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Yamaha Motor Withdraws from Life Science Business

November 16, 2010

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces that it will withdraw from its Life Science business as of the end of December 2010 due to expected difficulties in achieving profitability attributed to limited market size and future growth prospects.

1.Background and reasons behind the withdrawal


In 1997, Yamaha Motor began researching micro-plankton propagation as a means to convert carbon dioxide into value-added substances and reduce greenhouse gases. In 2005, the company built its Life Science laboratory and established its Life Science Division, entering the field of biotechnology. In 2006, the company began supplying PURESTA, a new product of its Life Science Division, to food and cosmetics/skincare manufacturers as an astaxanthin ingredient. In 2007, the company released ASTIVO, an astaxanthin-based health supplement, to the general market, marking Yamaha Motor's full-fledged entry into the life sciences industry.
Despite these efforts, however, the cumulative sales for the three fiscal years between 2007 and 2009 did not exceed 500 million yen, proving market demand and the growth rate to be far below initial estimates. As a result, Yamaha Motor's Life Science business remained unprofitable. Future projections indicate that it will be difficult to achieve further growth and improve the business' profitability.
To improve company-wide profitability, Yamaha Motor is currently implementing concerted reforms, which include reorganizing factories, optimizing personnel allocation and cutting costs. The rapid appreciation of the yen and other conditions in the current business environment are making further structural reforms necessary.
In light of these circumstances, Yamaha Motor has determined that continuing to invest in its Life Science Division is unfeasible. The company has therefore decided to withdraw from the business, and redirect the limited corporate assets available toward other investments.

2.Measures for the future


Yamaha Motor plans to consult individually on the future of its business with manufacturers to which it supplies raw astaxanthin, among other products. The company plans to discontinue general market sales of ASTIVO as of the end of March 2011.
Yamaha Motor will relocate Life Science Division personnel within the company. The company is reviewing a number of possibilities regarding the future use of the Life Science Division facilities, including the laboratory and factory.

3.Effects on business performance


The projected effect on Yamaha Motor's business performance for fiscal 2010 is very slight.

Outline of Yamaha Motor's Life Science Business

Main business:

Research and development and production and sales of products and raw


materials inherent to and deriving from microalgae


280 million yen (FY2009)


Food and cosmetics manufacturers, etc. (supplied in raw material form)


General market via mail order (supplied as a supplement)



Production base:

Life Science Institute (Fukuroi City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan)

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