January 4, 2012
1. Challenges in 2011
Last year saw the Earthquake and tsunami of East Japan and many other natural disasters, reminding us once again of their potential impact.
In addition to the natural disasters, we are facing dramatic changes in the management environment caused by the historic rise of the yen and the fiscal and financial crisis in Europe. Meanwhile, a few of our employees was sentenced to a prison term for violating the U.S. Anti-Trust Act, and our Company was fined a very substantial 200 million US dollars.As can be seen, we faced many serious challenges in 2011.
The consolidated statements for the first half of fiscal 2011 showed a slight increase in sales compared to the same time last year, but operating income and recurring profits fell below last year's figures. A very large net loss recorded due to the payment of the fine mentioned above.
We must be aware that the environment surrounding our business is becoming even tougher. I sincerely hope that each of you will view the crisis as your own issue, and be willing to contribute to the recovery of profits in your daily activities.
2.Accelerating New Frontier by being truly tough and self-reliant, and market oriented
To our regret, trust by our customers and society in our Company has declined significantly in the wake of our violation of the Anti-Trust Act and the deteriorated financial outcomes. The same applies to our shareholders. Our recent stock prices tell the store. We must overcome this situation as quickly as possible. Let us all work together hoping to make this year a turning point, and strive to ensure that Furukawa is recognized as one that is indispensable for society.
To restore trust, it is very important to continue making profits through businesses that are useful for society. There is no point in a company that does not offer useful services to society through its customers. Our Group can offer products and technologies that have social utility. I am certain that we can generate profits steadily in our core businesses. To do that, I hope each of you will achieve true independence. I ask each of you to act on your own initiative to address issues you find, and to be willing to do something to make things better.
To achieve growth in new markets, businesses, and technologies - one of the key policies of the medium-term management plan New Frontier 2012 - global business development is becoming more important than ever. Last year, our Company held the FURUKAWA Innovation Expo 2011 in Shanghai. The Expo enjoyed wide popularity, and it has led to subsequent orders by visitors. In October, we concluded an agreement to acquire SuperPower Inc., a manufacturer of second-generation, high-temperature superconducting wires of the United States. A number of steps are being taken to ensure future growth, with a focus on new eco-friendly businesses. Still, we must enhance our market orientation if we are to accelerate growth.
To remain market-oriented, it is vital that we keep our eyes on the global market, while also listening carefully to customers' opinions. Look at the world carefully, identify changes, think about how the changes relate to Furukawa, and make suggestions on what we can do for customers before other companies do. Here again, true independence is needed. Let us generate new technologies on our initiative, seize new business opportunities one after another, and continue attaining growth in the new markets and businesses.
Finally, I hope all of you and your family will enjoy another happy and vigorous year, remaining attentive to your health and safety.
Thank you again.