May 25, 2015,10:30 +0900(JST) IWCC General Assembly and Joint Meeting Held in Beijing (2)

After my business trip to Beijing was all set, others recommended that I bring masks to protect me from PM2.5. In Beijing, however, the weather was unexpectedly very fine. I hear that this was because it had rained just before our arrival, cleansing the air. In the morning of the following day (Sunday), I met one of the event participants from Europe in the hotel lobby. Saying that the air was clean, he jumped to outside to go jogging.

Old Palace (Forbidden City)

On the Great Wall of China under a blue skyOn Sunday, I went to see the Old Palace (Forbidden City). Serving as the location of a wide variety of historic events, this is an imposing structure surrounded with a rampart of about 10 m both in height and thickness, stretching 961 m north to south and 753 m east to west, as well as a 52 m wide moat, which totally overwhelmed me. (photo above)

Another day, I participated in an excursion program as part of the IWCC General Assembly and Joint Meeting, and went to the Great Wall of China. This is again an enormously large structure.

Chinese people in those days had good reason to feel that China was the center of the entire world.

May 25, 2015,09:30 +0900(JST) IWCC General Assembly and Joint Meeting Held in Beijing

From May 11 to 13, the International Wrought Copper Council (IWCC) General Assembly and Joint Meeting was held in Beijing, China, and I attended it.

Drawing about 250 participants from around the world, the event served as a good opportunity for presentations and opinion exchanges with a focus on the past, present and future of a wide variety of themes, from macroscopic explanation on the Chinese economic situation to technology and marketing in the copper industry.

IWCC General Assembly and Joint Meeting Held in Beijing

At the Joint Meeting, where representatives of copper producers, fabricators, exchanges, and trading firms gathered together, a wide range of problems surrounding the world's industry of nonferrous metals, mainly copper, were presented. The meeting provided the best opportunity for identifying the current situation of the copper industry through opinion exchanges and Q&A sessions.

As a former IWCC chairman, I renewed old friendships with copper-related individuals from various countries. Utilizing such an opportunity as this for maintaining and updating the existing network is vital for our global business. Dynamic information not available on the Internet can surely provide suggestions on how to respond to problems, before responses are generated in the market.

In the Great Hall of the PeopleTogether with life-size dolls for the lion dance performance
▲In the Great Hall of the People (left), together with life-size dolls for the lion dance performance (right)

May 25, 2015,08:45 +0900(JST) Regarding Fiscal 2014 Financial Statements

On May 15th, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. announced the financial results for the previous fiscal year.

Our business results were as follows: consolidated sales of 2,822.8 billion yen, operating income of 134.5 billion yen, and ordinary income of 160.6 billion yen. All of these figures marked around 10% increase from the previous fiscal year. In addition, our net income stood at 119.8 billion yen, more than 80% increase from the previous fiscal year, partly due to extraordinary profit generated by the sale of our stocks of Sumitomo 3M (currently 3M Japan). All of the four figures exceeded our previously announced expectations. This is largely thanks to your generous support, and I would like to express my deep appreciation to you all.

Regarding the forecast for consolidated results for this fiscal year, we announced that the numerical targets would be sales of 3,050 billion yen, operating income of 150 billion yen, ordinary income of 175 billion yen, and net income of 90 billion yen. We finally aim to achieve a challenging target-sales of 3,000 billion yen.

Meanwhile, as the media reported the other day of the world economy remaining slightly cloudy, the current business environment is still unclear. Without counting on economic conditions, it is vitally important above all to protect and solidify our own foundation conscientiously with our focus on SEQCDD (Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery, and Research & Development), and to make our corporate structure even leaner and more competitive. In recognition of this point, all members of the Sumitomo Electric Group will continue making concerted efforts to create products that will contribute to society. In this regard, I would like to ask for your continued support.

Fact Book FY2014 4th Edition [PDF:1.2 MB]

May 11, 2015,11:25 +0900(JST) Redox Flow Batteries in the North Country

I had something to do in Niigata on the 12th, so the next day I flew directly to Hokkaido and headed to the Minami Hayakita Substation of Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc. (HEPCO).

There, construction of a new building to house redox flow batteries was progressing at a high pace. HEPCO is very interested in the potential of redox flow batteries as a means of stabilizing their power grid, which will be connected to unstable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. With HEPCO, we plan to start a joint experiment to prove the battery's commercial viability.

With its large electric storage capacity of 60 MWh, the redox flow batteries to be installed here are expected to function as a buffer for adjusting the output fluctuation of renewable energy to be adopted by HEPCO in the future. So the size of the storage building is huge, exceeding our expectations thinking only of the simple word "battery."

Before arriving, I expected a bit colder weather in Hokkaido, but fortunately it was a fine and comfortably warm spring day. The building's construction was almost completed, and delivery and installation of the batteries will start soon. We will complete the installation of the batteries within this year and start verification testing from the beginning of 2016.

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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