Outline of Medium-Term Management Plan “PROUD 2020”
1. “Kuraray Vision 2026” Long-Term Vision
In putting together the medium-term management plan, we formulated our 10-year growth strategy “Kuraray Vision 2026,” which covers the period through 2026, when Kuraray will mark its centennial.
In 2026, our business environment is expected to be dramatically different as a result of the progress of digitalization and the expansion of emerging economies. In the chemical industry, the competition will intensify as newcomers enter the market. On the other hand, we know that changes in rules and regulations, technological innovations that apply IoT and other advanced technologies will create new opportunities and issues. There will, therefore, be more opportunities to contribute to solving those issues with chemical technologies.
We’ve established a vision of what we want to become as a company by the year 2026: “Specialty Chemical Company growing sustainably by incorporating new foundational platforms into its own technologies.”
To make this vision a reality, we will use three basic guidelines:
Pursue competitive superiority in existing businesses while making use of new technologies and previously developed products. We must develop new products and applications that meet customer’s needs, expand our businesses in emerging countries, and find new demand for Kuraray’s products.
Expand new fields of business. We will accomplish this by crossing our proprietary technologies with outside technologies to create and build new businesses, as well as through, M&A, alliances and other methods.
Enhance the comprehensive strength of the Kuraray Group, which reinforces these two strategies. As our businesses and locations increase, we will continue to develop our management infrastructure and raise the level of the Group’s total capabilities.
We have strengthened our business portfolio by carrying out business expansion, and this includes acquisitions and concentration on selected businesses for at least the past decade.
In the previous Medium-Term Management Plan "GS-STEP," we built an industry-leading position mainly through business expansion and improvements in profitability of our core business, vinyl acetate. These measures also included generating synergy with acquired businesses.
While we will continue to pursue high value add as a manufacturer of intermediate materials, we will also focus on creating our second, third and fourth business pillars to continue growing as a sustainable specialty chemical company.
2. “PROUD 2020” New Medium-Term Management Plan
One of our Corporate Statements is “Safety is the cornerstone of everything we do.” We place the highest priority on safety. We contribute positively to society through our safe business activities and the creation of safe workplaces free of accidents and injuries. Through the sustainable growth of our business, we will meet the expectations of stakeholders and fulfill our social responsibility.
In the current medium-term management plan, we want to place even more importance on our basic stance. We want Kuraray Group companies to be places where people can be proud to work – hence the name “PROUD 2020.”
All employees of the Kuraray Group should remain dedicated to earning the trust of society and furthering the mission of becoming a company where people are proud to work for ourselves and our shareholders.
"PROUD 2020" includes four key strategies:
- To pursue competitive superiority, we will:
- Generate new demand by developing products and applications based on customer’s needs.
- Create and expand demand in emerging countries.
- Achieve innovation of production and operational processes by advancing our digital strategy.
- To expand new business fields, we will:
- Create new businesses by incorporating external technologies while improving Kuraray's current technologies
- Continue to consider acquisitions and alliances
- Establish a new business model that improves business feasibility and venture into new fields by bundling technology and services as a specialty chemical manufacturer.
- To enhance comprehensive strength of the Kuraray Group, we will:
- Strengthen and develop our global business foundation to match the expansion of our business
- Create rewarding workplaces that can attract highly competent employees worldwide
- Foster a strong culture of unity in the Kuraray Group by promoting internal communication at the global level
- To contribute to the environment, we will:
- Expand our products that contribute to environmental protection
- Conduct our business operations with processes that reduce our environmental footprint
- Provide products that help enhance the quality of life throughout the world
Research and Development
In research and development, we are implementing three policies: Strengthen and expand existing businesses, establish and deepen core technologies, and promote new businesses.
To strengthen and expand existing businesses, we will support business functions in technology and development operations aimed at meeting market and customer needs, as well as strengthen IP strategies.To establish and deepen our core technologies, we will bolster the R&D of catalysts, the key to the development of production processes and new product development. We will also strengthen the R&D of polymer materials.
In the years during "PROUD 2020," we will actively make strategic investments to improve profits and strengthen our business foundation, and growth investments aimed at increasing production capacity to keep pace with the expansion of demand.
Over the three years, we are planning a capital expenditure of ¥250.0 billion, of which we’ve earmarked around 60% for strategic and growth investments.
The main investments we plan to make are listed in the graphic above.
This ¥250.0 billion total does not include investments related to the establishment of the new isoprene plant in Thailand or investments in new businesses.
We will also continue to explore M&A opportunities.
During the three years of "PROUD 2020," cash flow is expected to total ¥300.0 billion.
We are planning for a capital expenditure of ¥250.0 billion in those three years based on investments that have already been decided.
Our highest priority will be investments for future growth but returning profits to shareholders is also a top management priority.
We have set a minimum dividend and will maintain our policy of linking dividend payments to business performance.
During the period of "PROUD 2020," we are targeting a total payout ratio of 35% or higher and annual dividends per share of ¥40 or more.
In addition, we plan to flexibly carry out share buybacks, taking into consideration our capital position and market conditions.