Overview of the Year Ended March 2016
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, sales of high value-added, super high-end products expanded in the communications equipment market focused on smartphones. The growth was backed by an increase in the number of electronic components in devices as they became smaller and thinner with higher performance and greater functionality. The growing use of electronics also resulted in higher sales of high-reliability products for automotive and industrial equipment markets where steady demand is expected in the future. The weak yen also helped improve profitability.
As a result, on a consolidated basis, the Company recorded its highest net sales ever at ¥240.3 billion, rising 5.9% year on year. Operating income grew 77.7% to ¥23.3 billion. In addition, net income attributable to owners of parent company increased 35.1% to ¥14.7 billion, marking our fourth consecutive fiscal year with growth in both sales and profit.
Future of TAIYO YUDEN
We aim to capture growth markets in anticipation of ongoing advances in the use of electronics and continually transform our business model to build a stronger and sustainable earnings structure.
Smartphones have become widespread mainly in developed countries, and growth in unit sales has slowed down. Even in such trend, we expect the number of electronic components used in each unit to increase steadily, backed by a shift to higher performance and greater functionality. In addition, the automotive electronic component market is expected to see strong growth, from approximately ¥18 trillion in 2012 to ¥30 trillion in 2020, reflecting the development of electronic and fuel-cell vehicles as well as the rapid progress in the practical application of self-driving systems. Furthermore, as the spread of IoT shifts into high gear, the number of devices connected to networks along with the number of sensors in those devices will surge, leading to an explosive increase in the need for ultra-small and ultra-thin electronics components.
With this outlook for the market environment, the Company will step up its efforts focusing on growth strategies to realize our vision to "become an excellent company that enjoys the trust and highest regard from our customers." Trust is earned through our basic business stance of always living up to the expectations of our customers. Moreover, as a company at the forefront of technological innovation, we hope to continue to be an excellent company that proactively creates smart and inspiring products beyond the expectations of our customers.
As an electronic components manufacturer, we also aim to continually transform our business model to build a stronger earnings structure. Specifically, we will increase the sales ratio of super high-end and high-reliability products making use of our strengths in product development that starts from the development of materials. Along with these efforts, we will concentrate our management resources on creating new businesses that range from high value-added modules combined with software, solution proposals backed up by our accumulated technological achievements, to after-sales service.
Developing Focus Markets
We recognize that IoT will act as a major driving force that propels growth in demand for our super high-end products. Advances in IoT will lead to a rapid increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet, and the number of sensors used in those devices will also increase significantly. The Company is already involved in developing a variety of sensors and actuators and other products needed to support IoT market. The IoT market offers significant potential for us.
At the same time, IoT will be a vital tool in evolving our manufacturing capabilities to handle an unprecedented increase in production volume that is expected in the near future.
We believe that when the technology to analyze big data gathered through the use of IoT is established, the search range and speed of fundamental problem solving will improve remarkably.
Company expects that IoT has a revolutionary effect in improving production lines and in shortening delivery times.
Furthermore, we will use these enhanced systems and processes to better manage risk avoidance and improvement activities with the aim of building a smart value chain in which all activities are organically synchronized.
Shareholder Return Policy
We plan to continue investing in growth while enhancing return of profits to shareholders targeting a total return ratio of 30%.
With regard to returning profits to shareholders, the Company kept total annual dividends at ¥10 per share until the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 to prioritize improvement of the earnings structure and financial position. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, however, we raised our annual dividend per share to ¥15, having fortified our financial foundation to maintain a positive net cash position while making the necessary investments for growth. The Company plans an annual dividend per share of ¥20 for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, comprising interim and year-end dividend payments of ¥10 each with a target of total return ratio of 30%.
President and Chief Executive Officer