Message from the Chairman & CEO
On May 9, 2023, we announced our business results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023 (FYE 2023), as well as the FYE 2024 medium-term management plan.
In FYE 2023, despite a complex business environment rattled by severe exchange rate volatility and high raw material prices attributable to inflation, we seized on the tailwinds of high resource prices and rapidly rising market conditions. As a result, consolidated net profit totaled ¥800.5 billion, holding steady at the high level of over ¥800 billion for the second consecutive year after FYE 2022’s record high of ¥820.3 billion.
On the financial front, buoyed by this solid performance, we bolstered our sound financial position by setting a new record-best NET DER of 0.5 times. On March 1, 2023, Moody’s raised our long-term rating to A2, securing ITOCHU the highest rating of any general trading company from the major rating organizations.
In addition, ROE, which is an indicator of management’s effectiveness and a strength of ITOCHU’s, amounted to 17.8%. This is much higher than the single-digit average of Japan’s listed companies and remains at the highest level for a general trading company. The ratio of Group companies reporting profits was also at a record-high level of around 90%. This is proof that we are steadily practicing the “earn, cut, prevent” principles on the front lines.
In FYE 2024, the final year of the medium-term management plan “Brand-new Deal 2023,” we plan to achieve a conservative ¥780.0 billion in consolidated net profit in light of volatile market conditions and a persistently murky global economic outlook, including ongoing geopolitical risks. However, we expect earnings to increase due to stronger performance in existing businesses and underpinned by a foundation for further growth laid by new investments carried out in FYE 2023. We also expect revenues to grow due in part to a rebound in businesses that had faced headwinds from the external environment. I have great faith that we will establish a revenue stage of ¥800 billion for the third straight year of the medium-term management plan.
We will continue to practice our “earn, cut, prevent” principles under “Sampo-yoshi” capitalism as the ITOCHU Group presses further ahead on the path of the merchant. From the customer perspective, we will constantly build new businesses and services with the awareness that profit opportunities are shifting downstream.
Finally, turning toward shareholder returns, in FYE 2024, we will stably raise dividends on a real results basis and plan to set the dividend to ¥160 per share. We will continue to realize a steady expansion in shareholder returns going forward.
We look forward to your continued support and guidance going forward.
Chairman & CEO
May 9, 2023