(1) Basic Corporate Management Policy
Taking advantage of the opportunity of adopting the holding company structure on October 1, 2013, the Group has established a new Group philosophy, “Through food, we aim to be a good corporate citizen, connecting and collaborating with people to create smiles in their lives.” By positioning this Group philosophy and the existing “Our Founding philosophy” and “House Ideals (Spirit),” the three factors, as its corporate philosophy, the Group has been striving to expand its businesses through consistent business activities by clarifying the targets it aims to achieve.
The Group will strengthen its capabilities to create value on its own in the mature domestic market and make efforts to further expand business in growing markets overseas. The Company also seeks to be more attractive for shareholders, for example by paying stable dividends so that it can earn their long-term support and assistance.
(2) Medium-Term Business Plan
The Group develops a medium-term business plan every three years that clarifies the direction of each business, and formulates and implements specific action plans in accordance with this plan.
Under the Fifth Medium-Term Business Plan that started in April 2015, the Group has formulated and implemented specific measures as part of a medium-term three-year plan, envisioning a business framework that sets its sights on 2020, setting “striving to become a high quality company that provides ‘Healthy Life Through Foods’” as a theme. The Group acquired additional shares of Ichibanya Co., Ltd. in December 2015 and additional shares of Gaban Co., Ltd in June 2016 to make them both into consolidated subsidiaries.
The basic concepts of the Fifth Medium-Term Business Plan are as follows.
（ⅰ）Realization of the Group Philosophy
The Group will promote consistent efforts to realize the Group philosophy as a corporate citizen that always fulfills its responsibilities to its customers, employees and their families, and society.
In the domestic Spice / Seasoning / Processed Food Business and the domestic Health Food Business, which are positioned as “core businesses.” the Group plans to further develop existing businesses and improve profitability. The Group will also take on the challenge of starting a business that it will offer to customers by creating new value in the mature market, while promoting partnerships with value-chain-type businesses.
In the International Food Business, the Group intends to strengthen its respective revenue bases in the United States, China, and Southeast Asia. With the International Food Business positioned as a “core growth business,” the Group will steadily expand business in growing markets, transcending the boundaries of food culture.
In regards to the Restaurant Business, which was added as a new business segment in the previous fiscal year, with the inclusion of Ichibanya Co., Ltd. in the Group, the Group will further enhance the value that curry has both in Japan and other countries by promoting cooperation between a manufacturer and a restaurant operator, two companies that are engaged in different businesses.
The Group will execute the medium-term business plan, operations, investment plans, and R&D themes, working hard to achieve their aims, by strengthening a framework to implement a plan-do-check-act (PDCA) cycle. The Group will also strengthen its cost competitiveness by moving forward with new efforts to procure raw materials and improve the manufacturing processes.
The Group previously considered the payment of stable dividends, with a dividend payout ratio of at least 30% on a consolidated basis as a standard, as the basic policy on the return of earnings to shareholders. However, with the Company’s conversion of Ichibanya Co., Ltd. and Gaban Co., Ltd. to consolidated subsidiaries, changes in profits and losses pertaining to shares for step acquisitions and profits and losses that do not entail cash movements such as the amortization of goodwill have occurred from the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.
For this reason, believing that stable dividends will more likely materialize if we exclude these fluctuating factors from the source for dividend payments, we revised our the basic policy on the payment of dividends to “maintain stable dividends, with a dividend payout ratio of at least 30% on a consolidated basis excluding the effects of extraordinary income/loss arising from business combination and the amortization of goodwill as a standard,” from the previous fiscal year.
The Group will also operate new businesses, making effective use of excess funds, by setting an upper limit on business investment, including borrowings.