To Our Shareholders

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to all of our shareholders. Thank you very much for your continued support.

Consolidated Business Results for FY2022

The business environment for FY2022 ended March 2023 was marked by an uncertain outlook due to the slowdown in the global economy caused by rising inflation and financial insecurity as well as growing tensions between the United States and China and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian War. Under these circumstances, the Zeon Group addressed the challenges laid out by the Medium-Term Business Plan, guided by its Vision for 2030 of becoming a company that lives up to social expectations and the aspirations of employees. We also focused our resources on emphasizing profitability and strengthening the global expansion of production and sales in the Elastomer Business, and developing new high-added-value products and expanding the business activities of the Specialty Materials Business.

Consolidated net sales for the fiscal year under review increased by more than 7 percent year on year to a record high, mainly due to progress in revising our sales price and the decline in the value of the yen. Meanwhile, on the income side, we reported year-on-year declines in operating income, ordinary income, and net income attributable to owners of parent due to such factors as the decrease in shipments of optical film and battery materials, surging prices of raw materials and energy, and an increase in inventory-related costs. We intend to redouble our efforts to expand sales and improve profitability by taking advantage of a future recovery in the market environment.

We decided to pay a year-end dividend of 18 yen per share. Combined with the interim dividend, this raises the annual dividend by 8 yen per share from the previous fiscal year to 36 yen per share, marking a 13th consecutive increase. We will continue to enhance shareholder returns by adhering to our basic policy of consistently paying steady dividends while also maintaining a dividend payout ratio of at least 30 percent.

The position and aims of the Medium-Term Business Plan – Phase 2

Under the Medium-Term Business Plan, in FY2021 and FY2022 we worked to establish the foundation for realizing our Vision for 2030 based on three Groupwide strategies: Promote a transformation of monozukuri to realize carbon neutrality and a circular economy, Contribute to resolving social issues by “polishing up existing businesses” and “exploring new businesses,” and Work together to create “stages” to be active on.

We recently redefined the Medium-Term Business Plan as a ten-year plan covering FY2021 to FY2030, and named it “STAGE 30” based on a vote by employees. The period from FY2023 to FY2026 has been positioned as Phase 2 of the plan, which will be launched by adding “polish up the management base” to the aforementioned strategies for which we have been building the foundations. In view of the rapid changes in the external environment, we will review and revise the plan every two years.

The targets for the final year of “STAGE 30” are: ROIC of 9 percent for existing businesses and an increase of 60.0 billion yen in net sales from new businesses compared to FY2019. With these in mind, we have set our business targets for FY2026 at 510.0 billion yen in consolidated net sales, 58.0 yen in consolidated operating income, ROIC of 9 percent for existing businesses, and an increase of 16.0 billion yen in net sales from new businesses. We have also set clearly defined targets for each strategy to be attained by FY2026 and will steadfastly proceed toward realizing the Vision for 2030.

June 2023
Kimiaki Tanaka, Chairman
Tetsuya Toyoshima, President and CEO