Q. Please tell us about the progress and future initiatives for drastically strengthening the document business.
A. With the aim of building a robust platform for the document business so that it can withstand tough business conditions, instead of simply establishing a structure that calls for efficiency or reducing headcount, we are implementing company-wide operational reforms and striving to improve profitability. More specifically, we are undertaking various on-site initiatives such as reducing CoGS by speeding up development, streamlining operations with the use of RPA and so on.
As a result, the benefits of our initiatives in monetary terms in FY2019/3 came to JPY 31 billion, JPY 4 billion more than our forecast. Also, after partially revising our schedule, we have pushed back the expected completion of structural reforms from FY2020/3 to FY2021/3 but we still expect to curtail overall costs by JPY 2.9 billion and realize benefits of JPY 55 billion (vs. FY2017/3) in line with our initial forecast.
Going forward, based on a resilient earnings structure established as a result of our operational reforms, we will endeavor to boost sales in the growth fields of solutions & services and production services. Firstly, in the growth field of solutions & services, we aim to develop solutions that leverage our proprietary AI, IoT, and IoH technologies and consolidate the strategic partnerships we have with other firms that possess highly competitive cloud services. We hope to make our customers’ operations more efficient and contribute to work-style reforms by providing a wide array of solutions and services for different sectors, including manufacturing, finance, healthcare, logistics, public services, and education, as well as for different types of operations, such as information security or document management. Secondly, in the production services field, we will make every effort to expand sales by rolling out products and services that meet customer needs, but also deliver more services that aim to support overall printing workflow. We are looking to achieve business growth by strengthening collaboration between Fujifilm’s Graphic Systems Business Division and Inkjet Business Division and maximizing Group synergies.
Based on the measures outlined above, we aim to achieve the FY2021/3 operating profit margin target of 10% in the document business one year ahead of schedule. The cash we steadily generate will be invested back into the aforementioned growth fields with the goal of driving up sales and establishing a business platform capable of delivering sustained growth.
11000 Inkjet Press—a high-resolution, high-speed roll-fed color inkjet printer for commercial printing.
Q. Please tell us about your ESG initiatives.
A. Since its foundation, the Fujifilm Group has continued to place CSR at the very core of business management to find solutions to social issues through its business activities. The essence of our corporate philosophy and vision is to contribute to the advancement of society and environmental protection by providing top-quality products and services and help further enhance the quality of life of people worldwide as well as to do business openly, fairly, and clearly.
In 2017, the Group formulated and fully committed itself to putting into action two plans: the Sustainable Value Plan 2030 (SVP2030), a CSR plan targeted at helping to achieve the SDGs and other goals related to issues faced by society; and the medium-term management plan, VISION2019, which runs through FY2020/3, as a concrete action plan for realizing this ambition.
In September 2019, we have adopted “Fujifilm Group Employee Wellness Declaration,” which stipulates our intention to actively maintain and enhance the wellness of our employees given their role in supporting these business activities.
We also actively take part in global initiatives for the purpose of accelerating measures intended to resolve climate change-related issues; for example, we have endorsed the TCFD*2 and joined the RE100*3. We are committed to ensuring that Fujifilm Group initiatives contribute to society and will vigorously promote these activities on a Group-wide basis.
In June 2019, we exhaustively reorganized our CSR Group to establish a new ESG Division. This division now reports directly to the president and will work harder to incorporate ESG perspectives into management and business strategies.
Discussions are currently in progress ahead of the formulation of our next medium-term management plan, but at the same time, we will take steps to also review the SVP2030 in response to changes in society and our business environment.
Based on these plans, while we recognize that social issues could pose longer-term risks for the Company as we aim to realize a sustainable society, we also think that the solving of society’s challenges presents an opportunity to create new businesses. For this reason, we will continue to put in place a strong system through which we can take the initiative to develop new technologies and products and to propose solutions.
The Fujifilm Group aims to achieve sustained growth by continuing to meet the expectations and earn the trust of shareholders and all other stakeholders.
Q. Please tell us about your capital policy.
A. We use ROE*4 as an indicator of capital efficiency. We introduced an ROE target in VISION2016, our previous medium-term management plan, and clarified our policy on emphasizing profits. We also demonstrated our stance on prioritizing capital efficiency by extending shareholder returns mainly through continuous and steady dividend hikes and proactive share buybacks. Owing to improved profitability in respective businesses, ROE had increased to 6.7% in FY2019/3 from 5.3% in FY2015/3, the first year of VISION2016. We are making good progress toward our FY2021/3 ROE target of 8.0% as called for in VISION2019, the current medium-term management plan, as we work harder to further improve profitability.
In order to further boost ROE under our next medium- term management plan, we will utilize ROIC*5 as a metric for assessing business divisions. Each business will be assigned a ROIC target to enhance capital efficiency according to its stage of growth (improving profitability; accelerating growth; or investing for the future) and managed so that we can achieve our overall ROE target. At the same time as pursuing cost reductions in each business, we will actively engage in M&As and spend capital for future growth while keeping a stern eye on the impacts of such investments.
Furthermore, in seeking to improve capital efficiency, we intend to better manage cash flow by utilizing CCC*6 as a control indicator. At present, excluding M&As, we steadily generate free cash flow of around JPY 140–JPY 150 billion annually, but by improving CCC we hope to create a virtuous cycle whereby cash is generated through the reduction of working capital and the selection of effective investments, which is then reinvested effectively to boost profits.
Q. To our shareholders
A. We intend to steadily achieve the targets we set out in VISION2019, which comes to an end this fiscal year. And in order to generate sustained growth and enhance corporate value up ahead, we will make a point of engaging in dialogue with shareholders and stepping up efforts to continuously create products and services of value to meet the expectations of society and earn its trust.
We hope to meet your expectations for future growth of the Fujifilm Group and I look forward to your continued support for many more years to come.
- 1 According to a survey by Fujifilm
- 2 The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) was set up by the Financial Stability Board, a global body comprising major central banks and financial regulators. In June 2017 the TCFD announced recommendations for private business corporations to disclose the financial implications of risks and opportunities stemming from climate change in order to gauge what impacts climate change issues have on the stability of financial markets. The TCFD recommends that climate-related financial information be incorporated as an evaluation factor by financial institutions, much like existing financial information disclosures.
- 3 The RE100 is an initiative operated as a partnership between two global NPOs: The Climate Group, which promotes climate change measures; and CDP, which helps companies disclose and manage information on their environmental impacts. The companies that join the RE100 are committed to achieving 100% renewable electricity used in their business activities.
- 4 Return on equity
- 5 Return on invested capital
- 6 Cash conversion cycle