To Shareholders and Investors,
We sincerely thank you for your continued support.
We are pleased to provide this report on our business for FY2017, ended March 31, 2018.
Operating Profit Reached a Record High for the First Time in 23 Fiscal Years
FY2017 was the final year under the Fifth Medium-Term Business Plan of the Group had been executing since April 2015. Our consolidated net sales for this fiscal year increased 2.8% or 8.1 billion yen year on year, to 291.9 billion yen. Our consolidated operating profit for the year climbed 32.3% or 4.0 billion yen year on year, to 16.3 billion yen. The figures surpassed our single fiscal year targets for net sales and operating profit, respectively. Consolidated operating profit reached a record high for the first time in 23 fiscal years, breaking the previous record set in the fiscal year ended March 31, 1995.
Annual Dividend Increase by 6 Yen
Under our basic policy on profit sharing, we decided to increase our annual dividends for FY2017 by 6 yen, to 38 yen, which includes interim dividends of 18 yen, and year-end dividends with a 3 yen increase to 20 yen.
Targets Set in the Fifth Medium-Term Business Plan Achieved
We set “striving to become a high quality company that provides ‘Healthy Life through Foods’” as a basic concept in our Fifth Medium-Term Business Plan, and sought to deal with the growing tendency for people to eat out or buy food to eat at home. Based on that concept, we expanded our areas of operation along our value chain by adding Ichibanya Co., Ltd. and Gaban Co., Ltd. to the Group. We also welcomed Malony Co., Ltd. to the Group in August 2017. Our consolidated net sales for FY2017, the final fiscal year under the Fifth Medium-Term Business Plan, substantially surpassed the initial target set in the Business Plan thanks to the large effects produced by the consolidation of the three companies stated above.
Looking at our consolidated operating profit, the amortization of goodwill and intangible assets from the consolidation of Ichibanya proved a substantial burden. The consolidation did not produce the effect of increasing profit. However, our existing businesses in the three segments of the Spice/Seasoning/Processed Food Business, the International Food Business and the Other Food Related Business steadily improved profitability. They enabled us to achieve the initial target.
Toward the Sixth Medium-Term Business Plan
In the course of our efforts to move the Fifth Medium-Term Business Plan forward, we found the need to make plans from broader perspectives not restricted to our customers in response to sweeping changes in the job market and rising demands from society. Under the Sixth Medium-Term Business Plan launched in April 2018, we will advance initiatives to transform ourselves into a quality company in all three areas of our responsibility: responsibility to our customers, responsibility to our employees and their family members and responsibility to society. We will continue to pursue consistent initiatives by clarifying our action programs and targets in the Sixth Medium-Term Business Plan, which corresponds to the first half of the six years ahead, equaling two medium terms set for realizing our vision for the future.
We hope that we continue to count on your understanding and support.