Consolidated Results for the Full Year Ended March 31, 2015
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Can you provide some additional information on strategic expenditure planned for the 2015 fiscal year?
We plan to spend on items such as R&D, the launch of new products built around technology we are developing, sales promotions for strategic products, the sales network for office products, and actions that increase Epson brand recognition in the office sector and new business areas.
We want to invest in these areas on an ongoing basis. We will look to balance our spending with revenue and profit. We will also keep a close eye on the returns on and effects of these investments.
What is Epson's policy on shareholder returns?
The strategies we have carried out are enabling Epson to generate steady cash. This cash will be used to invest in growth and to actively reward shareholders.
For the fiscal 2014 dividend, we achieved our long-held goal of providing a 30% consolidated dividend payout ratio based on business profit after eliminating certain special factors. We will also explore further increasing the dividend payout ratio after we have invested in future growth and strengthened our financial position.
Can you provide information on the inkjet printer price trend in the fourth quarter?
Average selling prices for our home printers in Japan were within the anticipated range despite a cash-back campaign and other measures. As we had expected, prices in overseas markets were generally steady year-over-year.
In FY2015 we will keep a watchful eye on the moves of competitors and take action to secure a certain market presence, but we will not seek excessive unit growth by slashing prices. We will instead continue to focus on increasing the competitiveness of our products so that customers choose Epson over other brands.
What regions do you expect to drive sales growth in high-capacity ink tank printers in FY2015? Also how much room is there for growth over the mid-range?
We expect emerging markets to continue to drive sales of high-capacity ink tank printers.
Small shops and offices have been the primary consumers of these printers, but we think we are now in a position to capture business from comparatively larger shops and offices that are currently using laser printers.
We think there is ample room for growth. High-capacity ink tank printers still account for a small percentage of printer sales in emerging regions, so we believe we can expand sales by further increasing awareness and recognition.
How have sales of office inkjet printers been?
On a unit volume basis, sales have been expanding gradually, but because printers that generate high print volume are making up a higher percentage of total office printer sales, the composition of the install base (machines in field) is gradually improving. In FY2014 we launched products equipped with PrecisionCore printheads that deliver dramatically increased printing performance, and currently many of the new office models feature these printheads. We believe the install base will continue to improve, and we expect sales of consumables to gain momentum as this happens.