Under these circumstances, during fiscal 2007, the final year of the mid-term management plan Leap Ahead 21, ending March 31, 2007, Matsushita
implemented initiatives to accelerate growth strategies and further strengthen management structures, thereby achieving the target of an operating profit to sales ratio of 5%.The achievements of the Leap Ahead 21 plan during the last three years are as follows:
First, a lean and agile management style was firmly established.Matsushita
expanded its business, focusing on simultaneous global product introductions by improving R&D efficiency and implementing distribution reforms, as well as by reducing total assets and factory inventories.The Company also made efforts to reduce fixed costs by implementing its comprehensive cost reduction activities, the so-called Corporate Cost Busters Project.Second, Matsushita
established robust business pillars to support a strong management structure.The Company implemented initiatives to enhance product competitiveness, whereby V-products were well received by the market and made a significant contribution to an increase in market share.Regarding plasma TVs, in particular
, the Company expanded its operations to meet a rapid increase in demand both in Japan and overseas, and succeeded in securing a high market share.In fiscal 2007, Matsushita
decided to build a fifth domestic plant to produce plasma display panels (PDPs) to meet a further increase in demand.Third, the collaboration with Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.
(MEW) proved to be successful.Over the three years of the Leap Ahead 21 plan, the Company has endeavored to integrate sales and manufacturing functions with MEW
, and implement common brand strategies, as well as reinforce product competitiveness, thereby generating synergies.Through this collaboration, in the two-year period from fiscal 2006 to 2007, the Company achieved an increase in sales of approximately ¥130 billion.Finally, Matsushita
implemented shareholder-oriented management in parallel with a solid business recovery.
In the future, Matsushita
will further expand the home networking business, centered on flat-panel TVs, and actively promote the digital AV business on a global scale.
Going forward, Matsushita
will continue to develop new products, services and solutions that provide safety and security, comfort and convenience in the home, office, car and outdoors.
Sales in this category increased 3.7% to ¥1,227.4 billion compared with ¥1,183.1 billion in the previous fiscal year.In the fiscal year under review, unique products such as tilted-drum washer/dryers and air conditioners equipped with automatic filter cleaning and dust removal functions received market acclaim due to proprietary technologies, and sales gains were recorded in induction-heating (IH) cooking equipment, water heating systems and other products, mainly as a result of the growing number of all-electric homes, contributing to increased sales overall.
In home appliances, Matsushita
recorded higher sales of tilted-drum washer/dryers, which realize the industry's highest level of energy efficiency, as well as of combination steamer/microwave ovens, which enable new cooking methods with high-temperature steam.Both these product categories contributed to the increase in overall sales.
In air conditioners and refrigerators, models with automatic cleaning functions that require no cleaning of the internal filter or replacement of the heat exchanger for ten years and also generate ideal air flows both in cooling and heating, were well received by the market, contributing to a significant increase in sales of air conditioners.Sales of refrigerators increased as a result of favorable sales of new products with thinner casings and increased storage capacity, which was achieved with Matsushita's
proprietary insulation technology.
Looking forward, Matsushita
will continue to create high-value-added products based on environmentally friendly technologies and a universal design concept, and implement initiatives on quality as the top priority to ensure product safety.Matsushita
will also strengthen its overseas production bases, mainly in China and other Asian countries, thereby ensuring growth and enhancing profitability.
As a result of strong demand for digital AV products, Matsushita
recorded sales growth in system LSIs for flat-panel TVs and image sensors for digital cameras.Overall semiconductor sales declined, however, due to a downturn in demand for mobile phones.
In batteries, sales of Oxyride dry batteries were favorable in Japan and overseas, and lithium-ion batteries, mainly those for use in mobile communications equipment, recorded steady growth in sales, thereby contributing to an overall increase in sales.
Going forward, Matsushita
will contribute to the differentiation of its finished products by developing and enhancing the range of competitive products at the core of the devices business.
...In the factory automation business, Matsushita introduced high-speed die bonders and other products equipped with highly precise mounting systems and capable of high productivity, while expanding its lineup of high-speed modular mounting machines.
The Company's new Integrated Process Assembly Cell (IPAC), a modular line that combines electronic component and semiconductor mounting into one platform, was well received by the market.
In the future, Matsushita
aims to maintain its leading position in the global electronic component mounting field and outstrip its competitors with its three strengths of hardware, processes and solutions, thereby securing growth in the FA business.
executed initiatives to accelerate R&D focused on key development themes, and to enhance R&D efficiency mainly by creating a common platform for technologies in different product segments and categories.
realized a picture quality with definition over 2.6 times as high as existing models while maintaining the current high level of brightness, by miniaturizing the partitions between illuminant cells to enlarge the illuminated area and utilizing a 1080p HD high-speed pixel drive to ensure stable light emission from all pixels.
(2) World's first dual-layer Blu-ray disc and recorder
Using a high-density recording technique of creating dual layers on each side of the disc, Matsushita
realized a large recording capacity of up to 6 hours of HD digital terrestrial broadcasting and a high transfer speed of approximately twice that of existing products.
(3) Second-generation Integrated Platform Matsushita
developed AV processing technology with low power consumption in a single system LSI, thereby realizing over 50 hours of music playback and over 5 hours viewing of "One Segment" broadcasting on a mobile phone.
(4) New "Compact BiG" series of refrigerators featuring top-unit compressors
By downsizing the compressor installed in the upper part of the refrigerator and the vapor generating unit in the bottom part, Matsushita
realized a storage capacity of 525 liters in the same dimensions as its existing 450-liter model.
During the fiscal year under review, Matsushita
primarily implemented capital investment to increase production capacity in strategic business areas such as semiconductors and digital AV equipment, particularly plasma TVs.Capital investment (excluding intangibles) totaled ¥418.3 billion in fiscal 2007.
maintains a basic policy of financing all required funds from internal sources, and practices efficient fund management through internal financing activities. Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.
(JVC) issued ¥20 billion in the sixth series of unsecured bonds (issued September 2006).Matsushita
redeemed the outstanding balance of ¥100 billion in the fourth series of unsecured bonds (issued February 2002) and JVC
redeemed the outstanding balance of ¥20 billion in the fourth series of unsecured bonds (issued August 2000).
In line with its twin corporate vision of contributing to realizing a ubiquitous networking society and coexistence with the global environment, Matsushita
aims to earn the support of all its stakeholders worldwide by sustaining growth through continued innovation and ensuring sound business activities on a global basis.
To realize these objectives, Matsushita
has announced the GP3 plan, a new mid-term management plan to be completed by March 2010.Based on the basic policy of achieving steady growth with profitability, Matsushita
will implement a range of concrete initiatives to achieve ¥10 trillion in sales, representing growth, and ROE of 10%, measuring capital efficiency, which have been established as two criteria of the GP3 plan. Matsushita
will place particular emphasis on three priority themes for its mid-term growth strategies: double-digit growth in overseas sales, four strategic businesses, and continuous selection and concentration.First, Matsushita
will aim for double-digit growth in overseas sales of consumer products by enhancing marketing tailored to regional characteristics.Second, with regard to four strategic businesses, Matsushita
will focus on its digital AV business, automotive electronics business, businesses providing comfortable living, and semiconductors and other devices businesses.Through collaboration between these businesses, the Company will strive to expand synergies, while