August 30, 2012,11:34 +0900(JST) 5th Partners' Meeting

On August 1, the Sumitomo Electric Group Partners' Meeting was held to promote mutual trust and cooperation with suppliers. Since its first launch in 2008, this annual event observed its fifth anniversary this year. Despite the hot weather, the event was attended by many companies both at home and abroad that supply raw materials, parts, equipment and the like to the Group.

The meeting began with an explanation of our business results, management policies, and materials procurement policies, as well as our requests to suppliers. This was followed by an introduction to the megawatt-class power generation/storage system that I wrote about on this blog the other day. At the subsequent VA (Value Analysis) Excellent Partner Award Ceremony, certificates of commendation and commemorative gifts were granted to four companies.

Afterwards, a small convivial party was held as usual. I was able to exchange opinions frankly with people from a wide variety of industries, learn about current market trends, and obtain the views of our suppliers directly, making the party even more significant.

Every time a Partners' Meeting is held, I realize that our success is largely due to our suppliers from a truly wide range of fields all over the world. Our suppliers' competitive products enhance the value of our products, and when our customers use our products we contribute to society. We hope that our suppliers, who are our important business partners, will continue to provide support and cooperation to us.

パートナーズミーティングでの様子 懇親会での一コマ

August 28, 2012,13:57 +0900(JST) Business Results for the First Quarter of FY 2012

On July 31, we announced our business results for the first quarter of fiscal 2012.

Our consolidated results for this quarter are as follows: sales: 527.3 billion yen; operating income: 17.9 billion yen; ordinary income: 23.7 billion yen; and net profit: 14 billion yen. Compared with the same period last year, which was right after the Great East Japan Earthquake, it is clear that we have achieved a large increase in both income and profits. Honestly speaking, however, the current business environment is actually tough.

The smoldering crisis in the EU is affecting the economies of China and the ASEAN countries. No signs have yet been observed that would indicate a recovery of the U.S. economy. Surrounded by the so-called “six-fold challenges,” including the excessive appreciation of the yen, domestic industries in Japan are in great distress. Since there are no elements that would allow us to become optimistic about the business environment for the time being, we have not changed our projected business results for the first half of the fiscal year or for the entire fiscal year.

We are in a dwindling economy on a global level, with no visible signs of a recovery. However, I have been urging our senior managers to anticipate changes and turn the crisis into a business opportunity. We are fully determined to accomplish our targets with a tenacious commitment and strong passion. We look forward to your continuous support.

August 28, 2012,13:30 +0900(JST) Completion of Demonstration Facility for Megawatt-Class Power Generation/Storage System

On July 24, I attended a ceremony held at our Yokohama Works to celebrate the completion of a demonstration facility for a megawatt-class power generation/storage system.

Construction of the facility was completed as scheduled without any problems, and this was largely due to the cooperation of Obayashi Corporation, Meidensha Corporation, Nissin Electric Co., Ltd., and Sumitomo Densetsu Co., Ltd., as well as to the concerted efforts of our different divisions. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to them.

Since March 11, the energy problem has been widely recognized as one of the most important challenges facing Japan. Much more attention is now being paid to solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy which do not entail the emission of CO2. Currently, however, these types of energy have a number of weak points, such as unstable supply due to their being affected by the weather or poor usability owing to low energy density. By utilizing redox flow batteries developed by us, the newly completed facility has overcome these disadvantages and is able to provide high-quality power, raising the expectation that the facility will present an appropriate form of smart grid system. We will demonstrate its capabilities and make an evaluation over about one year.

CPVs and redox flow batteries CPVs and redox flow batteries

The ceremony was attended by Mr. Yasuhiro Nakane, Parliamentary Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and many other people. We were truly honored that they attended the ceremony despite their busy schedules (and also despite some very hot weather). Moreover, the ceremony received much media coverage, making us realize anew the great interest in the energy problem and our group's important responsibility in helping to solve it.

All those engaged in the project are fully determined to ensure success in the demonstration test and to realize practical use as early as possible. We will do our best to live up to your expectations.

Group photograph to commemorate a tour to the facility

August 28, 2012,10:40 +0900(JST) Participating in “G-katsu” Presentations & Improvement Activity Award Ceremony

This year again, I attended our Group-wide kanzen activity (“G-katsu”) presentations and award ceremony for outstanding improvement activities.

At the G-katsu convention, six teams that had won the President Awards in the preliminary competition at their business units gave presentations regarding their activities on behalf of approximately 700 teams, including those at our group companies. All the presentations indicated that in order to solve a problem, the teams set a target, exchanged opinions with all members fully engaged, tackled the problem by trial and error, and with firm determination achieved an appropriate result. Meanwhile, I was impressed that the teams gave presentations and answered questions with calm confidence. All the presentations were excellent.

The Best President Award flag being conferredIt was extremely difficult to decide which team should be granted the Best President Award. After a vigorous discussion it was decided to give the award to the Power Lion II Group of Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd., the representative of the Automotives Business Unit. Engaged in the improvement of the test method for electronic control units (ECU) for automobiles, the team has achieved impressive results.

At the end of the event, I commented that the current business environment was difficult and that we needed to brace ourselves once again for the second half of this fiscal year. I also said that despite such a challenging situation, I was happy to listen to the superb presentations. Additionally, I spoke about the importance of tackling problems regarding routine work, and the necessity of possessing an absolute determination to attain the targets set by each of us.

Our group develops a wide variety of activities with the participation of all staff members in terms of safety, the environment, product quality, clerical work quality, and many other aspects of our operations. Every time I participate in a presentation event, I feel that such steady efforts based on the awareness of each of us towards problems serve as the cornerstone of our group. I hope that many themes will be set at workplaces within the Group and that more active efforts will take place.

Together with winners of President Awards

August 28, 2012,10:24 +0900(JST) Donation Ceremony for the New Athletic Track in Sumitomo Multi-Purpose Sports Field

Located next to the Koyaike Park in Itami City, Sumitomo Multi-Purpose Sports Field features an athletic ground, baseball grounds, tennis courts, a gymnasium, and a swimming pool. As a facility shared across Sumitomo Group, it was established to contribute to the sound physical and mental development of, and mutual interaction among the group's employees. Partly because our Itami Works is located nearby, many staff members use the facility.

Recently, the sports field's decrepit athletic track was renovated to equip it with an all-weather type pavement of compound rubber-urethane made by Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd. A donation ceremony for the sports field was held, and members of our athletic club ran on the new track for the first time.

It rained heavily on the day before the ceremony, lasting until the morning of the event. Around the beginning of the ceremony, however, it stopped raining, as if the heavens were celebrating the event. Held by Sumitomo Realty & Development Co., Ltd., the facility custodian company, the donation ceremony was attended by the chairperson of the board of education of Itami City and members of the city's athletic association.

テープカット 走り初めの様子

In the afternoon, a pep rally and luncheon were held at our club. When I asked the members who had run on the new track for the first time for their impressions, their comments were along the lines of: "The surface is hard and good for demonstrating explosive power. I think that I will be able to achieve excellent results" and "Since the facility is located near my company and dormitory, I think it's going to be easier for me to practice early in the morning and after work." The facility received a high evaluation. Furthermore, to my surprise, the members gave me a certificate of appreciation, making the rally and luncheon even more exciting.

感謝状Our athletic club features a wide range of athletes, from sprinters, long-distance runners, and jumpers. Providing an appropriate training environment is the role of management. I look forward to all our athletes breaking their own records and fully demonstrating their abilities both in domestic and international competitions.

It is planned to submit an application to the Japan Association of Athletics Federations in order for the renovated athletic ground to be authorized as a fourth-category ground, and that a meet will be held on Sunday, October 21, with leading athletes invited, with the hope that new Japanese records will be set. Just wait till you see what happens in the competition!

SUMITOMO ELECTRIC President CEO Masayoshi Matsumoto

Born in 1944 in Hyogo Prefecture, Masayoshi Matsumoto joined Sumitomo Electric in 1967. After serving as General Manager of Chubu District Office, Managing Director and Senior Managing Director, he assumed office of President and CEO in June 2004.

His leisure activities include jogging, reading and art appreciation. Also a seasoned athlete, he played baseball in junior high school and practiced judo in senior high school. In university, he threw the javelin competitively and participated in all-Japan inter-university competitions.

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