The Sumitomo Electric Group launched a commendation system, Glorious Excellent Company Award, in fiscal year 2006 to recognize the contribution made by each group company toward realizing the Group's ideal vision "Glorious Excellent Company." The assessment criteria include business performance, such as sales and profits, contribution level to the entire Group's business results, and efforts regarding SEQCDD (Safety, Environment, Quality, Cost, Delivery, and R&D).
Usually, we invite award-wining companies from around the world, and hold an award ceremony and commemorative party. This year, however, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we did not hold a ceremony where winners could gather together. Instead, we held ceremonies separately in July and September for four individual companies that had won the award for three or more consecutive years.
This year, we commended the following four companies: Kyushu Sumiden Seimitsu Ltd. (fifth time, five years in a row), which we commended in July; Sumitomo Electric Toyama Co., Ltd. (fifth time, three years in a row); Sumitomo Electric System Solutions Co., Ltd. (sixth time, five years in a row); and Wuhan Sumiden Wiring Systems Co., Ltd. (twelfth time, 10 years in a row). As for the business results of the FY 2019 commendation target period, the entire Group continued to suffer year-on-year declines in sales and profits until the third quarter, when the Group was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and recorded very severe results. Even in such a harsh environment, each of the companies struggled and greatly contributed to the Group's business results.
Of particular note is Wuhan, the town where an outbreak of the new coronavirus infection was first confirmed and strict lockdown measures were implemented. I suppose there must have been many difficulties even in daily lives. Despite that environment, the winning company in Wuhan earned the commendation for the 10th straight year. This is a brilliant achievement.
Once again, I would like to express my appreciation to each company for their contribution. Thank you very much.
We held the award ceremonies for Kyushu Sumiden Seimitsu and Wuhan Sumiden Wiring Systems online. This enabled many local employees to participate in the events, allowing them to be well received. This was a good example of an advantage unique to online events.