Business results have beaten our mid-term management plan expectations for the second consecutive year.
Targets for the final year of the plan have been revised upward.
Business results have exceeded targets for fiscal 2011, thanks to our Green First Strategy.
First, we wish to report to our shareholders that business results for the fiscal 2011 year ended January 2012 exceeded the targets set forth in the mid-term management plan we prepared in fiscal 2010, and that the forecast for fiscal 2012, the final year of our mid-term management plan, has also been revised upward.
*Please refer to Management Plan
The main driver of this strong momentum is our Green First Strategy for eco-friendly housing. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, it has been reaffirmed that housing helps protect family lives and assets, and self-powered electricity and the effective use of renewable energy have become national priorities.
In this environment, the number of orders Sekisui House received for its new custom detached houses with photovoltaic power generation systems was 11,222 in fiscal 2011, while those received by the Sekisui House Group as a whole, including its rental housing and remodeling businesses, exceeded 15,000 for the year.
The Green First Hybrid, a new series of homes featuring a power generation system that combines three different cells (a solar cell, fuel cell, and storage battery), which Sekisui House announced in August 2011 as the first of its kind in the world, has also drawn expectations and attention. Since the project’s launch, orders have been steadily increasing, as the characteristics and performance of a “disaster-resistant house”—capable of generating electricity from a storage battery during disasters and reducing power consumption by saving energy and generating its own power—have been well received by customers.
Solid results for our structural reform.
We will aim for strong growth in the next stage of our business expansion.
Concurrently, the structural reform that the entire Group has been undergoing since the collapse of Lehman Brothers has also been achieving solid results, and the Group has streamlined its earnings profile. In particular, the idea that increased cooperation between Group operations can help generate income has been making headway in the Group’s companies. As a result, annual sales in our remodeling business have exceeded ¥ 100 billion. Rental housing Sha-Maison now boasts a high occupancy rate of over 95%, and the strong sense of trust our customers have in us has also led to an increase in orders.
In February 2012, we began operating a new production line for Bellburn, an original exterior wall made of earthenware, with the aim of strengthening and expanding our wood-framed housing business. Since we have been able to produce Bellburn in-house, we have not only improved quality, but have also increased our production capacity by as much as 2.5 times, and have been able to cut our production costs substantially.
We are continuing to increase our business operations, with a driving force being the development of our own technologies. SHEQAS, Sekisui’s unique antiseismic damping system, has now been adopted in approximately 70% of steel-framed houses, and Airkis, our eco-friendly system that improves the quality of indoor air through three approaches—“not generating,” “ventilating,” and “absorbing” harmful chemical substances—has become a strong tool for showing how we are unique.
Furthermore, we have also developed the new concept of multigenerational interactive condominium housing. We have completed the construction of a condominium combining “child-friendly housing” and “elderly housing,” which has attracted public attention. With an eye on the future, this concept proposes a new way for people to live comfortably with each other in the same condominium by facilitating intergenerational interactions while preserving privacy.
Based on these achievements, we are accelerating our strategies for expanding growth in the new fiscal year.
The increasingly important role of the housing industry.
We will thoroughly fulfill our social responsibilities.
Since the earthquake, the function of housing for families and society has been noticeably changing. You could say that the position of the housing industry in industrial circles has also been changing. High-quality industrial housing technologies, including most of Japan’s advanced environmental technologies, are highly valued in the world and hold enormous potential for our global operations in the years ahead. The steady growth of Sekisui House’s overseas business in Australia, China, the United States, and Singapore is a testament to this.
How to address electric power shortages, which is a national challenge in Japan, is another significant subject for housing manufacturers, and one in which we feel a strong sense of duty. While large-scale solar power generation, or so-called mega solar, is being talked about a lot, a mega-watt class power plant will end up being constructed if we keep installing photovoltaic power generation systems in existing homes. With a stock of two million houses, the growing number of houses built by Sekisui House has major significance. We plan to aggressively promote our Green First Strategy from this remodeling perspective.
Expectations are also increasing for a smart grid that can optimize electric power in an entire area through the effective use of information technology and renewable energy. Housing plays a central role here, after all. Sekisui House is now working on the development of the Smart Common City Akaishidai in Miyagi Prefecture as the first step in earthquake reconstruction in Tohoku area. We will continue to promote housing and urban development that can contribute to the “realization of a sustainable society” by carefully tailoring the size of individual projects in many parts of the nation.
The times are changing drastically. However, people’s desire for “comfortable housing now” remains unchanged. Please put your hopes in Sekisui House, which will strengthen its foundation, and take a new step toward growth.