we have been working to improve in this field by focusing on the four elements of safety, quality, environment, and efficiency. Rather than just working on these elements, however, this year each of us should set out a personal vision or future concept. In order to drive these efforts forward, we need to think carefully with a focus on monozukuri, compete with each other in a spirit of friendly rivalry, and build factories capable of outperforming our competitors.
The third thing we need to do is to promote a growth strategy. One of the strengths of the Furukawa Electric Group lies in creating supply chains linking materials through to assembled products, or in other words building “vertical partnerships” within the Group. Furthermore, one of the strengths of the Furukawa Electric Group is that we have bases around the world and possess technologies and products in a broad range of fields, and for this reason we should strengthen our horizontal partnerships. Further, it is vital that we use the comprehensive strength of the Furukawa Electric Group to the fullest, supplying unique products and services with high added value, and achieving strong growth with a sharp focus on sales and profits.
I want to remind you that the best way of bringing a smile to our customers' faces through our products and services is by looking after our own safety and health as we work alongside colleagues each day, and by returning home to our own families with a smile on our face. I look forward to meeting you all this year and seeing your happy smiles!
About Furukawa Electric Group
Furukawa Electric (TSE; 5801, ISIN; JP3827200001) Group started business in 1884, when its copper-smelting facility and wire manufacturing factory was established. Since then Furukawa Electric has become pioneers in the latest technologies by addressing diverse technological issues. Furukawa Electric has released products in a number of areas, including telecommunications, electronics, automobiles, and construction, with the three types of materials it works with at their core, namely, optics, plastics, and metals. Many of these products have attained the top global market share, and all of its products have contributed to society in numerous business areas. Furukawa Electric reported consolidated revenues of JPY 931.8 billion (approximately USD 9.3B) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.