May 30, 2014,15:40 +0900(JST) Our High-Performance Concentrator Photovoltaic System

Some time ago, when I attended a workshop by researchers at the Osaka Works, I had an opportunity to observe concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) system production.

The Sumitomo Electric Group has developed a high-performance CPV system, using a compound semiconductor with high photoelectric conversion efficiency, combined with a collective lens to intensify the light energy and a tracking system to maintain an optimal angle to the sun. Since launching commercial sales at the end of March, we have been receiving many inquiries.

Receiving a briefing on production

The successful development of this CPV system is owing greatly to the effective use of existing technologies dispersed throughout our group. We have many business units within the Group, but regrettably we sometimes focus too much on our own area of specialization and overlook the benefits of interdivisional cooperation. I personally feel that active interdivisional communication generates synergy and produces innovation.

Our engineers still recall that, at their early stage of solar panel development, as they did not have measurement equipment, whenever the sunlight appeared, they would rush outside to measure the conversion efficiency. After repeated experimentation inside and outside the company, with steady product improvement, the development team proudly launched the first commercial product.

The CPV system installed in the University of Miyazaki has added a feature of displaying letters without sacrificing power output

Although our CPV system market is still in its infancy and there are many challenges to overcome, we will make concerted efforts to make it a stable business. We ask for your continued support and encouragement.

May 29, 2014,13:35 +0900(JST) Participating in the IWCC Joint Meeting and General Assembly

In mid May, I participated in the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) Joint Meeting and General Assembly held in Munich, Germany. I had decided to resign as IWCC chairman, and a new chairman had already been selected after some difficulties, which somewhat relieved me of my responsibilities. The event was attended by approximately 200 people from 28 countries, and the Q&A session was very lively as usual.

Delivering a speech as IWCC chairman at the General Assembly

The problems confronting copper producers, smelters, and fabricators, as well as exchanges (London Metal Exchange [LME] and New York Commodity Exchange [COMEX]) are currently becoming more and more complicated, due to disturbances in the supply-demand balance, fluctuations of copper prices, warehousing problems, lack of transparency in deals, participation from other industries, etc. Placing its foundation on copper fabricators as its members, the IWCC always considers what the international organization can do for such members. As an important opportunity for businesspersons concerned with the copper industry to get together, the IWCC Joint Meeting and the annual General Assembly are transparent. I am confident that these events will continue to remain essential to the sound development of the copper industry.

At the General Assembly, I expressed my sincere appreciation for efforts to support me to fulfill a two-year commitment to the IWCC as chairman, and at the same time, to make the event in Munich very successful. I feel that my experience as the chairman of the international organization, a responsibility that concerns coordination, has enabled me to feel the rapid progress of globalization and diversity directly once again and to further develop my mindset as a member of the global society.

Playing a cowbell together with a band at the welcome dinner

After attending the IWCC General Assembly, I visited Wolfsburg, near Hanover. In Wolfsburg is the headquarters of Sumitomo Electric Bordnetze GmbH (SEBN), a member of the Sumitomo Electric Group. At the headquarters, I exchanged opinions with SEBN’s senior managers. They explained to me the company’s current situation, problems and countermeasures, future policies, plans, etc., impressing me with the company’s potential.

With SEBN senior managers

May 19, 2014,15:10 +0900(JST) Business Results for Fiscal 2013

On May 9, 2014, we announced the consolidated business results for the previous fiscal year.

In fiscal year 2013, we enjoyed an increase in both revenue and profit and even exceeded previously announced expectations in terms of financial figures. Our group sales reached a record high of 2,569 billion yen, while operating income reached 120 billion yen, ordinary income totaled 145 billion yen, and net income stood at 67 billion yen. These robust results are all because of your support, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone with all my heart.

As for the future, it seems that the global economy is generally expected to recover gradually. However, China and Southeast Asian nations are expected to experience slower growth, and geo-political risks are seen all over the world such as in the Ukraine, Middle East, and East Asia. As you are all aware, an incident that takes place far away can affect the entire world and damage a company's supply chain. The Japanese economy has settled down, thanks to a weak yen. But companies cannot rest weaker yet. I believe the challenge has just begun.

Amidst this global environment, our consolidated forecast for this fiscal year 2014 includes 2,700 billion yen in sales, 125 billion yen in operating income, 145 billion yen in ordinary income, and 70 billion yen in net income. We will be operating amidst an uncertain business environment, but all of our employees are jointly working to build a financially invincible firm that can gain profit even amidst an extremely strong yen and create new products that contribute to society. I hope that you will continue to support us in our endeavors. Thank you.

Fact Book FY2013 4th Edition [PDF:1,130KB]

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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