Investor Relations / Management InformationMessage from the President and CEO
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our shareholders and investors for your continued support.
For the consolidated fiscal year ended March 2023, although the sales volume of some products decreased due to the impact of the decline in demand for automobile production and electronic devices, the sales volume of products for which demand was growing, such as acetate tow for filters was increased, and we passed on rising raw material and fuel costs and distribution costs to sales prices. As a result, our sales revenue increased. On the other hand, operating income decreased due to factors such as the price pass-through and rising raw material and fuel prices that outweighed the effect of cost reduction.
Regarding shareholder returns for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023, as announced in the interim period, the year-end dividend for the current fiscal year was ¥20 per share. This, together with the interim dividend of ¥18 per share that was already paid in December 2022, achieved an annual dividend of ¥38 per share, an increase of ¥4 per share from the prior fiscal year. In addition, regarding the acquisition of treasury stock, we acquired approximately 10.51 million shares worth approximately ¥ 10 billion between November 2022 and February 2023. As a result, the shareholder return ratio for this fiscal year is 51.7%.
For the Daicel Group’s business forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, we anticipate that sales and profits will increase due to the recovery of demand in the automotive and electronic device markets, the correction of selling prices, and the improvement of productivity. We will continue to steadily seize sales opportunities by closely coordinating our supply chain and building a production system that meets demand, and we will implement thorough cost reductions in all areas of the company.
Through our mid-term strategy “Accelerate 2025,” we are working to implement our long-term vision for realizing a circular society. In the first half of the mid-term strategy, we focused on structural reforms, such as withdrawal from unprofitable businesses, consolidation of production sites, and review of joint ventures. This year, we have updated our mid-term strategy based on the progress of individual strategies and changes in the environment since the formulation. While reconfirming "safety, quality, and compliance" as the most important foundation of corporate management, we will continue to grow existing businesses in the four focus areas of "health," "convenience and comfort," "safety and security," and "environment." In addition to promoting the early development of new businesses, we will work to further improve corporate value by increasing profitability and capital efficiency through management focused on balance sheet control and cash allocation. In addition to promoting the early development of new businesses, we will work to further improve corporate value by increasing profitability and capital efficiency through management focused on balance sheet control and cash allocation.
The Daicel Group will continue to provide valuable products and improve its business performance through these products, and at the same time, contribute to the establishment of a recycling-oriented society by building a new co-creation mechanism with various companies and organizations. I would like to ask for the continued guidance and support of our shareholders and investors.