CEO Message for Investors

On behalf of the NSG Group, I sincerely thank you for your continued support. Please find below a summary of the Group's performance for the 153rd fiscal period starting on 1 April 2018 and ending on 31 March 2019 (FY2019).

Summary of FY2019

In the 1st half of FY2019, the Group recorded higher sales revenue and net profit year-on-year thanks to robust market environment in general and especially in Europe as well as the growth in VA (value added) product sales. However, with the start of the 2nd half of the year, the automotive market in Europe began to slow down, certain energy-related costs kept rising and the value of South American currencies deteriorated, which led to lower revenue and higher profit year-on-year. On a full-year basis in FY2019, the Group's sales revenue was 612.8 billion yen (2.3% higher than FY2018) and the trading profit was 36.9 billion yen (3.4% higher than FY2018). The profit attributable to the owners of the parent in FY2019 was 13.3 billion yen (115.6% higher than FY2018). The trading profit was higher than the previous year for six consecutive years and the net profit improved substantially. In FY2019, which is the 2nd year of MTP phase 2, we managed to accelerate our actions to achieve the targets by adding "Growth" to the basic policy of "Shift to VA" and putting up "Shift to VA + Growth" as an enhanced policy. VA sales ratio increased to 46% driving improvement in profit. Also, with "Growth" or the expansion of top line in perspective, we decided to boost our capacity to manufacture glass for solar panel in Vietnam and North America and to expand a float glass plant in Argentina, which is regarded as a promising market. In addition, Business Innovation Center (BIC) was established in July 2018 for the purposes of further accelerating the endeavors to develop new businesses and enhance customer values. BIC is expected to take an initiative in such ambitious areas as in life science and Industry 4.0. In light of the steady improvement in our financial performance, the Group’s Board of Directors resolved to distribute dividend of 20 yen per share at the year end. The Group's dividend policy is to secure dividend payments based on sustainable business results and we will continue to use the sincere efforts to declare dividends in coming years. The Board also passed a resolution on partial redemption of class-A shares taking into account the profit improvement on a continuous basis and overall financial stability at the moment. This has contributed to reduction of financial cost.

Progress in MTP Phase 2 and initiatives for FY2020

In the MTP Phase 2 spanning three years from FY2018, we set forth four key measures for growth (Driving VA No.1 strategy; Establishment of growth drivers; Business culture innovation and Enhancement of global management) and two financial measures (Boosting net equity and Reduction of net debt) and are working diligently to deliver these measures.

The following is a summary of the progress being achieved under the MTP Phase 2. By driving VA No.1 strategy, we succeeded in establishing an advantageous position in the online coating area of architectural glass business and adding up order volume for VA automotive glass. In order to establish growth drivers, we are accelerating commercialization of new businesses by registering promising development themes as "Star Projects". In the arena of business culture innovation, productivity has been improved in the manufacturing lines for automotive glass through "enhancement of MONOZUKURI or Manufacturing Excellence" and the attitude of "Customer First" has been disseminated extensively not only within the sales department but across the Group through "reinforcement of marketing activities". As a means to advance global management, a shared service center was set up in four locations around the world in an attempt to consolidate back office operation of the Group. The Group also made Inclusion & Diversity Declaration to promote inclusion and diversity among employees. As a financial measure, we issued class-A shares to boost our net equity while achieving the target of financial cost reduction one year earlier, which contributed to push up profit in FY2019. In FY2020, the business environment is expected to get tougher in general given likely slowdown of the European automotive market, deterioration and increasingly severer competition in the North American automotive market as well as rise in certain energy and raw materials costs presumed to continue. In addition, such risk factors as Brexit and the US-China trade tension must be monitored carefully. Against such a backdrop, the Group intends to lay a stable business foundation solid enough to go through business cycles by continuing to reinforce business profitability with accelerated VA shift and through cost improvement; launch strategic investment projects in Vietnam, North America and South America as planned; bolster marketing activities designed to expedite growth and enhance R&D system; and establish the system to move us forward to the next stage of growth by buttressing the Business Innovation Center.

FY2020 is the last year of MTP Phase 2. Unfortunately, the financial targets of MTP Phase 2 (ROS: 8% or more and Net debt/EBITDA ratio: ×3) are likely to be unachievable due to the rising energy and other input costs, delay in the planned launch of new business and frontloaded investment for the future growth amongst all other reasons. That being said, the Group will continue to pursue further business growth and stabilization of financial foundation under the “Shift to VA + Growth” policy.

Aiming for sustainable growth for society

In new management principles called "Our Vision", we defined the Group's mission as 'changing our surroundings, improving our world' and continue to proactively work on initiatives aimed at realizing sustainable growth for society. Through the sales expansion of VA products, we will contribute to energy saving and creation while striving to reduce CO2 emissions and industrial waste in our business operation earnestly. In July 2018, the NSG Group signed Science Based Target initiative. With this, we intend to expedite our initiative to reduce greenhouse effect gas further.

Education and cultivation of people and talent development group-wide continues to be the subject of our invariable agenda. With the belief that "the essence of our success in the business lies in the dynamism generated by diverse human resources", the Group recently declared to pursue and implement the Inclusion and Diversity initiative as a management commitment. We will also fulfill our corporate and societal responsibilities as a good corporate citizen, including by rolling out and embedding of the Group Code of Ethics within the Group and through implementation of the program to secure compliance with the Supplier Code of Conduct by our suppliers as an example. Further, by continuously and intermittently pursuing and maintaining an effective Governance system with transparency and objectivity ensured under the oversight of the Board of Directors to warrant the validity of these commitments, we will be persistently making efforts to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society. In response to the revision of the Corporate Governance Code in June 2018 and the Practical Guidelines for Corporate Governance Systems, we are committed to giving "substance" to the "form" of Corporate Governance so as to establish the effective corporate governance structure conducive to the enhancement of corporate value.

The aforementioned activities have led us to win the highest, "Gold" medal of EcoVadis, a CSR rating institution in France, for the first time in 2018. The Group was highly rated from the standpoints of "environment", "labor practices and human rights", "fair business customs" and "sustainable procurement" and ranked as high as in the top 7% in the glass industry. As a member of society, the Group will continue to work successively on initiatives aiming to contribute to realization of sustainable growth for society.

We look forward to your continuing understanding and support to the Group.

Shigeki Mori
Representative Executive Officer
President and CEO
Nippon Sheet Glass Co., Ltd.