We announced the business results for the first quarter (January - March) today.
The consolidated management accounts were net sales of 405.6 billion yen (an increase of 19.5 billion yen over the previous year and 15.5 billion yen below budget), and operating income of 41.2 billion yen (an increase of 3.9 billion yen over the previous year and 3.0 billion yen above budget). The HQ unit accounts were net sales of 163.3 billion yen (an increase of 0.1 billion yen from the previous year and 7.7 billion yen below budget), and operating income of 7.8 billion yen (a decrease of 4.9 billion yen from the previous year and 0.4 billion yen below budget).
Foreign currencies in developed markets saw the U.S. dollar trading at 108 yen and the euro at 133 yen; this represented an appreciation of 6 yen against the U.S. dollar and a depreciation of 12 yen against the euro compared with the previous fiscal year, and a depreciation of 3 yen for both compared with the budget.
While some businesses are doing better than others, overall we can say that we are making steady progress. While there was a negative effect on operating income of 4.0 billion yen compared to the same period the previous year due to the FOB change, when making comparison without such special causes, we have again maintained performance almost on par with the previous year. Two businesses which are particularly healthy are marine and robotics. While these results are thanks to the efforts of everyone at these business units, I would particularly like to express my thanks to everybody in the production and procurement departments. Everyone at those departments is working hard right at the limits of production capacity thanks to the many orders being received. This tricky situation may continue for some time, but I hope that you can continue to work through it.
Conversely, the developed markets motorcycle business (Europe), parts business, and golf cars business have struggled in the first quarter. I believe that there are a range of reasons for this situation, but I have high hopes for a more favorable economic situation leading to recovery in the second quarter.
In addition, this year we are starting to see the benefits of SCM (supply chain management) initiatives in our Monozukuri (engineering, manufacturing, and marketing) activities. Previously, not achieving sales targets led to increased inventory, but the awareness of cash flow is increasing in each business, and this year, demand chain innovation initiatives are enabling inventory to be maintained at healthy levels even when sales objectives are not reached. Production being able to respond to and follow sudden increases or decreases in sales is a critical aspect of corporate management. While continuing to refine the responsiveness of our production adjustment, I would like us to next focus on increasing our ability to reach sales targets.
Two years ago, we experienced an increase in customer return expenses, and last year, delays in production commencement for new models, both of which led to significant decreases in income. While there are some issues, we are making steady improvements this year. Given recent unfortunate issues such as the incorrect representations of fuel consumption, we cannot yet say that our initiatives have been sufficient, but I believe that we are learning from our past mistakes and bedding in systems and attitudes which use past mistakes as positive knowledge to carry out high-quality work. Quality issues are not only the responsibility of people connected with Monozukuri. I would like to ask you all again to steadily promote the “WATASHI GA YAMAHA” initiative throughout the entire company so that all employees always have an attitude of revising the quality of their work and do not relax and lose focus by being content with improvements already achieved.
Finally, this year marks the last year of the current Medium-term Management Plan. I would like you all to take a moment to recap the aims of the Medium-term Management Plan with regard to your own work, including numerical targets and focal themes. Please work to further enhance aspects which have already been achieved, and work persistently right to the end on aspects which are yet to be achieved.