2008 New Year Greeting from the President, Yoshikatsu Ota
— Toward Further Growth —
Firstly, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year.
When we review the world economy, a continued expansionary trend somewhat slowed down due to the impact of a credit crunch in the United Sates stemming from the subprime loan issue. In Europe, despite growing concerns over credit risks, steady growth has been maintained on the whole due to solid exports and capital investment. The Asian economy has overall made a favorable performance due to the sustained growth of the Chinese economy and other factors. Here in Japan, we faced uncertain issues such as sharp increase in raw materials prices, particularly of crude oil; however, corporate performance has improved to bring about economic recovery. This trend is particularly noticeable among export manufacturers, who have benefited from the momentum of the rising Euro and falling yen.
In these economic conditions, we have thoroughly adopted selection and concentration policy. By emphasizing our office equipment and optics businesses in particular, we have achieved all-time highs for operating income, recurring profit, and net income for the interim financial period ended September 30, 2007.
In May 2005, Konica Minolta Group announced FORWARD 08, a three-year medium-term management plan. Based on this plan, in 2006 and 2007, we concentrated our business resources in potential fields and markets. We, with a unified effort of our group, promoted “genre-top strategy” to achieve the top positions in these potential fields and markets, thus attained certain positive results.
This year marks the last year of the medium-term management plan. Although changes in the market environment and intensification of competition are expected, we wish to further accelerate growth by expanding both the equipment and services sector and the components sector. To achieve this, we believe it critical to further strengthen and expand our current core businesses. In our core office equipment business, we are working to secure the top position in color multi function peripherals (MFPs). Similarly, in our strategic optics business, we are aiming to expand highly functional triacetyl cellulose film (TAC film) used in the liquid crystal TV market. We are steadily promoting to streamline our foundation to reach these goals. At the same time, with a view to nurturing future business, we are currently working with the General Electric Company of the U.S. on the organic light emitting diode (OLED) devices for lighting, applying technologies developed by Konica Minolta, with a view to commercialization in 2010.
It has been more than four years since our business integration in 2003. I feel fortunate that there still remains a strong desire and awareness among all of our group employees to bring our company to be a company with value and recognition. The results achieved so far seemed have led to confidence for each of our employees, and to motivate them to challenge still loftier goals. I have confidence in that this strength leads Konica Minolta to even greater progress in the future.
The Konica Minolta Group, while continuing to grow and take up new challenges, will continue to meet expectations of our stakeholders around the world as a global company indispensable to the imaging industry, driven by our corporate message “the essentials of imaging.”
Lastly, I wish you all the best of health and happiness in the new year, and look forward to your further guidance and support for the Konica Minolta Group.