The following includes questions and answers at the Conference for the Medium Term Management Plan on June 18, 2010
Q. Tell us about future change and progress at Nikon group.
A. We aspire to further strengthen our corporate structure and enhance competitiveness. In order to accomplish this, we believe it is important to achieve the four missions outlined in the new Medium Term Management Plan: Expanding the Nikon brand, Creating new businesses, Realizing unified and quick-responding organizations, and Strengthening business functions and innovating processes.
Q. What can you tell us about the creation of new businesses?
A. We are currently considering two approaches. One is looking at expanding in new directions from existing business domains and creating new products and services which have a synergy effect with existing businesses in the peripheral fields. The second approach involves looking to explore entirely new business fields in which there are strong growth potential and social needs. We will not necessarily limit ourselves to fields in which we can incorporate our core technologies, but will leave ourselves open to explore other areas.
Q. Can you tell us about sales and strategies by geographic segment?
A. Over the last several years, the Asian market of Imaging Product business including China has been growing drastically. Just as orders for LCD steppers and scanners were taken in China, this growth trend in Asia is evident in other businesses, and we believe the contribution from Asia to total sales will continue to rise in the future. On the other hand, plans for business expansion conducted by each Nikon group Company have not all been efficient. In the future, we will further strengthen our control functions of business sites in each region and work to achieve optimal efficiency as a whole.
Precision Equipment Business
Q. What is the outlook for the market of IC steppers and scanners?
A. The inquiries for IC steppers and scanners are increasing day by day and we are confident that the market will grow by the year ending March 2012. In respect to the year ending March 2013, based on the assumption that all manufacturers are increasing production, we do not remain overly optimistic and assume that market demand may drop slightly.
Q. What share does Nikon target in the market of immersion scanner?
A. Under the relevant plan, we aim to gain a 40% share for the year ending March 2013 however we desire to target a market share of 50% by enhancing our products competitiveness.
Q. How are Precision Equipment business earnings?
A. IC and LCD steppers and scanners are both businesses that are characterized industries with the risk of drastic changes. Considering these circumstances, we have set a target that will be possible to achieve in the year ending March 2013.
Imaging Products Business
Q. What is the outlook for the digital camera market?
A. The digital SLR camera market is expected to experience continued growth on the back of growth in the category of entry-level models and expansion of markets in emerging countries. Markets in developed countries are expected to continue to grow provided that consumption throughout Europe doesn't fall as a result of the eventual economic downturn. In addition, with the launch of various models of new-generation digital cameras, there is potential for further market growth. While competition is fierce in the compact digital camera market, we expect to see market growth in emerging countries in line with rising to income levels, and we predict that these markets will continue to grow.
Q. What can you tell us about the new-generation digital cameras?
A. Although we considered a variety of so-called mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras for the digital SLR camera market, we discern the appropriate timing for the launch of our new-generation digital cameras based on the direction of the market demand.
Q. What are your ambitions as the Imaging Company President?
A. At first, it is my ambition as Imaging Company President to create differentiated products that are appropriate for Nikon and to live up to the expectations of Nikon enthusiasts around the world. We are committed to further improving our marketing capabilities by building on best practice examples from the past on a global scale.