While the Group has pursued corporate management in line with the three-year Mid-term Business Plan, which announced in August 2019, the Covid-19 pandemic was not foreseen at the time the Mid-term Business Plan was formulated and announced. For this reason, rather than waiting for the duration of the plan to end, the Company made updates to the details of the plan in light of the changes in business performance and the current management environment and developed a new three-year plan that will take us up to the fiscal year ending June 2024. Additionally, ahead of making the update to the Mid-term Business Plan, the vision for the Group was revamped as follows, in anticipation of the future business environment.
The Group’s new vision, as shown in the figure above, is based around the concept of “Build your Data Culture - We aspire to be the driving force in helping our clients build data cultures by utilizing our data-native approach to solve today’s marketing challenges and support business success”. Under this vision, the Company will work to transform its business model into that of a “Professional Marketing Services Company” that not only solves the research challenges of client companies but also provides better support for overall marketing issues from upstream, particularly in its Japanese operations. Moving forward, the Company will continue to provide innovative products that utilize the wide range of data gained from the consumer panels it maintains while striving to broaden innovation across the entire marketing business area.
As we work to deliver the world view presented in the new vision above with the aim to become “Global top 10 and No.1 in Japan and No.1 in Asia” in the previous Mid-term Business Plan, the Company aims to achieve record profit in the fiscal year ending June 2024, targeting consolidated Revenue of 57 billion yen, a consolidated Operating Profit margin of 15%, and consolidated ROE of 10% or higher in the new Mid-term Business Plan, as shown in the below figure. In addition, the target level of financial leverage will remain the same as previously, and the Company will aim to reduce its Net Debt/EBITDA ratio from 2.5x to the 2.0x range while maintaining its existing credit rating. The policy of strengthening shareholder return will also remain the same. The Company will firmly maintain the consolidated dividend payout ratio of 20-30% it has set as a long-term target since relisting on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, while continuing to implement flexible share buybacks as necessary.
*1 ROE: Return On Equity
*2 NOS: Number of Shares Outstanding
*3 Period of acquisition May 14, 2021 to July 8, 2021
Through growth in each of the four business categories; Japan Business (Research business, Digital and other new business), Korea Business, and Overseas (ex-Korea) Business, the Company aims to generate 57 billion yen in Revenue on a consolidated basis in the fiscal year ending June 2024, with average annual growth of 9.7% over the next three years. As this Revenue growth rate outpaces the increase in fixed cost, the Company expects that an operating leverage effect will be produced, delivering improved profit margins. Through these effects and the fixed cost management measures introduced above (reducing Outsourcing Expenses through expanded internal capacity, curbing the rising pace of total employee expenses through the active introduction of business automation, AI and RPA), the Company will aim to achieve an Operating Profit margin of 15% on record profit in the fiscal year ending June 2024.
To achieve the Revenue growth, the Company is currently investing aggressively in human resource. Through these efforts, the Company will aim to steadily capture client demand that has been recovering at a faster pace than expected by expanding its capacity to handle research orders in-house while building a system to receive additional orders by increasing outsourcing as needed. For new priority businesses such as the data utilization support (data consulting) business and marketing measures support (ad distribution, etc.) businesses, the Company will also pursue the hiring and development of human resources that possess those skills. In this way, while investment in human resources will take precedence in the first half of the Mid-term Business Plan, the Company expects to reduce Outsourcing Expenses in the latter half by maximizing its expanded internal capacity. At the same time, over the course of the Mid-term Business Plan, the Company will pursue a policy of curbing the rising pace of total employee expenses and achieving a balance between Revenue and expenses by actively working to introduce business automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).