The following is a record of Nagase & Co., Ltd. president Hiroshi Nagase’s New Year address for 2012.
I would like to wish all of you a very happy New Year.
It gives me great pleasure to be working with you again in 2012.
Last year was a turbulent year in many respects. There were natural disasters across the globe, and it was a volatile year in terms of international affairs, politics, and the economy. It was a particularly tough year in Japan, with the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear power plant accident. Amid this crisis, the people in the disaster zones and the rest of Japan overcame the sadness and suffering to work together to restore Japan. In addition, Japan received warm support from around the world. In this way, it was also a year in which bonds within humanity were clearly felt. However, simply turning the calendar to a new year will not make things settle down or bring about a stable world order. If anything, uncertainty is on the rise.
The Nagase Group has also been impacted by the turbulence in Japan and around the world. We expect our results for the fiscal year ending March 31 to fall short of our initial forecasts, and are bracing for a year-on-year decline in both revenues and profits. Thus, we envisage being confined to the “Change” 11 medium-term management plan operating profit target of 15 billion yen.
This year will be extremely important for the Nagase Group. First of all, this February we will officially welcome Hayashibara Co., Ltd. , in which we have decided to invest 70 billion yen, to the Nagase Group. Bringing Hayashibara into our Group will increase our employee count by around 600 people and raise our profits in the food and cosmetics fields. However, we will have to find a way to combine the capabilities of the Nagase Group and Hayashibara to build new business fields that are a match for the chemicals and electronics businesses. We will invest accumulated proceeds over time by our predecessors at Nagase, and we must be successful at this in order to make this even more valuable. As soon as Hayashibara emerges from under legal control, I want the people of the Nagase Group and Hayashibara to think together about the future and vision of the Life & Healthcare business for the group as a whole. Rather than simply being Nagase’s Life & Healthcare business, over the long term I want it to involve the entire Group. Once we have come up with our vision of the business , we will decide on the course, framework and schedule towards achieving this vision and I will be discussing our detailed plans to everyone in due time as they are decided.
Starting this April, our new medium-term management plan, will take effect. The changes you have made over the past few years have been wonderful, both in terms of quality and direction, and the basic idea of this plan is to accelerate these positive moves. I want everyone to work on reforms with a newfound vigor.
Nagase will turn 180 this year. In this important 180th year of the company, let’s all work together to make this a year in which we make great strides towards the next 180 years.
Hiroshi Nagase, President
Nagase & Co., Ltd.