Panasonic Corporation 20-F 2010
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington D.C. 20549
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 13 OR 15(d)
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010
Commission file number 1 - 6784
PANASONIC KABUSHIKI KAISHA
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
(Translation of Registrants name into English)
(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)
1006, Oaza Kadoma, Kadoma-shi, Osaka 571-8501, Japan
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act.
(Title of Class)
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act.
(Title of Class)
Indicate the number of outstanding shares (excluding treasury stock) of each of the issuers classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes x No ¨.
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Yes ¨ No x.
Indicate by check mark whether the Company (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Sections 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Company was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No ¨.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No ¨.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of accelerated filer and large accelerated filer in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer x Accelerated filer ¨ Non-accelerated filer ¨.
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
U.S. GAAP x International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board ¨ Other ¨
If Other has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.
Item 17 ¨ Item 18 ¨
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ¨ No x.
This form contains 158 pages.
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All information contained in this annual report is as of March 31, 2010 or for the year ended March 31, 2010 (fiscal 2010) unless the context otherwise indicates.
The noon buying rate for yen in New York City as certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on June 21, 2010 was 91.18 yen = U.S.$1.
About the Company
Panasonic Corporation (hereinafter, unless the context otherwise requires, Panasonic, the Panasonic Group or the Company refers to Panasonic Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries as a group) is one of the worlds leading manufacturers of electronic and electric products for a wide range of consumer, business and industrial uses, as well as a wide variety of components. As from October 1, 2008, the Company changed its company name from Matsushita Electric Co., Ltd. to Panasonic Corporation. Based in Osaka, Japan, the Company recorded consolidated net sales of approximately 7,418 billion yen for fiscal 2010. Over the past nine decades, the Company has grown from a small domestic household electrical equipment manufacturer into a comprehensive electronic and electric equipment, systems and components manufacturer operating internationally. Of the fiscal 2010 net sales, nearly one-half was represented by sales in Japan, with the rest by overseas sales.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This annual report includes forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934) about Panasonic and its Group companies (the Panasonic Group). To the extent that statements in this annual report do not relate to historical or current facts, they constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on the current assumptions and beliefs of the Panasonic Group in light of the information currently available to it, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors may cause the Panasonic Groups actual results, performance, achievements or financial position to be materially different from any future results, performance, achievements or financial position expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Panasonic undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements after the date of this annual report (June 2010). Investors are advised to consult any further disclosures by Panasonic in its subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and its other filings.
The risks, uncertainties and other factors referred to above include, but are not limited to, economic conditions, particularly consumer spending and corporate capital expenditures in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, Asia and other countries; volatility in demand for electronic equipment and components from business and industrial customers, as well as consumers in many product and geographical markets; currency rate fluctuations, notably between the yen, the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Chinese yuan, Asian currencies and other currencies in which the Panasonic Group operates businesses, or in which assets and liabilities of the Panasonic Group are denominated; the possibility of the Panasonic Group incurring additional costs of raising funds, because of changes in the fund raising environment; the ability of the Panasonic Group to respond to rapid technological changes and changing consumer preferences with timely and cost-effective introductions of new products in markets that are highly competitive in terms of both price and technology; the possibility of not achieving expected results on the alliances or mergers and acquisitions including the acquisition of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. SANYO; the ability of the Panasonic Group to achieve its business objectives through joint ventures and other collaborative agreements with other companies; the ability of the Panasonic Group to maintain competitive strength in many product and geographical areas; the possibility of incurring expenses resulting from any defects in products or services of the Panasonic Group; the possibility that the Panasonic Group may face intellectual property infringement claims by third parties; current and potential, direct and indirect restrictions imposed by other countries over trade, manufacturing, labor and operations; fluctuations in market prices of securities and other assets in which the Panasonic Group has holdings or changes in valuation of long-lived assets, including property, plant and equipment and goodwill, and deferred tax assets and uncertain tax positions; future changes or revisions to accounting policies or accounting rules; as well as natural disasters including earthquakes, prevalence of infectious diseases throughout the world and other events that may negatively impact business activities of the Panasonic Group. The factors listed above are not all-inclusive.
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Once a year, Panasonic implements a Groupwide risk assessment survey to identify potential risks in an integrated and comprehensive manner. By identifying, evaluating and prioritizing these risks, Panasonic specifies risks at the Corporate Headquarters, business domain companies and Group affiliates, takes countermeasures that correspond to the materiality of each risk, and seeks continuous improvements through the monitoring of the progress of such countermeasures. Primarily because of the business areas and geographical areas where it operates, and the highly competitive nature of the industry to which it belongs, Panasonic is exposed to a variety of risks and uncertainties in conducting its businesses, including, but not limited to, the following. These risks may adversely affect Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition. This section includes forward-looking statements and future expectations as of the date of this annual report.
Risks Related to Economic Conditions
Continued or further weakness in Japanese and global economies may cause reduced demand for Panasonics products
Demand for Panasonics products and services may be affected by general economic trends in the countries or regions in which Panasonics products and services are sold. Economic downturns and resulting declines in demand in Panasonics major markets worldwide may thus adversely affect the Companys business, operating results and financial condition. Triggered by the financial crisis in fiscal 2009, Panasonics business environment rapidly deteriorated due to declines in global consumption and business activities and due to intensified price competition. Regarding the business environment for fiscal 2011, ending March 31, 2011, the Company currently anticipates market conditions to remain unpredictable due to various factors including the yens appreciation and ever-intensified global competition, despite a gradually recovering global economy. Panasonic may incur increased costs for additional business restructuring in order to cope with the business environment. If global market conditions worsen beyond expectations, the business environment of Panasonic may deteriorate more than currently anticipated, which may adversely affect the Companys business, operating results and financial condition.
Currency exchange rate fluctuations may adversely affect Panasonics operating results
Foreign exchange rate fluctuations may adversely affect Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition, because its international business transactions and costs and prices of its products and services in overseas countries are affected by foreign exchange rate changes. In addition, foreign exchange rate changes can also affect the yen value of Panasonics investments in overseas assets and liabilities because Panasonics consolidated financial statements are presented in Japanese yen. Generally, an appreciation of the yen against other major currencies such as the U.S. dollar and the euro may adversely affect Panasonics operating results. Meanwhile, a depreciation of the yen against the aforementioned major currencies may have a favorable impact on Panasonics operating results. The global financial crisis, which occurred in 2008, caused the rapid appreciation of the yen against other major currencies, which adversely and significantly affected Panasonics operating results in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010. Any further or continued appreciation of the yen may adversely affect the Companys business, operating results and financial condition.
Interest rate fluctuations may adversely affect Panasonics financial condition, etc.
Panasonic is exposed to interest rate fluctuation risks which may affect the Companys operational costs, interest expenses, interest income and the value of financial assets and liabilities. Accordingly, interest rate fluctuations may adversely affect the Companys business, operating results and financial condition.
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Continuation or deterioration of financial market turmoil may adversely affect Panasonics ability to raise funds or may increase the cost of fund raising
Panasonic raises funds for its business through methods such as borrowing from financial institutions and issuance of bonds and commercial papers. Where, among other events, financial market turmoil continues or deteriorates, financial institutions reduce lending to Panasonic, or rating agencies downgrade Panasonics credit ratings, Panasonic may not be able to raise funds in the time and amount necessary for Panasonic, or under conditions which Panasonic deems appropriate, and Panasonic may incur additional costs of raising funds, which may adversely affect the Companys business, operating results and financial condition.
Decreases in the value of Japanese stocks may adversely affect Panasonics financial results
Panasonic holds mostly Japanese stocks as part of its investment securities. The value of such stocks has dropped significantly due to the world financial crisis and the recession of Japanese economy in fiscal 2009, causing Panasonic to record losses on valuation of its investment securities in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010. Further decreases in the value of stocks may cause additional losses due to decreases in the valuation of investment securities, thereby adversely affecting Panasonics operating results and financial condition. The decrease in the value of Japanese stocks may also reduce stockholders equity on the balance sheet, as unrealized holding gains (losses) of available-for-sale securities are included as part of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss).
Risks Related to Panasonics Business
Competition in the industry may adversely affect Panasonics ability to maintain profitability
Panasonic develops, produces and sells a broad range of products and therefore faces many different types of competitors, from large international companies to relatively small, rapidly growing, and highly specialized organizations. Panasonic may choose not to fund or invest in one or more of its businesses to the same degree as its competitors in those businesses do, or it may not be able to do so in a timely manner or even at all. These competitors may have greater financial, technological, and marketing resources than Panasonic in the respective businesses in which they compete.
Rapid declines in product prices may adversely affect Panasonics financial condition
Panasonics business is subject to intense price competition worldwide, which makes it difficult for the Company to determine product prices and maintain adequate profits. Such intensified price competition may adversely affect Panasonics profits, especially in terms of possible decreases in demand. Amid accelerating changes in the structure of markets, such as a demand shift to emerging markets and lower-priced products, and market expansion of environmental and energy-related businesses, Panasonics product prices in digital electronics and many other business areas may continue to decline significantly.
Panasonics business is, and will continue to be, subject to risks generally associated with international business operations
One of Panasonics business strategies is business expansion in overseas markets. In many of these markets, Panasonic may face risks generally associated with international manufacturing and other business operations, such as political instability, including terrorist attacks and abduction, cultural and religious differences and labor relations, as well as economic uncertainty and foreign currency exchange risks. Panasonic may also face barriers in commercial and business customs in foreign countries, including difficulties in timely collection of accounts receivable or in building and expanding relationships with customers, subcontractors or parts suppliers. Panasonic may also experience various political, legal or other restrictions in investment, trade, manufacturing, labor or other aspects of operations, including restrictions on foreign investment or the repatriation of profits on invested capital, nationalization of local industry, changes in export or import restrictions or foreign exchange controls, and changes in the tax system or the rate of taxation in countries where Panasonic operates businesses. With respect to products exported overseas, tariffs, other barriers or shipping costs may make Panasonics products less competitive in terms of price. Expanding its overseas business may require significant investments long before Panasonic realizes returns on such investments, and increased investments may result in expenses growing at a faster rate than revenues.
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Panasonic may not be able to keep pace with technological changes and develop new products or services in a timely manner to remain competitive
Panasonic may fail to introduce new products or services in response to technological changes in a timely manner. Some of Panasonics core businesses, such as consumer digital electronics and key components and devices, are concentrated in industries where technological innovation is the central competitive factor. Panasonic continuously faces the challenge of developing and introducing viable and innovative new products. Panasonic must predict with reasonable accuracy both future demand and new technologies that will be available to meet such demand. If Panasonic fails to do so, it will not be able to compete effectively in new markets.
Panasonic may not be able to develop product formats that can prevail as de facto standards
Panasonic has been forming alliances and partnerships with other major manufacturers to strengthen technologies and the development of product formats, such as next-generation home and mobile networking products, data storage devices, and software systems. Despite these efforts, Panasonics competitors may succeed in developing de facto standards for future products before Panasonic can. In such cases, the Companys competitive position, business, operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Panasonic may not be able to successfully recruit and retain skilled employees, particularly scientific, technical and management professionals
Panasonics future success depends largely on its ability to attract and retain certain key personnel, including scientific, technical and management professionals. Industry demand for skilled employees, however, exceeds the number of personnel available, and the competition for attracting and retaining these employees is intense. Because of this intense competition for skilled employees, Panasonic may be unable to retain its existing personnel or attract additional qualified employees to keep up with future business needs. If this should happen, Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Alliances with, and strategic investments in, third parties, and mergers and acquisitions undertaken by Panasonic, may not produce positive or expected results
Panasonic develops its businesses by forming alliances or joint ventures with, and making strategic investments in, other companies, including investments in start-up companies. Furthermore, the strategic importance of partnering with third parties is increasing. In some cases, such partnerships are crucial to Panasonics goal of introducing new products and services, but Panasonic may not be able to successfully collaborate or achieve expected synergies with its partners. Furthermore, Panasonic does not control these partners, who may make decisions regarding their business undertakings with Panasonic that may be contrary to Panasonics interests. In addition, if these partners change their business strategies, Panasonic may fail to maintain these partnerships. Panasonic and SANYO, upon resolutions of meetings of their respective Boards of Directors held on December 19, 2008, entered into a Capital and Business Alliance Agreement to widely pursue synergies in all business aspects of both companies. Panasonic subsequently conducted a tender offer for SANYO shares (at a purchase price of 131 yen per share of common stock, 1,310 yen per share of Class A preferred stock and 1,310 yen per share of Class B preferred stock) from November 5 through December 9, 2009, pursuant to a resolution of its Board of Directors held on November 4, 2009. As a result of Panasonics conversion of the Class B preferred stock of SANYO that it acquired through the tender offer into common stock, SANYO and its subsidiaries became Panasonic consolidated subsidiaries in December 2009. However, Panasonic may fail to achieve the expected results, despite the Companys efforts to maximize synergies from the addition of SANYO to the Panasonic Group. Furthermore, as a result of consolidation of SANYO, deterioration of SANYOs operating results and financial condition may adversely affect Panasonics operating results and financial condition.
Panasonic is dependent on the ability of third parties to deliver parts, components and services in adequate quality and quantity in a timely manner, and at a reasonable price
Panasonics manufacturing operations depend on obtaining raw materials, parts and components, equipment and other supplies including services from reliable suppliers at adequate quality and quantity in a timely manner. It may be difficult for Panasonic to substitute one supplier for another, increase the number of suppliers or change one component for another in a timely manner or at all due to the interruption of supply caused by, among other conditions, the bankruptcy of suppliers or increased industry demand. This may adversely affect the Panasonic Groups operations. Although Panasonic decides purchase prices by contract, the prices of raw materials, including iron and steel, resin, and non-ferrous metals, and parts and components, may increase due to changes in supply and demand and the inflow of investment funds. Some components are only available from a limited number of suppliers, which also may adversely affect Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition.
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Panasonic is exposed to the risk that its customers may encounter financial difficulties
Many of Panasonics customers purchase products and services from Panasonic on payment terms that do not provide for immediate payment. If customers from whom Panasonic has substantial accounts receivable encounter financial difficulties and are unable to make payments on time, Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition could be adversely affected.
Risks Related to Panasonics Management Plans
Panasonic is implementing a midterm management plan called Green Transformation 2012 (GT12), announced on May 7, 2010, which runs from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2013. Under this plan, Panasonic aims to achieve an operating profit* to sales ratio of 5% or more, sales of 10 trillion yen, ROE of 10% and CO2 emission reductions of 50 million tons (compared to the estimated amount of emission in fiscal 2013 assuming that no remedial measures were taken since fiscal 2006.) However, Panasonic may not be successful in achieving all the targets or in realizing the expected benefits because of various external and internal factors including deterioration of the business environment and increased costs of business restructuring such as additional business reorganization, the impairment of fixed assets and employment adjustment in order to cope with the business environment.
* In order to be consistent with generally accepted financial reporting practices in Japan, operating profit, a non-GAAP measure, is presented as net sales less cost of sales and selling, general and administrative expenses. The Company believes that this is useful to investors in comparing the companys financial results with those of other Japanese companies.
Risks Related to Legal Restrictions and Litigations
Panasonic may be subject to product liability or warranty claims that could result in significant direct or indirect costs
The occurrence of quality problems due to product defects, including safety incidents, in Panasonic products could make Panasonic liable for damages not covered by product and completed operation liability insurance, whereby the Company could incur significant expenses. Due to negative publicity concerning these problems, Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Panasonic may fail to protect its proprietary intellectual properties, or face claims of intellectual property infringement by a third party, and may lose its intellectual property rights on key technologies or be liable for significant damages
Panasonics success depends on its ability to obtain intellectual property rights covering its products and product design. Patents may not be granted or may not be of sufficient scope or force to provide Panasonic with adequate protection or commercial advantage. In addition, effective copyright and trade secret protections may be unavailable or limited in some countries in which Panasonic operates. Competitors or other third parties may also develop technologies that are protected by patents and other intellectual property rights, which make such technologies unavailable or available only on terms unfavorable to Panasonic. The Company obtains licenses for intellectual property rights from other parties; however, such licenses may not be available at all or on acceptable terms in the future. Litigation may also be necessary to enforce Panasonics intellectual property rights or to defend against intellectual property infringement claims brought against Panasonic by third parties. In such cases, Panasonic may incur significant expenses for such lawsuits. Furthermore, Panasonic may be prohibited from using certain important technologies or liable for damages in cases of admitted violations of intellectual property rights of others.
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Changes in accounting standards and tax systems may adversely affect Panasonics financial results and condition
Introduction of new accounting standards or tax systems, or changes thereof, which Panasonic cannot predict, may have a material adverse effect on the Companys operating results and financial condition. In addition, if tax authorities have different opinions from Panasonic on the Companys tax declarations, Panasonic may need to make larger tax payments than estimated.
Payments or compensation related to environmental regulations or issues may adversely affect Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition
Panasonic is subject to environmental regulations such as those relating to climate change, air pollution, water pollution, elimination of hazardous substances, waste management, product recycling, and soil and groundwater contamination, and may be held responsible for certain related payments or compensation. Furthermore, if these regulations become stricter and an additional duty of eliminating the use of environmentally hazardous materials is imposed, or if the Company determines that it is necessary and appropriate, from the viewpoint of corporate social responsibility, to respond to environmental issues, the payment of penalties for the violation of these regulations or voluntary payment of compensation for consolation to parties affected by such issues may adversely affect Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition.
Leaks of confidential information or trade secrets may adversely affect Panasonics business
In the normal course of business, Panasonic holds confidential information mainly about customers regarding credit worthiness and other information, as well as confidential information about companies and other third parties. Such information may be leaked due to an accident or other inevitable cause, and any material leakage of confidential information may result in significant expense for related lawsuits and adversely affect Panasonics business and image. Moreover, besides customer information, there is a risk that Panasonics trade secrets, such as technology information, may be leaked by illegal conduct or by mere negligence of external parties, etc. If such is the case, Panasonics business, operating results and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Governmental laws and regulations may limit Panasonics activities, increase its operating costs or subject it to sanctions and lawsuits
Panasonic is subject to governmental regulations in Japan and other countries in which it conducts its business, including governmental approvals required for conducting business and investments, laws and regulations governing the telecommunications businesses and electric product safety, national security-related laws and regulations and export/import laws and regulations, as well as commercial, antitrust, patent, product liability, environmental laws and regulations, consumer protection, financial and business taxation laws and regulations, and internal control regulations due to the implementation of stricter laws and regulations and stricter interpretations. However, to the extent that Panasonic cannot comply with these laws and regulations from technical and economic perspectives, or if they become stricter and Panasonic determines that it would not be economical to continue to comply with them, Panasonic would need to limit its activities in the affected business areas. These laws and regulations could increase Panasonics operating costs. In addition, in the event that governmental authorities find or determine that Panasonic has violated these laws and regulations, Panasonic could become subject to regulatory sanctions, including money penalties, or criminal sanctions or civil lawsuits for damages, and could also suffer reputational harm.
Risks Related to Disasters or Unpredictable Events
Panasonics facilities and information systems could be damaged as a result of disasters or unpredictable events, which could have an adverse effect on its business operations
Panasonics headquarters and major facilities including manufacturing plants, sales offices and research and development centers are located in Japan. Panasonic also operates procurement, manufacturing, logistics, sales and research and development facilities all over the world. If major disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods, including those caused by climate change, wars, terrorist attacks, computer viruses or other events occur, or Panasonics information system or communications network breaks down or operates improperly as a result of such events, Panasonics facilities may be seriously damaged, or the Company may have to stop or delay production and shipment. Panasonic may incur expenses relating to such damages. In addition, if an infectious disease, such as a new highly-pathogenic flu strain, becomes prevalent throughout the world, Panasonics manufacturing and sales may be materially disrupted.
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External economic conditions may adversely affect Panasonics pension plans
Panasonic has contributory, funded benefit pension plans covering substantially all employees in Japan who meet eligibility requirements. A decline in interest rates may cause a decrease in the discount rate on benefit obligations. A decrease in the value of stocks may also affect the return on plan assets. As a result, the actuarial loss may increase, leading to an increase in future net periodic benefit costs of these pension plans.
Some long-lived assets may not produce adequate returns
Panasonic has many long-lived assets, such as plant, property and equipment, and goodwill, that generate returns. The Company periodically reviews the recorded value of its long-lived assets to determine if the fair value will be sufficient to support the remaining recorded asset values. If these long-lived assets do not generate sufficient cash flows, impairment losses will have to be recognized, adversely affecting Panasonics results of operations and financial condition.
Realizability of deferred tax assets and uncertain tax positions may increase Panasonics provision for income tax
In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets and uncertain tax positions based on the expected future generation of taxable income or assessed sustainability of uncertain tax positions, Panasonic considers whether it is more likely than not that any portion or all of the deferred tax assets or recognized tax position benefit will not be realized. If Panasonic determines that temporary differences and loss carryforwards or recognized tax benefits cannot be realized upon the generation of future taxable income during the deductible periods due to deteriorating business conditions or tax position benefits may not be realized upon settlement, valuation allowance against deferred tax assets or unrecognized tax benefit reserves could be recognized and Panasonics provision for income tax may increase.
Financial results and condition of associated companies may adversely affect Panasonics operating results and financial condition
Panasonic holds equities of several associated companies. Panasonic can exercise influence over operating and financing policies of these companies. However, Panasonic does not have the right to make decisions for them since the companies operate independently. Some companies may record losses. If these associated companies do not generate profits, Panasonics business results and financial condition may be adversely affected.
American Depositary Share (ADS) holders have fewer rights than shareholders and may not be able to enforce judgments based on U.S. securities laws
The rights of shareholders under Japanese law to take actions, including exercising their voting rights, receiving dividends and distributions, bringing derivative actions, examining Panasonics accounting books and records, and exercising appraisal rights are available only to shareholders of record. Because the depositary, through its nominee, is the record holder of the shares underlying the ADSs, only the depositary can exercise those rights in connection with the deposited shares. The depositary will make efforts to exercise their voting rights underlying ADSs in accordance with the instructions of ADS holders and will pay the dividends and distributions collected from Panasonic. However, ADS holders will not be able to bring a derivative action, examine Panasonics accounting books and records, or exercise appraisal rights through the depositary.
Panasonics shareholders of record on a record date may not receive the dividend they anticipate
The customary dividend payout practice and relevant regulatory regime of publicly listed companies in Japan may differ from that followed in foreign markets. Panasonics dividend payout practice is no exception. While the Company regularly announces forecasts of annual and interim dividends in April or May of each year, these forecasts are not legally binding. The actual payment of annual dividends requires a resolution of its shareholders. If the shareholders adopt such a resolution, the annual dividend payment is made to shareholders as of the applicable record date, which is currently specified as March 31 by its Articles of Incorporation. However, such a resolution of the Companys shareholders is usually made at an ordinary general meeting of shareholders held in June. The payment of interim dividends requires only a resolution of its board of directors. If the board adopts such a resolution, the dividend payment is made to shareholders as of the applicable record date, which is currently specified as September 30 by its Articles of Incorporation. However, the board usually does not adopt a resolution with respect to an interim dividend until after September 30. Shareholders of record as of an applicable record date may sell shares in the market after the record date in anticipation of receiving a certain dividend payment based on the previously announced forecasts. However, since these forecasts are not legally binding and resolutions to pay dividends are usually not adopted until after the record date, Panasonics shareholders of record on record dates for annual or interim dividends may not receive the dividend they anticipate.
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The Company was incorporated in Japan on December 15, 1935 under the laws of Japan as Matsushita Denki Sangyo Kabushiki Kaisha (Address: 1006, Oaza Kadoma, Kadoma-shi, Osaka 571-8501, Japan. Phone: +81-6-6908-1121 / Agent: Mr. Ko Kaneko, President of Panasonic Finance (America), Inc.) as the successor to an unincorporated enterprise founded in 1918 by the late Konosuke Matsushita. Mr. Matsushita led the Company with his corporate philosophy of contributing to the peace, happiness and prosperity of humankind through the supply of quality consumer electric and electronic goods. The Companys business expanded rapidly with the recovery and growth of the Japanese economy after World War II, as it met rising demand for consumer electric and electronic products, starting with washing machines, black-and-white TVs and refrigerators. During the 1950s, the Company expanded its operations by establishing mass production and mass sales structures to meet increasing domestic demand, while also creating subsidiaries, making acquisitions and forming alliances. During the 1960s, the Company expanded its overseas businesses, and its products started obtaining worldwide recognition.
During the global recession caused by the first oil crisis in 1973, the Company strengthened its structure and overseas business relations. The advent and popularity of the video cassette recorder (VCR) from the late 1970s enabled the Company to receive worldwide recognition as a global consumer electronics manufacturer. In the 1980s, the Company further worked to evolve from a consumer products manufacturer to a comprehensive electronics products manufacturer, expanding its business in the areas of information and communications technology, industrial equipment and components and devices. Since the 1990s, the Company has been emphasizing technological development and the use of advanced technology in every phase of life. In particular, the Company has been expanding its development activities in such areas as next-generation audiovisual (AV) equipment, multimedia products, and advanced electronic components and devices, many of which incorporate digital technology.
In June 1995, the Company sold 80% equity interest in MCA (subsequently renamed Universal Studios, Inc.) which the Company purchased in December 1990, to The Seagram Company Ltd. (currently Vivendi Universal S.A.) for approximately U.S. $5.7 billion, leaving the Company with a minority interest. In February 2006, the Company sold the remaining shares to Vivendi Universal S.A.
In April 2000, the Company made two of its majority-owned subsidiaries, Matsushita Refrigeration Company and Wakayama Precision Company, into wholly-owned subsidiaries by means of share exchanges. As a result of the share exchanges, the Company issued 16,321,187 shares of its common stock to shareholders of the respective companies.
In June 2000, Kunio Nakamura became President of the Company and, under his leadership, the Company implemented structural reforms and growth strategies with an emphasis on enhancing growth potential, profitability and capital efficiency, thereby ensuring the Companys continued contribution to society.
In April 2001, the Company absorbed Matsushita Electronics Corporation, its wholly-owned subsidiary, by merger to implement unified operational management in such key device areas as semiconductors and display devices.
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In April 2002, the Company and Toshiba Corporation (Toshiba) separated their respective liquid crystal display (LCD) panel operations and established a joint venture company, Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., Ltd. (TMD), for the development, manufacture and sale of LCD panels and next-generation display devices. Of the new companys initial stated capital of 10 billion yen, 60% was invested by Toshiba and 40% by the Company.
As a drastic structural reform aimed at achieving new growth, the Company implemented share exchanges on October 1, 2002 with five of its majority-owned subsidiaries (Matsushita Communication Industrial Co., Ltd., Kyushu Matsushita Electric Co., Ltd., Matsushita Seiko Co., Ltd., Matsushita Kotobuki Electronics Industries, Ltd. and Matsushita Graphic Communication Systems, Inc.) and transformed them into wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Company.
As an extension of this Groupwide reorganization, the Company transformed two of its majority-owned subsidiaries, Matsushita Electronic Components Co., Ltd. and Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd., into wholly-owned subsidiaries via share exchanges, effective April 1, 2003.
Upon the aforementioned Groupwide restructurings, in April 2003, to prepare a framework that enables each business domain company to implement autonomously responsible management, the Company established a new global consolidated management system that focuses on capital efficiency and cash flows.
Also on April 1, 2003, the Company launched another joint venture company with Toshiba, upon separating their respective cathode ray tube (CRT) businesses with the exception of domestic CRT manufacturing operations. The Company formerly accounted for the investment in the new company, Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display Co., Ltd. (MTPD) and its subsidiaries under the equity method, and began to consolidate MTPD on March 1, 2006 in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Interpretation No.46 (revised December 2003), Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities (FIN 46R), as a result of certain restructuring activities of MTPD. At March 31, 2006, the Company had a 64.5% equity interest in MTPD. At March 30, 2007, the Company acquired the remaining 35.5% equity interest in MTPD from Toshiba and MTPD was renamed MT Picture Display Co., Ltd.
Since fiscal 2003, the Company has been gradually shifting its focus from restructuring to growth. The Company made concerted efforts to enhance product competitiveness. V-products, which aim to capture leading shares in high-volume markets, made a significant contribution to overall business results.
In April 2003, the Company announced that it would position the Panasonic brand as a globally unified brand for overseas markets under the global brand slogan of Panasonic ideas for life. This new brand strategy conveys to customers all over the world a new image for the Company and its products, while further enhancing brand value.
In December 2003, the Company reached a basic agreement regarding a comprehensive business collaboration with its affiliate, Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. (PEW), after which the Company initiated a tender offer for additional shares of PEW. As a result of the tender offer in which the Company purchased an additional 140,550 thousand shares of common stock of PEW at the total cost of 147 billion yen, PEW, PanaHome Corporation and their respective subsidiaries became consolidated subsidiaries of the Company in April 2004. For fiscal 2005, Panasonic and PEW integrated overlapping businesses in the area of electrical supplies, building materials and equipment, home appliances and industrial equipment, and reformed distribution channels to establish an optimized, customer-oriented operational structure. In fiscal 2006, the Company leveraged the strengths of both companies to achieve sales increases in Collaboration V-products including bathroom systems, modular kitchens and air purifiers.
In fiscal 2005, as part of business restructuring of its Group companies, power distribution equipment and monitoring and control system operations of Matsushita Industrial Information Equipment Co., Ltd. (MIIE) were transferred to PEW, while MIIEs information machine business was shifted to Panasonic Communications Co., Ltd. Subsequently, MIIE was absorbed by the Company in April 2005, and no longer operates as a separate entity.
In June 2006, Fumio Ohtsubo became President of the Company. Under its new management, it has been making efforts to achieve global excellence, or in other words, to aim to earn the support of all its stakeholders worldwide by sustaining growth through continued innovation and ensuring sound business activities on a global basis.
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In July 2007, each of Victor Company of Japan, Limited (JVC), a consolidated subsidiary of the Company, KENWOOD and SPARX International (Hong Kong) Limited, an investment management company which belongs to a group of companies headed by SPARX Group Co., Ltd. adopted resolutions for, or affirmed, JVCs issuance of 107,693,000 new shares of its common stock through third party allotments, and the new shares were subscribed by KENWOOD and the several investment funds managed by SPARX International (Hong Kong) Limited. JVC issued and allocated the new shares to KENWOOD and the SPARX funds on August 10, 2007. As a result, the Companys shareholding in JVC decreased from 52.4% to 36.8%, and JVC became an associated company under the equity method from a consolidated subsidiary in the fiscal 2008 second quarter.
In February 2008, the Company finalized a definitive agreement with Hitachi, Ltd. related to comprehensive LCD panel business alliance under which it would acquire a majority voting interest in IPS Alpha Technology, Ltd. (IPS Alpha), which was owned by Hitachi Displays, Ltd. once certain conditions are satisfied. As a result, IPS Alpha became a consolidated subsidiary of the Company on March 31, 2008, in accordance with FIN 46R.
In April 2008, Matsushita Refrigeration Company was absorbed, and in October 2008, Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., Ltd. was absorbed, by the Company.
On October 1, 2008, the Company changed its name from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. to Panasonic Corporation and its ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange from MC to PC. The Company completed its brand name change from the National brand, used for home appliances and housing equipment in Japan, to the Panasonic brand by the end of fiscal 2010, ended March 31, 2010. Subsequently, the National brand was abolished and the Technics brand will be used only for specific audio products.
On October 1, 2008, JVC and Kenwood integrated management by establishing JVC KENWOOD Holdings, Inc. (JVC KENWOOD HD) through a share transfer. The company has 24.4% of total issued shares of JVC KENWOOD HD.
On December 19, 2008, Panasonic and SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO) entered into the capital and business alliance agreement. The Company aimed to acquire the majority of the voting rights of SANYO assuming full dilution (which takes into account conversion of Class A preferred stock and Class B preferred stock into common stock) by means of a public tender offer bid. Panasonic and SANYO formed a close alliance in business with the prospect of organizational restructurings of both companies.
In April 2009, Toshiba acquired all of Panasonics shares in TMD, a joint venture that develops, manufactures and sells liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and organic light emitting displays (OLEDs).
In December 2009, Panasonic completed acquisition of a majority of the voting stock of SANYO. With this acquisition, SANYO and its subsidiaries became consolidated subsidiaries of the Company and will continue pursuing its business as a Panasonic Group company.
In January 2010, Panasonic transferred the rights and obligations with respect to the business of System Solutions Company, its internal division company, to Panasonic Communications Co., Ltd., its wholly-owned subsidiary, through business division. The company aims to strengthen the system networking businesses including Security Systems, Broadcast Systems and Wireless VoIP Systems by integrating the system business and the fixed-line communications business toward global growth of B to B system business, in which the visual and communications businesses have been integrating under the further progress of IP networks.
In April 2010, Panasonic reorganized and integrated the Home Appliance and Automotive Motor, and Industrial Motor businesses into the Home Appliances Company. Panasonic also transferred the Information Equipment Motor Business to Minebea Motor Manufacturing Corporation.
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Total capital investment amounted to 385 billion yen, 494 billion yen and 449 billion yen for fiscal 2010, 2009 and 2008, respectively. (For a reconciliation of capital investment to the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measures, see OverviewKey performance indicators in Section A of Item 5.) In these years, the Company curbed capital investment in a number of business areas, in line with an increased management emphasis on cash flows and capital efficiency. The Company did, however, selectively invest in facilities for those product areas that are expected to drive future growth, including such key areas as batteries and flat-panel TVs.
SALES BY BUSINESS SEGMENT
Panasonic is engaged in the production and sales of electronic and electric products in a broad array of business areas. The Company divides its businesses into six segments: Digital AVC Networks, Home Appliances, PEW and PanaHome, Components and Devices, and Other, adding SANYO as a new segment. The following table sets forth the Companys sales breakdown by business segment for the last three fiscal years:
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Digital AVC Networks
Panasonics principal products in Digital AVC Networks segment include video and audio equipment and information and communications equipment. This segment provides hardware, software, services and solutions built on cutting-edge technologies as a source of competitiveness. In addition to developing attractive products with the Companys proprietary technology, Digital AVC Networks links together various equipment to offer consumers more secure and comfortable lifestyles.
In the digital AVC business, Panasonic is manufacturing a high definition product group containing a variety of AV, security, electronic, and Internet-enabled equipment that can be linked to a flat-panel VIERA TV and easily operated with a single remote (VIERA Link).
For flat-panel TVs, in fiscal 2010, amid rising global demand, Panasonic expanded its lineup, doubling the number of basic models from the previous year and responding in detail to diversifying market needs. As a result, strong sales were recorded in Japan, where the market was buoyed by the governments eco-point program, and in Asia and emerging markets where high growth continued. Unit sales climbed sharply to 15.84 million units, 60% higher than the previous fiscal year.
In terms of flat-panel TV production, PDP manufacturing began at the fifth domestic PDP plant in Amagasaki in November 2009, and the Company also started operations at the IPS Alpha LCD plant in Himeji in April 2010. These state-of-the-art facilities should raise productivity further, increasing cost competitiveness, as should stepped-up efforts to relocate module and finished product production overseas.
For Blu-ray Disc and DVD recorders, in fiscal 2010, Panasonic increased its sales amid an expanding market for Blu-ray Disc recorders along with the spread of digital broadcasting and the popularity of flat-panel TVs. Higher sales were also strongly supported by the networking features of Panasonics products which enable them to link various devices, as well as basic functions such as extended recording in full HD video and simple operation. Panasonic maintained its top share in the global market as a result.
For digital cameras, in fiscal 2010, the market remained difficult as demand fell. While sales of Panasonic LUMIX digital cameras edged down slightly year on year, both high-value-added and standard models sold well. Impressively, sales of digital interchangeable lens system cameras such as the worlds smallest and lightest*1 GF1 model grew strongly on the back of widespread support from novices to camera enthusiasts alike for their easy to use functions on par with compact cameras as well as high performance and picture quality that only interchangeable lens system cameras can deliver.
*1. For an interchangeable lens digital camera incorporating an internal flash as of April 1, 2010. Panasonic estimate.
For digital video cameras, in fiscal 2010, sales were down year on year again due to demand and price declines, particularly in Europe and the United States. The HDC-TM30, the lightest compact model on the market, captured the number-one share in Japan. The HDC-TM300, a high-end model featuring three proprietary sensors, won market acclaim in Japan and overseas. For example, Camcorderinfo.com, a major North American reviewer, selected this camcorder as its No.1 model.
In the fiscal 2010 notebook PC market, the Companys Lets note and TOUGHBOOK series posted lower sales year on year due to dwindling corporate demand both in Japan and overseas. However, Panasonic continued to develop and refine products in these series under the concept of high performance, light weight, long battery life and ruggedness, winning strong acclaim from the market. In particular, the TOUGHBOOK series has maintained the top position in the worldwide market for rugged mobile computers for eight consecutive years. And in October 2009, Panasonic added the CF-S and CF-N series business mobile PCs in the Japanese market. These Lets note models feature even higher performance and extended battery life.
Panasonic is strengthening its system networks business, which integrates the system solutions and fixed-line communications businesses. This is in response to global growth in the BtoB system market, which is seeing increasing integration of image and communications technologies due to advances in IP. As part of this, on January 1, 2010, Panasonic merged its internal division company System Solutions Company and Panasonic Communications Co., Ltd. to form Panasonic System Networks Co., Ltd.
In the system networks business, in fiscal 2010, Panasonic vigorously developed its business operations overseas, centered on Communication Products for connecting people through voice and image, and Security Products for safeguarding human, property and information in companies and regions.
A highlight of the past fiscal year was the largest delivery of system products to an Olympic Winter Games at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Panasonic supplied a range of equipment for the competition venues and the Olympic athlete villages, including LED large screen display systems, professional audio systems, DLP® (Digital Light Processing) projectors and AV security camera systems. Panasonic also shared the excitement of the Olympic Games through high-quality images and sound, such as by connecting welcome ceremonies at the Olympic athlete villages in Whistler and Vancouver via a HD Visual Communications System. This also helped cut athlete entourage travel time and costs as well as CO2 emissions.
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In the mobile communications business, Panasonic offers mobile phones incorporating advanced technologies, and communications infrastructure equipment such as base stations. Through these products, the Company aims to realize a ubiquitous networking society that offers high-level security and greater convenience and comfort. Moreover, Panasonic proposes new lifestyles by linking mobile phones with its other wide-ranging products, such as the DIGA Blu-ray Disc/DVD recorders. In fiscal 2010, sales were lower than the previous year in the mobile communications business amid persistently weak demand in the Japanese mobile phone market, particularly for high-end handsets. However, Panasonic further sought to add value to the VIERA Keitai series. Besides enabling users to watch programs recorded on Blu-ray Disc-enabled DIGA recorders, the VIERA Keitai series features cameras with enhanced functionality, including high-speed auto focus and Intelligent Auto (iA) mode. Also Panasonic captured market share by developing stylish and simple volume-zone handsets emphasizing basic functions.
In the automotive electronics business, Panasonic operates in wide-ranging fields, from car navigation systems to key devices such as engine control units and batteries for eco cars. As interest rises in green and safer vehicles, automotive electronics are expected to fulfill a wider range of roles, highlighting the considerable growth potential. In fiscal 2010, sales recovered from the previous fiscal year thanks mainly to a rebound in auto sales instigated by government initiatives around the world to spur new car purchases, as well as the lowering of expressway toll charges in Japan, which stimulated demand for ETC terminals. New car navigation system products also drove sales. Strada F Class, for example, won high marks as the first car navigation system to deliver high-definition picture quality in combination with the worlds first in-car Blu-ray Disc player. Panasonic also bolstered its product lineup with the aggressive launch of new products such as portable Strada Pocket car navigation systems.
Panasonics principal products in this segment include home appliances such as refrigerators, room air conditioners, washing machines and clothes dryers, and vacuum cleaners. This segment also includes lighting and environmental systems.
In home appliances, Panasonic offers safe, reliable and well-liked products and services in the fields of peoples daily living environments closely linked to clothing, food and housing. It also develops products tailored to peoples lives and enhances environmental performance. In fiscal 2009, Company marketed its home appliance products, such as room air conditioners, under the Panasonic brand for the first time nationwide in Japan. Overseas, Panasonic introduced new refrigerators and washing machines with cutting-edge technologies in Europe in March 2009. In fiscal 2010, sales declined because of lower demand, as well as the negative impact of sluggish room air conditioner sales during unseasonable weather. In Japan, however, refrigerator, room air conditioner, tilted-drum washer/dryers and other product models featuring ECO NAVI, which automatically saves electricity depending on the mode of use, won strong support as appliances with a high level of environmental performance, thereby driving sales. Sales were especially strong for large refrigerators with a capacity of 400 liters or more, which benefited from the eco-point system in Japan. Overseas, Panasonic washing machines saw strong sales in China on the back of a Chinese government home appliance subsidy program. Furthermore, refrigerators and washing machines in Europe have sold well as consumers have appreciated their industry-leading environmental performance.
In the lighting business, Panasonic has been developing products that conserve energy and resources, and are based on universal design. The Company has maintained a top-class share in the lighting field in Japan. In fiscal 2010, low-power-consumption and long-life LED bulbs were released under the EVERLEDS brand in Japan to a strong response from the market. Coupled with the beneficial effect of the Japanese governments eco-point system, sales steadily increased. Due to the rapid expansion in demand for LED lighting products, production was moved to a facility in Indonesia that can manufacture large quantities in December 2009. This plant can manufacture 300,000 units per month and is ramping up its production as well as production efficiency by capitalizing on our expertise in producing ball-type fluorescent lamps.
The environmental systems business of Panasonic is developing ventilation fan systems, indoor air quality products and environmental engineering businesses, to offer environmentally-conscious and comfortable lifestyles, and a recycling-oriented society. In fiscal 2010, air purifiers and nano-e generators to combat influenza performed strongly in Japan. Moreover, sales of ultra pure water manufacturing equipment for plasma and LCD panels, lithium-ion batteries and other production equipment were strong. Overseas sales grew on the back of rising demand for ceiling fans, particularly in Asia.
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PEW and PanaHome
This segment includes Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. (PEW), PanaHome Corporation (PanaHome) and their respective subsidiaries.
PEW manufactures, sells, installs and provides services related to a wide variety of products. These include electrical construction materials, home appliances, building products, electronic materials and automation controls.
In fiscal 2008, in response to an increase of public demand, home fire alarms recorded a rise in sales. Aesthetic products such as nanocare facial ionic steamers won strong market acceptance. Sales of environmentally-conscious products like multilayer printed circuit board materials and semiconductor encapsulation materials grew significantly. In fiscal 2009, new Panasonic brand products, including personal care products, such as nanoparticle ion steamers received strong market acceptance. In addition, environmentally-conscious lighting products including LED lighting showed steady growth. In fiscal 2010, PEW continuously posted higher sales of LED lighting in Japan. In addition, sales of new products grew steadily, including the hair dryer nano care, which provides UV care with nano-e particles, and Massage Sofa, which won strong acceptance in the market for interior design qualities. Modular kitchens and unit baths in the standard-price range also showed steady sales growth. Moreover, PEW aggressively expanded sales of automotive devices such as EV relays and Back & Corner (B&C) sensors in step with the growing demand for eco car in Japan. Overseas sales staged a recovery on rising demand for devices for use in vehicles, digital home appliances, and mobile phones, which was fanned by economic stimulus programs, particularly in China.
PanaHome is developing its business under the basic concept of offering Eco-Life Homes that provide people- and environment-conscious living spaces. PanaHome centers on detached housing, asset management and home remodeling businesses, emphasizing safety and security, health and comfort, and energy generation and conservation.
In fiscal 2008, PanaHome became the first in the Japanese housing industry to offer an all-electric rental apartment house series called EL MAISON NEXT. In fiscal 2009 and 2010, PanaHome diligently pursued its superior environmental performance and energy conservation technologies, including solar power generation systems and all-electric home design fixtures. In recognition of strong acceptance for these activities, PanaHome won the House of the Year in Electric 2009 prize of excellence, receiving a House of the Year award for the third consecutive year.
Components and Devices
This business segment of Components and Devices supplies high-performance and high-value-added components and devices used in various products ranging from digital AV equipment and information and communication devices to home appliances and industrial equipment. Panasonic develops and strengthens the competitiveness of cutting-edge devices that help equipment become smaller, lighter, slimmer and more sophisticated. This business segment also contributes significantly to making finished products more energy efficient.
In the semiconductor business, Panasonic provides a wide range of semiconductor products as total solutions, such as system LSIs integrating multiple functions on a single chip, and image sensors delivering higher picture quality for digital cameras.
The UniPhier® Integrated Platform combines software and hardware resources across different product categories to improve R&D efficiency and design quality. In fiscal 2008, the Company began mass production of 45nm-process system LSIs using 300mm wafers. In fiscal 2009, Panasonic proceeded with the commercialization of 45nm-process next-generation UniPhier® system LSIs. The Company also developed an application/transmission integrated LSI that combines one system LSI for the communications function of mobile phones and another system LSI for an application function in one UniPhier®. In fiscal 2010, Panasonic developed a new UniPhier® system LSI for displaying high-resolution 3D images, providing network capability and enabling other functions. This new system LSI is incorporated in 3D plasma TVs and Blu-ray Disc recorders. By the end of fiscal 2010, UniPhier® was applied in a total of 300 digital products. Panasonic developed technology for 32nm-process system LSIs with a view to commercialization by the end of fiscal 2011, in order to achieve even higher integration and lower power consumption for semiconductors. Panasonic also strengthened its management structure. Specifically, in the diffusion process, the Company extended the consolidation of operations to large diameter wafers, which facilitate higher production efficiency. In the assembly process, the Company shifted more of its operations to overseas plants.
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The electronic devices business develops products such as sensors, printed circuit boards, and capacitors based on three core technologies: membrane and micro electro mechanical system technology, circuit board and mounting technology, and power management technology.
To provide optimal key devices and total solutions worldwide to meet finished product concepts, Panasonic has developed high-value-added components mainly for Digital AV equipment, information and communication equipment, and automotive electronics equipment in recent years. In fiscal 2008, the Company opened Device Application Centers which have both development and sales functions, in the U.S., Europe and China, to improve competitive total solutions for its customers. In fiscal 2009, sales of capacitors, electromechanical components and other products struggled due to deteriorating market conditions and inventory cutbacks at finished product manufacturers. Nevertheless, the Company focused on growing industries amid the economic downturn and actively endeavored to expand sales. In fiscal 2010, Panasonic worked to speed up management and enhance cost competitiveness. While concentrating business resources on growth fields such as devices for eco-cars, the Company achieved new process innovations. For example, Panasonic achieved the rapid launch of new products by promoting localization in activities ranging from manufacturing to sales at overseas sites.
The battery business consists of primary batteries including dry batteries and rechargeable batteries such as lithium-ion batteries. In the primary battery business, Panasonic globally provides dry alkaline EVOLTA batteries, which have won recognition for their long life. In rechargeable batteries, the Company is expanding its business focusing on lithium-ion batteries. In fiscal 2008, responding to increasing demand for electronic equipment that consumes less electricity, Panasonic developed the dry alkaline EVOLTA batteries. In fiscal 2009, the Company started to sell the dry alkaline EVOLTA batteries and rechargeable EVOLTA batteries, expanding its lineup to meet diversified needs. In fiscal 2010, Panasonic started to produce large volumes of high-energy-output 3.1 Ah lithium-ion batteries (18650size) ahead of competitors. Demand for lithium-ion batteries is expected to increase along with the uptake of eco-cars. Besides outstanding safety, Panasonics lithium-ion batteries boast high energy output and durability thanks to their nickel-based cathodes.
The electric motors business provides products in a variety of fields, including home appliances, industrial equipment, and AV equipment and office products. It aims to help customers achieve innovation in their finished products and to protect the global environment through the development of energy-efficient motors. In fiscal 2008, strong sales were recorded in FA servo motors, motors for vacuum cleaners and compact brushless motors used in game consoles. In fiscal 2009, although sales declined due to a fall in demand, the electric motors business pushed ahead with efforts to accelerate collaboration with Panasonics finished product divisions by proceeding with the start up of mass production of Dual DD motor for the Dancing laundering & drying system washer/dryer. In fiscal 2010, sales improved overall thanks to steady growth in sales of air conditioner motors in China and industrial motors in China and other Asian countries.
In April 2010, Panasonic reorganized and integrated the Home Appliance and Automotive Motor, and Industrial Motor businesses into the Home Appliances Company. Panasonic also transferred the Information Equipment Motor Business to Minebea Motor Manufacturing Corporation.
The SANYO segment consists of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (SANYO) and its subsidiaries.
As SANYO and its subsidiaries became the Companys consolidated subsidiaries in December 2009, information for this segment only pertains to the most recent fiscal year, the period from January to March 2010.
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SANYO manufactures and sells products in three fields: energy (solar cells and rechargeable batteries), ecology (commercial equipment, home appliances and car electronics), and electronics (electronic devices and digital system devices) to support the energy and ecology fields. SANYO has developed these businesses globally, placing a great emphasis on energy-related businesses. SANYO is drawing on its unique technologies such as lithium-ion batteries widely used in mobile devices and HEVs (hybrid electric vehicles), and HIT® Solar Cells, which boast high conversion efficiency.
In fiscal 2010, the three-month period from January to March 2010, sales of digital cameras struggled due mainly to lower market prices of products. However, overall sales were favorable as demand recovered, particularly for solar cells and optical pickups. Amid rising demand spurred by economic stimulus programs and environmental policies in various countries, sales of solar cells increased as SANYO strengthened competitiveness with high conversion efficiency and manufacturing cost reductions. Sales of lithium-ion batteries and electronic components such as optical pickups registered favorable growth due to recovering demand in the PC market.
In the factory automation (FA) business, Panasonic supplies manufacturing systems that support the production of advanced electronic equipment, and is improving the performance of mounting equipment as well as its advanced technology in circuit manufacturing technology. This contributes to customers businesses through the proposal of various solutions, such as raising the operating rate of mounting lines and mounting quality. In fiscal 2008, Panasonic released new products that enable multiple mounting and mounting of high-brightness LEDs. In fiscal 2009, the Company developed a high-performance head and improved productivity and versatility in response to its client needs. NPM (Next Production Modular) achieves high area productivity by carrying out all processes, from printing and mounting to inspection using the same platform. In fiscal 2010, Panasonic launched a full dual lane mounting system as a next-generation platform offering outstanding function and flexibility as well as future-proofing. By combining the NPM-DSP (Next Production Modular - Dual Screen Printer) and NPM, this system conveys printed circuit boards (PCBs) on two lanes, that handle the mass production of single modules as well as the mixed production of various different types of PCBs and simultaneously print on the front and rear.
The table below shows a breakdown of Panasonics net sales by geographical area for the periods indicated:
Sales and Distribution in Japan
In Japan, Panasonics products are sold through several sales channels, each established according to the type of products or customers: Sales of consumer and household products are handled or coordinated by relevant corporate sales divisions, such as the Corporate Marketing Division for Digital AVC Products and the Home Appliances and Wellness Products Marketing Division, while sales of general electronic components and certain other devices to manufacturers are handled by the Corporate Industrial Marketing & Sales Division, in each case to stay close to respective customers and meet their specific and ever-diversifying needs. For other products, there are also organizations under the direct control of business domain companies that conduct sales and marketing of their own products, mostly to non-consumer customers, such as industrial and business corporations, public institutions, construction companies and governments through their sales offices and subsidiaries or through outside agencies.
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In fiscal 2005, Panasonic and PEW integrated the sales functions of each of the electrical supplies, building materials and equipment, and home appliances businesses as a part of collaboration between the two companies.
As a part of collaboration between Panasonic and SANYO, the two companies intend to promote mutual use of sales channels in Japan and overseas. On July 1, 2010, Panasonic will launch HIT® 215 Series household solar power generation systems, the first series of collaborative products to be developed since SANYO became a part of the Panasonic group. The Company will fully utilize its sales channels in Japan.
Worldwide, Panasonic has 679 consolidated companies as well as 232 associated companies under the equity method. International marketing and sales of Panasonics products are handled mainly through its sales subsidiaries and affiliates located in respective countries or regions in coordination with business domain companies and regional headquarter companies. In some countries, however, marketing and sales are handled through independent agents or distributors, depending on regional characteristics. Additionally, certain products are also sold on an OEM basis and marketed under the brand names of third parties.
Overseas sales represented approximately 46% of the Companys total consolidated sales in fiscal 2010.
Overseas operations are expected to serve as a growth engine for the entire Panasonic Group. Panasonic will therefore further strengthen ties between manufacturing companies in various regions and business domain companies in Japan. Panasonic will also identify strategic products and sales channels for each region and country, and effectively allocate management resources in order to achieve further progress and strengthen management structure. In addition to markets in Europe and the United States, Panasonic views the growing BRICs + V*1 and MINTS + B*2 markets as a key to success overseas.
Panasonic established a Russia Division, India Coordination Department and Brazil Coordination Department in April 2007. The Company also established sales company in Turkey in June 2009.
The largest markets for Panasonic have traditionally been consumer products. However, since the 1980s, the proportion of sales to non-consumer customers, such as industrial and business corporations, governments and other institutions, including large customers such as electric and electronic equipment manufacturers, automotive manufacturers and various other machinery makers, has been rising as Panasonic places increasing emphasis on industrial and commercial products and systems and electronic components. Panasonics business is not materially dependent on any single customer.
SEASONALITY OF BUSINESS
The Companys business has no significant seasonality in terms of sales or profits. However, for the consumer electronics business, the fiscal third quarter (October to December) is normally a peak period because it falls in the year-end shopping season in Japan and many overseas markets. Additionally, seasonal appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, have different business cycles, sales of which peak in summer. These do not have a material effect upon the Companys overall operations.
RAW MATERIALS AND SOURCE OF SUPPLY
Panasonic purchases a wide variety of parts and materials from various suppliers globally. The Company applies a multi-sourcing policynot depending upon any one particular source of supply for most essential items. The Company has also been endeavoring to promote a policy of global optimum procurement by concentrating order placements to qualified suppliers from all over the world and purchasing the most competitive parts and materials.
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In an attempt to improve operational efficiency and to reduce parts and materials costs, Panasonic has been increasing centralized purchasing at its headquarters for materials commonly used in many product divisions throughout Panasonic, such as steel, plastics, semiconductors and electronic components, while at the same time accelerating the initiatives to standardize parts and grade unification of steel and resin. Such efforts are coordinated by the Global Sourcing Center established in April 2003. At the business domain company level, an increasing focus has been put on centralized purchasing for parts and materials commonly used in factories within each business domain company.
To minimize the adverse effects of global price increase of raw materials, Panasonic further strengthened materials cost reduction initiatives including a reduction in the number of parts through the standardization of design, use of Value Engineering techniques, and additional cost reduction activities covering indirect materials.
Due to an increasing global awareness of CSR values, the Company recently decided to extend its commitment to social responsibility by requiring its suppliers to maintain environmental preservations, quality, safety, information security management, human rights and comply with the related laws and regulations.
To implement Panasonics eco ideas Declaration, the Company is promoting joint activities with business partners to reduce the impact of business activities on the global environment and accelerate the PDCA management cycle, effective from fiscal 2010.
By implementing the above-mentioned activities and strengthening partnership with excellent suppliers, Panasonic aims to reinforce its procurement activities.
PATENT LICENSE AGREEMENTS
Panasonic holds numerous Japanese and foreign patent registrations for its products, and shares technologies with a number of Japanese and foreign manufacturers. Its technical assistance, or licensing, to other manufacturers has been increasing year by year.
For example, Panasonics patents related to MPEG2 technology, which is widely used in digital TVs, are licensed to other companies through MPEG LA LLC. Patents which are essential to DVD technology are licensed as a part of the joint licensing program operated by seven Japanese, U.S. and Korean companies. Furthermore, the Companys patents relating to CD technology are licensed to many manufacturers. Further, Panasonic has non-exclusive cross-license agreements with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. for semiconductor technology and with Sharp Corporation for mobile phone technology.
Panasonic is a licensee under various license agreements which cover a wide range of products, including AV products, computers, communications equipment, semiconductors and other components. Panasonic has non-exclusive patent license agreements with, among others, Technicolor S.A., Thomson Licensing LLC. and Thomson Licensing S.A. covering a broad range of products, including TVs, VCRs and DVD products. Panasonic has non-exclusive patent cross-license agreements with, among others, Texas Instruments Incorporated and International Business Machines Corporation, both covering semiconductors, information equipment and certain other related products. Further, Panasonic has a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement with Eastman Kodak Company covering digital still camera, camcorder and mobile phones. Panasonic has a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement with Ericsson covering mobile phones.
The Company considers all of its technical exchange and license agreements beneficial to its operations.
The markets in which the Company sells its products are highly competitive. Panasonics principal competitors, across the full range of its products, consist of several large Japanese and overseas manufacturers and a number of smaller and more specialized companies. Advancements toward a borderless economy have also applied pressure to Japanese manufacturers, including Panasonic, in terms of global price competition, especially from Chinese and Korean manufacturers. To counter this, the Company is devising various measures to enhance its competitiveness, with a focus on the development of differentiated products, cost reduction and efficiency improvements. Such measures include the development of products with Panasonics differentiated technologies, innovation of manufacturing processes through the use of information technology, increasing overseas production for optimum manufacturing allocation from a global perspective, and shortening production and distribution lead time.
Also, with the development of digital and networking technologies, competition in terms of the so-called de facto standard has become crucial. In response, Panasonic has been strengthening its efforts toward alliances with leaders not only in the electronics industry but also the software, devices, broadcasting, communications services and other diverse industries.
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Like other electronics manufacturers, Panasonic is subject to governmental regulations related to environmental preservation.
To comply with recycling laws both in Japan and other countries/regions, Panasonic has been actively taking measures. The Company established an efficient system to collect and recycle used home appliances, comprising air conditioners, CRT TVs, flat-panel TVs, refrigerators, washing machines and clothes dryers in compliance with the Law for Recycling of Specified Kinds of Home Appliances in Japan effective April 1, 2001. As one of its measures to contribute to the establishment of a recycling-oriented society, the Company established the Panasonic Eco Technology Center Co., Ltd. not only to dismantle used products, but also to promote research and development of recycling technologies. In Europe, the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive designed to promote recycling came into force in August 2005. Preparing for mandatory recycling under the WEEE directive, Panasonic established Ecology Net Europe GmbH (ENE) in Germany in April 2005. The Company promotes construction of networks connecting manufacturers, recycling companies and hauling companies through ENE. In the U.S., Panasonic Corporation of North America, which is a regional company of Panasonic, has established a new electronic product recycling management company, Electronics Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, LLC (MRM) with other manufacturers to satisfy requirements enacted in July 2007 in the state of Minnesota. Although MRMs initial focus was to collect products in Minnesota, a scope of operation has been developing to expand its activities to other states with electronic product recycling mandates. Through these efforts, Panasonic is carrying out its compliance programs not only to meet the requirements demanded by legislations, but also to establish cost efficient systems that will further enhance its competitive edge.
In January 2003, the Company announced that disposed electric equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) might be buried in the ground of its four manufacturing facilities and one former manufacturing facility in Japan, and excavation measures were completed at the end of March 2009. The applicable laws in Japan require that PCB equipment be appropriately maintained and disposed of by July 2016. The Company has accrued estimated total cost of approximately 9 billion yen by March 31, 2010 for necessary actions, such as investigation on whether the PCB equipment is buried at the facilities by excavating, maintaining and disposing the PCB equipment that is already discovered, and soil remediation. In light of those regulations, the Company has been taking necessary actions such as investigating by excavation whether the PCB equipment is buried at the facilities, maintaining and disposing the PCB equipment that have been already discovered, and soil remediation, aiming to facilitate the proper management of PCB waste and full-scale measures for soil remediation.
To deal with climate change issues, various kinds of measures, especially those for energy efficiency of products, have been taken worldwide. In Japan, the Energy Conservation Law was revised in 1999, and the Top-runner standard was introduced, which aims to continuously increase products energy efficiency performance on an industry-wide basis. As a target value for a goal year, the Program uses a value of the product with the highest energy consumption efficiency on a market during the standard establishment process. The scopes of covered products are expanding, and standards become more stringent as necessary. Other countries/regions, such as the European Union, the United States, China, Korea, and Australia also have regulations for energy conservation improvement (energy-saving standards and labeling systems) for home appliances and AV products. Panasonic takes a proactive measure to comply with these requirements, and further promotes development of energy-saving products.
Also, Panasonic is promoting its initiatives for regulations relevant to chemical substances management. In Europe, the RoHS Directive, which bans the sales of electrical and electronic equipment using six specified hazardous substances from the EU market, was issued in February 2003. The Company completed initiatives for the non-use of the abovementioned six specified hazardous substances in its covered products by the end of October 2005, in order to reduce possible contamination by these substances after products are disposed of. Additionally, the REACH regulation came into force in June 2007. The REACH requires all chemicals of one ton or more that are manufactured in or imported into the European Union each year to be evaluated for health and safety impact, registration with the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), and sharing of information and notification thereof to the ECHA regarding content of ECHA-specified substances of very high concern in products. Laws and regulations similar to the EU RoHS Directive are implemented in Japan, South Korea, China, and some states in the US such as California. In the Act on the Promotion of Effective Resource Utilization of Resources in Japan and the Administration on the Control of Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products in China, manufacturers and importers are required to disclose information on the chemical substances targeted in the EU RoHS contained in specific products through label application. Panasonic is carrying out its compliance programs to meet the requirements of relevant regulations.
The Company is subject to a number of other government regulations in Japan and overseas as mentioned above, but overall, it presently manages to operate its businesses without any significant difficulty or financial burden in coping with them.
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REPORT ON KEROSENE FAN HEATER RECALL
AND COMPANYS COUNTERMEASURES
In 2005, certain kerosene fan heaters, which were manufactured by Panasonic between 1985 and 1992, resulted in hospitalization, and in some cases death, due to exposure to carbon monoxide exhaust. To prevent a recurrence, in November 2005, the Company established a special committee led by President Nakamura to implement recall efforts, product inspections and repairs of affected models of kerosene fan heaters. Using various media, Panasonic notified customers of the risks involved in the use of these products, while sending out employees (approximately 200,000 in total) to distribute leaflets directly to users, and visit kerosene suppliers.
Panasonic has made all-out efforts to locate recalled kerosene fan heaters through the cooperation of various parties, and will continue efforts to identify the purchasers and users of all remaining recalled heaters. At the same time, to prevent a recurrence, the Company is carrying out a wide range of initiatives. On May 1, 2006, Panasonic reorganized the aforementioned special committee into a permanent organization, the Corporate FF Customer Support & Management Division, under which Panasonic has continued recall efforts through various public awareness campaigns. Furthermore, the Company thoroughly has reviewed product safety in design and manufacturing processes. Specifically, Panasonic has undertaken studies of material deterioration caused by long-term use, together with the development of technologies to prevent risks caused by complex factors involved in the extended use of certain products. Furthermore, the Company has established a new risk management system to enable prompt action in an emergency, in compliance with its primary principle, the customer comes first. The Company has also reinforced safety education programs for the presidents of all Group companies, the directors of all divisions and the managers responsible for specific operations (such as design, manufacturing, and quality control). In terms of product quality issues, in addition to its commitment to the idea that safety and quality come first from the product design stage, Panasonic will continue to take all possible measures, such as the analysis of product age-related degradation and user environments, to ensure the quality and safety of products.
In order to maintain production, sales and service activities effectively in broad business areas as a comprehensive electronics manufacturer, Panasonic has been operating under a decentralized divisional management structure with substantial delegation of authority to divisional companies and subsidiaries, with the headquarters focusing on Groupwide strategic functions. In January 2003, Panasonic launched a new business domain-based organizational structure, and introduced new Group management control systems from April 1, 2003. Under this new structure, each business domain company, either an internal divisional company of the parent company or a subsidiary, takes full responsibility in its own business area, thereby establishing an autonomous management structure that expedites self-completive business operations to accelerate growth. On April 1, 2004, PEW, PanaHome and their respective subsidiaries became consolidated subsidiaries of the Company. Accordingly, the Company successfully eliminated overlaps in R&D, manufacturing and sales, thereby creating an optimum Group structure that facilitates the effective use of management resources to achieve growth strategies. JVC became associated companies under the equity method from consolidated subsidiaries in August 2007. SANYO and its subsidiaries became the Companys consolidated subsidiaries in December 2009.
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Panasonics consolidated financial statements as of March 31, 2010 comprise the accounts of 680 consolidated companies, with 232 associated companies under the equity method.
Principal divisional companies and subsidiaries as of March 31, 2010 are as listed below:
Note: Home Appliances Company integrated Motor business of Motor Company, accordingly Motor Company was dissolved, effective April 1, 2010.
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Panasonics principal executive offices and key research laboratories are located in Osaka, Japan.
Panasonics manufacturing plants are located principally in Japan, other countries in Asia, North and South America and Europe. Panasonic considers all of its factories well maintained and suitable for current production requirements. In addition to its manufacturing facilities, Panasonics properties all over the world include sales offices, research and development facilities, employee housing and welfare facilities, and administrative offices.
Substantially all of facilities are fully owned by the Company and its subsidiaries. The following table sets forth information as of March 31, 2010 with respect to Panasonic-owned principal facilities:
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In addition to the Panasonic-owned facilities, as of March 31, 2010, the Company and its subsidiaries shown in above table leased approximately 15.0 million square feet of floor space from third parties, most of which was for sales office space.
Substantially all of Panasonics properties are free of material encumbrances and Panasonic believes such properties are in adequate condition for their purposes and suitably utilized. During fiscal 2010, there was no material problem, regarding both the productive capacity and the extent of utilization of Panasonics properties.
In terms of environmental issues, all of the Panasonics properties operate in compliance with governmental and municipal laws and regulations. Furthermore, the Company established a number of internal environmental guidelines which are stricter than those provided by the relevant authorities. In case any occasional non-compliance may take place, such as the previously mentioned PCB issue, Panasonic takes immediate and appropriate actions to meet the regulatory requirements and to ensure current good utilization standards.
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The Company is a large accelerated filer as defined in Rule 12b-2 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. There are no written comments which have been provided by the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the Companys periodic reports under that Act not less than 180 days before the end of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010 and which remain unresolved as of the date of the filing of this Form 20-F with the Commission.
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Panasonic is one of the worlds leading producers of electronic and electric products. Panasonic currently offers a comprehensive range of products, systems and components for consumer, business and industrial use based on sophisticated electronics and precision technology, expanding to building materials and equipment, and housing business. As of October 1, 2008, the Company changed its company name from Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. to Panasonic Corporation. Upon the company name change, Panasonic implemented its brand name change from the National brand, used for home appliances and housing equipment in Japan, and Technics brand, used for audio equipment, to the Panasonic brand. On December 21, 2009, the Company exchanged nonvoting stocks of SANYO, which had been acquired through a tender offer, for common stock, and as a result, the Company acquired 50.2% of the voting rights of SANYO and obtained a controlling interest in SANYO. Accordingly, the corporate brands became Panasonic, PanaHome and SANYO.
Panasonic divides its businesses into six segments: Digital AVC Networks, Home Appliances, PEW and PanaHome, Components and Devices, and Other, adding SANYO as a new segment. Digital AVC Networks includes video and audio equipment, and information and communications equipment. Home Appliances includes household equipment. PEW and PanaHome includes electrical supplies, home appliances, building materials and equipment, and housing business. Components and Devices includes semiconductors, general electronic components, batteries and electric motors. SANYO includes solar cells and lithium-ion batteries, optical pickups, and others. Other includes FA equipment and other industrial equipment.
SANYO focuses its efforts in manufacturing, sales, maintenance and services in the consumer, commercial, component and other businesses. As a result of this acquisition, the Company and SANYO believe that a strong collaborating relationship between the two companies will be established under the large business strategy as an united business group, and through this collaboration, great synergy will be generated, such as the further expansion in the solar business, reinforcement of competitiveness in the rechargeable battery business, strengthening of the financial and business position of SANYO through the application of the Companys cost reduction know-how, and creation of a comprehensive solution business centered on the environment and energy.
In the year ended March 31, 2010, the Company achieved a significant improvement in cash reserves through its enhanced cash flow management project. As a result, free cash flow for the year improved by 644 billion yen compared with the Companys original plan. This was more than enough to cover the acquisition cost of SANYO, 404 billion yen. Cash reserves were approximately 1,200 billion yen at the end of fiscal 2010 including SANYOs cash reserves.
In the year ended March 31, 2008, the Japanese economy for the first half continued a recovery trend with an improvement in consumer spending, but for the second half the Japanese economy slowed down, as a result of negative factors such as rising prices for crude oil and raw materials, and a stronger yen against the U.S. dollar. In the year ended March 31, 2009, the Japanese economy encountered very severe conditions due to the global financial crisis and the sharp deterioration of the world economy. In the year ended March 31, 2010, thanks to the various economic stimulus programs such as the governments eco-point system, the Japanese economy hit bottom and returned to recovery from the previous year.
As for the overseas economy, in the year ended March 31, 2008, the U.S. economy was sluggish in the second half of fiscal 2008 as the subprime loan problem in the U.S. led to downturns in both housing investment and consumer spending. Meanwhile, in Europe, economic growth continued for the first half, but slowed down in the second half of fiscal 2008, due mainly to a downturn in consumer spending. In Asia, the Chinese economy maintained a high growth rate due mainly to strong exports. In the year ended March 31, 2009, the global financial crisis caused a rapid economic downturn worldwide, and this caused negative effects on the Japanese economy through a sharp decrease in exports and capital investment. In the year ended March 31, 2010, despite a visible market recovery in some regions such as China and Asia, the industry in general was unable to overcome the impact of the global recession. Due to these circumstances, the market structure underwent rapid change especially in terms of demand shifts to emerging markets and lower-priced products, along with the expansion of environment and energy related markets.
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Condition of foreign currency exchange rates and Panasonics policy
Foreign currency exchange rates fluctuated during the three-year period ended March 31, 2010. In the year ended March 31, 2008, there was a sharp increase in the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar. In the year ended March 31, 2009, there continued a sharp increase in the Japanese yen against the major currencies such as the U.S. dollar and euro. In the year ended March 31, 2010, there was also an increasing appreciation of the yen. In order to alleviate the effects of currency-related transaction risks, Panasonic has traditionally used several currency risk hedging methods, such as forward foreign-exchange contracts and currency options contracts with leading banks. Panasonic has also increased matching of export and import exchange contracts. As a basic countermeasure against currency exchange risk, the Company has been strengthening production operations outside Japan to meet overseas demand, while reducing dependence on exports from Japan. The Company does not have any material unhedged monetary assets, liabilities or commitments denominated in currencies other than the individual operations functional currencies.
Summary of operations
Panasonics consolidated sales and earnings results during the last three fiscal years, reflecting the aforementioned external and internal conditions, can be summarized as follows:
In fiscal 2010, net sales amounted to 7,418 billion yen, down 4% from the previous year. Sales declined in all segments mainly as a result of a sharp deterioration of the world economy. The operating results of SANYO and its subsidiaries after January 2010 are included in the Companys consolidated financial statements. Earnings improved significantly due mainly to restructuring initiatives such as streamlining material costs and reducing fixed costs. Regarding other income (deductions), the Company incurred expenses of 220 billion yen including business restructuring expense such as the implementation of early retirement programs. These factors resulted in a pre-tax loss of 29 billion yen, improved from a pre-tax loss of 383 billion yen in fiscal 2009. Accordingly, net income attributable to Panasonic Corporation was a loss of 103 billion yen, improved from a loss of 379 billion yen a year ago.
In fiscal 2009, net sales amounted to 7,766 billion yen, down 14% from the previous year. Sales declined in all segments mainly as a result of a sharp deterioration of the world economy from October 2008. Regarding earnings, although the Company implemented thorough streamlining of material costs by reducing the number of components and improving material yield ratio and made all-out efforts to reduce fixed costs, the effect of a sharp sales decline, including an approximately 20-30% decrease in prices for flat-panel TVs and rising prices for crude oil and other raw materials on a yearly basis, led to a decrease in earnings. In addition, the Company incurred 314 billion yen as expenses associated with impairment losses of fixed assets, 53 billion yen as restructuring charges and 92 billion yen as a write-down of investment securities. As a result of these and other factors, the Company incurred a pre-tax loss of 383 billion yen and a net loss attributable to Panasonic Corporation of 379 billion yen.
In fiscal 2008, net sales amounted to 9,069 billion yen, approximately the same level as the previous year. In real terms, excluding JVC (Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. and its subsidiaries), the Company cited sales gains in all segments, due mainly to favorable sales in digital AV products and white goods. Regarding earnings, despite the effects of rising prices for crude oil and other raw materials, and ever-intensified global price competition, sales gains excluding the effect of JVC and the cost reduction efforts including materials costs and fixed costs led to the earnings gains. In addition, the Company incurred 33 billion yen as expenses associated with the implementation of early retirement programs and 32 billion yen as impairment losses on investments, as well as 45 billion yen as impairment losses from tangible fixed assets. Reflecting all these factors and a decrease in provision for income taxes, the Company recorded a net income attributable to Panasonic Corporation of 282 billion yen, up 30% from the previous year.
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Key performance indicators
The following are performance measures that Panasonic believes are key indicators of its business results for the last three fiscal years.
Note: Return on equity is calculated by dividing net income (loss) attributable to Panasonic Corporation by the average of shareholders equity at the beginning and the end of each fiscal year.
SANYO and its subsidiaries became the Companys consolidated subsidiaries in December 2009 through a tender offer. After deducting the Companys investment in SANYO of 404 billion yen from the total assets acquired of 2,450 billion yen, the total assets in December 2009 increased by 2,046 billion yen.
Panasonic defines Capital investment as purchases of property, plant and equipment (PP&E) on an accrual basis which reflects the effects of timing differences between acquisition dates and payment dates. Panasonic has included the information concerning capital investment because its management uses this indicator to manage its capital expenditures and it believes that this indicator is useful for presenting to investors accrual basis capital investments as supplementing information to the cash basis information in the consolidated statements of cash flows.
Panasonics management also believes that this indicator provides useful information when it is compared with depreciation expenses, which are shown in Note 16 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, for purposes of evaluating the replacement of PP&E. This indicator is, however, subject to the limitation that capital investments may not produce future returns (because current expenditures may not provide an efficient use of capital) and may also be subject to impairment. Also, this indicator is subject to the limitation that it may not represent the true cost of maintaining the Companys portfolio of PP&E as it excludes expenditures for repairs and maintenance, operating leases, and intangible assets that may be integral to the use of PP&E. Panasonic compensates for these limitations by referring to this indicator together with relevant U.S. GAAP financial measures, such as capital expenditures, depreciation and amortization, shown in its consolidated statements of cash flows, to present an accurate and complete picture for purposes of capital expenditure analysis.
The following table shows a reconciliation of capital investment to purchases of property, plant and equipment:
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Panasonic defines Free cash flow as the sum of net cash provided by operating activities and net cash provided by investing activities. Panasonic has included the information concerning free cash flow because its management uses this indicator, and it believes that such indicator is useful to investors, to assess its cash availability after financing of its capital projects.
Panasonics management also believes that this indicator is useful in understanding Panasonics current liquidity and financing needs in light of its operating and investing activities, i.e., its ability to pay down and draw on available cash. It should be noted, however, that free cash flow Panasonic reports may not be comparable to free cash flow reported by other companies. It should also be noted that free cash flow should not be viewed in a manner that inappropriately implies that it represents the residual cash flow available for discretionary uses, since at any given time Panasonic may be subject to mandatory debt service requirements and may have other non-discretionary expenditures that are not deducted from this indicator. Panasonic compensates for these limitations by referring to this indicator together with relevant U.S. GAAP financial measures shown in its consolidated statements of cash flows and consolidated balance sheets, to present an accurate and complete picture for purposes of cash availability analysis.
The following table shows a reconciliation of free cash flow to net cash provided by operating activities:
Details of Panasonics consolidated sales and earnings results were as follows:
Year ended March 31, 2010 compared with 2009
Consolidated group sales for fiscal 2010 amounted to 7,418 billion yen, down 4% from 7,766 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. Explaining fiscal 2010 results, the Company posted sales declines in all business segments. (For further details, see (11) Results of Operations by Business Segments of this section.)
In fiscal 2010, as the final year of its GP3 Plan, the Company simultaneously rebuilt its management structure, and took action for future growth. Specifically, Panasonic drastically reformed its business structure to rebuild its management structure. In addition, the Company pursued penetration and internalization of Itakona, acceleration of procurement cost reductions, reinforcement of comprehensive cost reduction efforts, and capital investment and inventory reductions. Meanwhile, to prepare for future growth, the Company developed its unique products with the following concepts as a cornerstone: super link, super energy saving and thorough universal design. Besides this, the Company globally developed its home appliances business, including launching refrigerators and drum-type washing machines in Europe; targeting emerging markets through local-oriented manufacturing; commercializing full high-definition (HD) 3D TVs that are expected to open a new era in television; and strengthening global systems and equipment businesses. These actions drove the Panasonic Group to new growth.
In fiscal 2010, cost of sales amounted to 5,341 billion yen, down from the previous year, and selling, general and administrative expenses amounted to 1,886 billion yen, down from the previous year. These results are due mainly to the effects of sharp sales declines.
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In fiscal 2010, interest income decreased 47% to 12 billion yen due mainly to decrease in invested funds, and dividends received decreased 41% to 7 billion yen and other income decreased 9% to 48 billion yen.
Interest expense increased 33% to 26 billion yen. In other deductions, the Company incurred 79 billion yen as expenses associated with impairment losses of fixed assets, 39 billion yen as expenses associated with the implementation of early retirement program and 7 billion yen as a write-down of investment securities. (For further details, see Notes 4, 5, 7, and 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
As a result of the above-mentioned factors, income (loss) before income taxes for fiscal 2010 amounted to a loss of 29 billion yen, compared with a loss of 383 billion yen in fiscal 2009.
Provision for income taxes for fiscal 2010 amounted to 142 billion yen, a significant increase compared with 37 billion yen in the previous year. This result was due primarily to the fact that the Company increased the valuation allowances to deferred tax assets. (For further details, see Notes 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
In fiscal 2010, equity in earnings of associated companies decreased to gains of 0.5 billion yen due to declining profitability of certain equity method investees, from the previous years gains of 16 billion yen.
Net income amounted to a loss of 171 billion yen for fiscal 2010, compared with a net loss of 404 billion yen in fiscal 2009.
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests amounted to a loss of 67 billion yen for fiscal 2010, compared with net loss attributable to noncontrolling interests of 25 billion yen in fiscal 2009. This result was due mainly to IPS Alpha Technology, Ltd.
As a result of all the factors stated in the preceding paragraphs, the Company recorded a net loss attributable to Panasonic Corporation of 103 billion yen for fiscal 2010, an improvement of 276 billion yen from the previous years net loss attributable to Panasonic Corporation of 379 billion yen.
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Results of operations by business segment for fiscal 2010, as compared with the previous fiscal year, were as follows:
Digital AVC Networks sales decreased 9% to 3,410 billion yen, compared with 3,749 billion yen in the previous year. Within this segment, although domestic sales of flat-panel TVs and automotive electronics and Blu-ray Disc recorders were favorable, overall sales declined due mainly to a sales decline of notebook PCs and mobile phones. Regarding digital cameras, although market conditions were tough, both high-end and standard models were favorable and the sales remained unchanged from the previous year.
With respect to this segment, despite the sales decline, operating profit significantly improved to 87 billion yen, or 2.6% of sales, from 3 billion yen in fiscal 2009. This was due mainly to comprehensive streamlining efforts.
Sales of Home Appliances decreased 7% to 1,142 billion yen, compared with 1,223 billion yen in the previous year. Within Home Appliances, despite strong sales of refrigerators, the overall sales decreased due mainly to weak sales of air conditioners and compressors.
Profit in this segment increased 36% from 49 billion yen in fiscal 2009, to 67 billion yen for fiscal 2010, or 5.8% of sales. Comprehensive streamlining efforts offset the negative impact of sales decline and led the operating profit increase in this segment.
Sales of PEW and PanaHome decreased 8% to 1,632 billion yen, compared with 1,766 billion yen a year ago. At PEW and its subsidiaries, sales mainly decreased in electrical construction materials and building materials. For PanaHome Corporation and its subsidiaries, ongoing sluggishness in the Japanese housing market conditions led to sales decrease.
With respect to this segment, Operating profit was 35 billion yen, or 2.1% of sales, down 13% from 40 billion yen in fiscal 2009, due mainly to a decline in sales.
Sales of Components and Devices decreased 11% to 1,005 billion yen, from the previous years 1,127 billion yen, due mainly to sales downturns in batteries and semiconductors.
With respect to this segment, profit increased 408% from 7 billion yen in fiscal 2009, to 36 billion yen for fiscal 2010, or 3.6% of sales, due mainly to fixed cost reductions.
Sales in SANYO segment amounted to 405 billion yen. In the period from January to March 2010, sales of solar cells were strong helped by economic stimulus programs and environment policies in several countries.
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With respect to this segment, profit resulted in a loss of 0.7 billion yen, incurring the expenses such as amortization of intangible asset recorded at acquisition.
Sales in the Other segment amounted to 1,012 billion yen, down 6% from 1,072 billion yen in the previous year, due mainly to weak sales in factory automation equipment.
With respect to this segment, profit was down 18% from 24 billion yen for fiscal 2010, to 20 billion yen, which were equivalent to 1.9% against sales in fiscal 2010. This result was due mainly to sales declines as a result of the aforementioned sales declines.
Sales results by region for fiscal 2010, as compared with the previous fiscal year, were as follows:
Sales in the domestic market amounted to 3,994 billion yen, down 2% from 4,082 billion yen in fiscal 2009, although sales gains were recorded in flat-panel TVs and refrigerators due to the positive effect of eco-point economic stimulus program. This sales decline was due mainly to a sales decrease in mobile phones, semiconductors and batteries.
Overseas sales amounted to 3,424 billion yen, down 7% from 3,684 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. Sales declined in all segments, and there were sharp sales declines particularly in AV products such as flat-panel TVs, automotive electronics.
By region, sales in the Americas amounted to 918 billion, down 8% from 997 billion yen in fiscal 2010. This was due mainly to sales declines in information and communications equipments and home appliances, and the effect of exchange rate, although sales in AV products such as flat-panel TVs and digital cameras were favorable.
Sales in Europe amounted to 771 billion yen, down 20% from the previous years 963 billion yen, suffered from weak economic demand in eastern Europe and Russia. This was due mainly to a sales decrease of automotive electronics and home appliances, although sales of digital AV products such as flat-panel TVs and digital cameras were favorable.
In the Asia and Others region, sales increased 1% to 1,735 billion yen, from the previous years 1,724 billion yen. In Asia, this was due mainly to an increase in sales of many products, including flat-panel TVs, air conditioners and washing machines, thanks to strong market conditions.
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Year ended March 31, 2009 compared with 2008
Consolidated group sales for fiscal 2009 amounted to 7,766 billion yen, down 14% from 9,069 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. Explaining fiscal 2009 results, the Company cited sales declines in all business segments. (For further details, see (11) Results of Operations by Business Segments of this section.)
In fiscal 2009, the second year of the mid-term management plan GP3, Panasonic steadily implemented initiatives focused on four major themes: double-digit growth for overseas sales, four strategic businesses, manufacturing innovation and the eco ideas strategy. To achieve double-digit growth in overseas sales, the Company widened its target from affluent customers to upper-income customers in the strategic market regions of BRICs countries and Vietnam. With regard to the second theme, four strategic businessesdigital AV business, businesses providing comfortable living, semiconductors/components and devices business, and automotive electronics businessPanasonic launched various cross-group projects, established new strategies and implemented initiatives to expand sales in each business. As for manufacturing innovation, in addition to proactively promoting Itakona activities, which seek to standardize cost-reduction processes on a finer level, the Company established the New Business Promotion Subcommittee in April 2009 to strengthen cost-reduction activities. In terms of the eco ideas strategy, the Company made steady progress in reducing CO2 emissions.
Despite these measures, the Companys performance differed markedly between the first and second half of fiscal 2009, due to a sharp deterioration in the business environment from September 2008, when the global financial crisis caused a rapid downturn in global demand and a sharp appreciation of the yen. In response to these business conditions, the Company accelerated business restructuring initiatives based on a policy of selection and concentration. These included integration and closure of manufacturing sites, from the view point of global optimal production, withdrawing from unprofitable businesses, and reassigning and downsizing of workforce. As a result of these and other factors, consolidated group sales for the period under review decreased compared with the previous year.
In fiscal 2009, cost of sales amounted to 5,667 billion yen, down from the previous year, and selling, general and administrative expenses amounted to 2,025 billion yen, down from the previous year. These results are due mainly to the effects of sharp sales declines.
In fiscal 2009, interest income decreased 32% to 23 billion yen, and dividends received increased 11% to 11 billion yen. In other income, in addition to gains on sales of tangible fixed assets, the Company recorded 16 billion yen gain on the sale of the investment securities.
Interest expense decreased 5% to 19 billion yen, owing primarily to a reduction in short-term borrowings. In other deductions, the Company incurred 314 billion yen as expenses associated with impairment losses of fixed assets, 53 billion yen as restructuring charges and 92 billion yen as a write-down of investment securities. (For further details, see Notes 4, 5, 7, and 15 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
As a result of the above-mentioned factors, income (loss) before income taxes for fiscal 2009 amounted to a loss of 383 billion yen, compared with a profit of 435 billion yen in fiscal 2008.
Provision for income taxes for fiscal 2009 amounted to 37 billion yen, a significant decrease compared with 115 billion yen in the previous year. This result was due primarily to the fact that the Company increased the valuation allowances to deferred tax assets as a result of incurring the aforementioned impairment losses of fixed assets and restructuring charges. (For further details, see Notes 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
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In fiscal 2009, equity in earnings of associated companies amounted to gains of 16 billion yen, from the previous years losses of 10 billion yen. This result is due mainly to the consolidation of IPS Alpha Technology Ltd. and the improvement of earnings in its associated companies under the equity method in China.
As a result of all the factors stated in the preceding paragraphs, the Company recorded a net loss of 404 billion yen for fiscal 2009, a decrease of 715 billion yen from the previous years net income of 311 billion yen.
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests amounted to a loss of 25 billion yen for fiscal 2009, compared with minority interests of 29 billion yen in fiscal 2008. This result was due mainly to decreased profits in Panasonic Electric Works Co., Ltd. for the period and the consolidation of IPS Alpha Technology, Ltd.
As a result of all the factors stated in the preceding paragraphs, the Company recorded a net loss of 379 billion yen for fiscal 2009, a decrease of 661 billion yen from the previous years net income of 282 billion yen.
Results of operations by business segment for fiscal 2009, as compared with the previous fiscal year, were as follows:
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Digital AVC Networks sales decreased 13% to 3,749 billion yen, compared with 4,320 billion yen in the previous year. Within this segment, sales of video and audio equipment decreased, due mainly to weak sales of digital AV products, such as plasma TVs and digital cameras. Regarding flat-panel TVs, although sales of plasma TVs were lower than the previous year, LCD TVs recorded a double-digit increase in sales from the previous year, mainly as a result of expanding its product line-ups. Regarding digital cameras, although the worlds smallest and lightest digital interchangeable lens cameras and products incorporating face recognition, an evolution from face detection, won market acclaim, weak demand particularly overseas led to a decrease in sales. Meanwhile, sales of information and communications equipment also decreased as a result of sluggish sales of automotive electronics and other products. This result was due mainly to further price erosion of car navigation system caused by the growing market share of low-priced Portable Navigation Devices (PND) in the domestic market, and sluggish sales of mobile phones due to a change in handsets sales incentives and economic downturn in Japan.
With respect to this segment, profit decreased 99% from 252 billion yen in fiscal 2008, to 3 billion yen for fiscal 2009, which is equivalent to 0.1% against sales. This decrease was attributable mainly to a decrease in sales as a result of a rapidly deteriorated market conditions, the negative effects of the appreciation of the yen and the effects of price declines. These factors led to a significant decrease in profit in this segment.
Sales of Home Appliances decreased 7% to 1,223 billion yen, compared with 1,316 billion yen in the previous year. Within Home Appliances, although induction-heating (IH) cooking equipment, Eco Cute natural-refrigerant water heating systems and other products for all-electric homes recorded strong sales, weak sales of air conditioners and compressors resulted in an overall sales decrease.
Profit in this segment decreased 43% from 87 billion yen in fiscal 2008, to 49 billion yen for fiscal 2009, or 4.0% of sales. Although there were the positive effects of various cost rationalization activities, a decrease in sales, the effects of price declines and rising costs for raw materials led to decreased earnings in this segment.
Sales of PEW and PanaHome decreased 8% to 1,766 billion yen, compared with 1,910 billion yen a year ago. At PEW and its subsidiaries, sluggish sales of electronic materials, automation controls and health-enhancing products led to a decrease in sales from the previous year. At PanaHome Corporation and its subsidiaries, a rapid deterioration sluggish housing market conditions after September 2008 led to a decrease in sales.
With respect to this segment, profit decreased 58% to 40 billion yen, which is equal to 2.3% of sales, from 96 billion yen in the previous year, as a result of the aforementioned decrease in sales and the effects of price declines.
Sales of Components and Devices decreased 19% to 1,127 billion yen, from the previous years 1,399 billion yen, mainly as a result of sluggish sales in semiconductors and general electronic components. In general electronic components, Panasonic maintained its leading global market share in angular rate sensors for car navigation systems and digital cameras. In addition, sales of power supplies for plasma TVs were relatively steady. However, sales of capacitors, electromechanical components and other products dropped sharply due to deteriorated market conditions and inventory cutbacks at finished product manufacturers. In the semiconductor business, sales fell as demand slowed for semiconductors for digital equipment. In batteries, weak sales of such products as alkaline dry batteries and car batteries led to an overall decrease in sales.
With respect to this segment, profit decreased 93% from 105 billion yen in fiscal 2008, to 7 billion yen for fiscal 2009, or 0.6% of sales. Although there were positive effects of cost rationalization, decreased sales and price declines resulted in decreased earnings in this segment.
Sales in the Other segment amounted to 1,072 billion yen, down 1% from 1,084 billion yen in the previous year. Although the Company expanded product line-ups of high-speed modular placement machines, sluggish sales of factory automation equipment as a result of sharply deteriorated market conditions led to a decrease in sales in this category.
With respect to this segment, profit was down 63% from 64 billion yen for fiscal 2008, to 24 billion yen, which were equivalent to 2.2% against sales in fiscal 2009. This result was due mainly to sales declines as a result of the aforementioned sales declines.
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Sales results by region for fiscal 2009, as compared with the previous fiscal year, were as follows:
Sales in Japan amounted to 4,082 billion yen, down 10% from 4,545 billion yen in fiscal 2008. Sales declined in all segments, and there were sharp sales declines particularly in automotive electronics equipment, mobile phones, semiconductors, general components and devices, and FA equipment.
Overseas sales amounted to 3,684 billion yen, down 19% from 4,524 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. Sales declined in all segments, and there were sharp sales declines particularly in business-use AV equipment, automotive electronics, PCs and peripherals, semiconductors, and general components and devices.
By region, sales in the Americas amounted to 997 billion, down 20% from 1,251 billion yen in fiscal 2008. Sales downturns in digital AV equipment, broadcast- and business-use AV equipment, automotive electronics, general components and other products led to decreased sales from the previous year for this region.
Sales in Europe amounted to 963 billion yen, down 21% from the previous years 1,213 billion yen. Sales for this region decreased, due mainly to weak sales in digital cameras, automotive electronics, white goods, general components and batteries.
In the Asia and Others region, sales decreased 16% to 1,724 billion yen, from the previous years 2,060 billion yen. In Asia (excluding China), sales decreased in PCs and peripherals, automotive electronics, compressors, as well as semiconductors and general components, resulting in overall sales declines. Meanwhile, in China, sales decreased mainly in PCs and peripherals, air-conditioners, compressors, and general components, resulting in overall decreased sales.
Panasonics Policy on Financial Position and Liquidity
Panasonic maintains a basic policy of financing all required funds from internal sources. It also practices efficient fund management through internal financing activities. In addition to raising funds through borrowing as necessary, the Company in May 2009 expanded its commercial paper (CP) facility in Japan to 300 billion yen as a method for flexibly raising short-term capital for working capital and other requirements. There was no CP outstanding at March 31, 2010. This conservativeness is exemplified in the tradition of maintaining the ratio of shareholders equity to total assets at a relatively high level and keeping large cash balance. The ratio of shareholders equity to total assets as of March 31, 2010 was 33.4%, down from 43.5% as of March 31, 2009. The total of short-term borrowings and long-term debt amounted to 1,328 billion yen as of March 31, 2010, up by 582 billion yen from a year ago. Cash balance increased to 1,202 billion yen (the total of cash and cash equivalents of 1,110 billion yen plus time deposits with a maturity of more than three months of 92 billion yen) as of March 31, 2010, compared with the previous years 1,163 billion yen (the total of cash and cash equivalents of 974 billion yen plus time deposits of 189 billion yen) as of March 31. 2009.
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Regarding future cash requirements, Panasonic will spend capital investment (excluding intangibles) of 480 billion yen for fiscal 2011, 300 billion yen for fiscal 2012 and 280 billion yen for fiscal 2013. The Company will decrease total cost of investment from fiscal 2011, but increase its investment ratio of energy systems.
In order to facilitate access to global capital markets, Panasonic obtains credit ratings from the worlds two leading credit rating agencies, Moodys Investors Service, Inc. (Moodys) and Standard & Poors Rating Services (S&P). In addition, Panasonic maintains credit ratings from Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I), a rating agency nationally recognized in Japan, primarily for access to the Japanese capital markets. As of March 31, 2010, Panasonics debt ratings are: Moodys: Aa3 (long-term) down from Aa2 on December 2009; S&P: A+ (long-term, outlook: stable) down from AA- on December 2009, A-1 (short-term) down from A-1+ on December 2009; and R&I: AA (long-term, outlook: stable) down from AA+ on January 2010, a-1+ (short-term). These downgrades in credit ratings were due mainly to downturn in business of the Company under the severe conditions with the impact of global recession, as well as the negative influence on the financial position of the Company by acquiring 50.2% of the voting rights of SANYO.
Panasonic believes that its credit ratings include the rating agencies assessment of the general operating environment, its positions in the markets in which it competes, reputation, movements and volatility in its earnings, risk management policies, liquidity and capital management. An adverse change in any of these factors could result in a reduction of Panasonics credit ratings, and that could, in turn, increase its borrowing costs and limit its access to the capital markets or require it to post additional collateral and permit counterparties to terminate transactions pursuant to certain contractual obligations.
With the above-mentioned cash balance, combined with the generally and relatively high credit ratings from leading credit rating agencies, Panasonic believes that it has sufficient sources of liquidity for both working capital and long-term investment needs.
As of March 31, 2010, the outstanding balance of short-term borrowings totaled 299 billion yen, and long-term debt was 1,029 billion yen. Panasonics borrowings are not significantly affected by seasonal factors. (For further details, see Note 9 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.) Most borrowings are at fixed rates.
Regarding cash flows, Panasonic uses free cash flow (see OverviewKey performance indicators in Section A of this Item 5) as an important indicator to evaluate its performance.
Regarding the use of financial instruments for hedging purposes, see Item 11.
Fiscal 2010 Financial Position and Liquidity
The Companys consolidated total assets as of the end of fiscal 2010 increased to 8,358 billion yen, as compared with 6,403 billion yen at the end of the last fiscal year. This increase was due primarily to the effect of consolidating SANYO and its subsidiaries.
The Companys consolidated total liabilities as of March 31, 2010 increased to 4,678 billion yen, as compared with 3,191 billion yen at the end of the last fiscal year. This increase was also due primarily to the effect of consolidating SANYO and its subsidiaries. (For further details, see Note 9 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
Panasonic Corporation shareholders equity as of March 31, 2010 amounted 2,792 billion yen, mostly unchanged from the previous years 2,784 billion yen.
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Noncontrolling interests increased by 459 billion yen, to 887 billion yen. This result was due mainly to the effect of consolidating SANYO and its subsidiaries.
Capital investment (excluding intangibles) during fiscal 2010 totaled 385 billion yen, down 22% from the previous fiscal years total of 494 billion yen, as shown in the above table. Panasonic implemented capital investment primarily to increase production capacity in strategic business areas such as batteries and flat-panel TVs. Principal capital investments consisted of PDP manufacturing facilities for the domestic Plant No. 5 in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan; LCD panel production facilities for the Himeji plant in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan; and lithium-ion battery production facilities for the Suminoe plant in Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
Depreciation (excluding intangibles) during fiscal 2010 amounted to 252 billion yen, down 23% compared with 326 billion yen in the previous fiscal year as the Company incurred impairment losses in fiscal 2009.
Net cash provided by operating activities in fiscal 2010 amounted to 522 billion yen, compared with 117 billion yen in the previous fiscal year. This result was due mainly to operational improvement, as well as an increase in trade payables, accrued expenses and other current liabilities, and a decrease in inventories, despite an increase in trade receivables. Net cash used in investing activities amounted to 323 billion yen, compared with 470 billion yen in fiscal 2009. This result was due primarily to the decrease of expenses by reduction in capital investment and a decrease in time deposits, despite an outflow to purchase of SANYO shares of 175 billion yen (deducting the amount of cash and cash equivalents of SANYO and its subsidiaries as of acquisition date.) Net cash used in financing activities was 57 billion yen, compared with cash inflow of 149 billion yen in fiscal 2009. This result was due mainly to the issuance of unsecured straight bonds of 400 billion yen in fiscal 2009, despite a decrease of dividend payment and repurchasing of its own shares. All these activities and the effect of exchange rate fluctuations (a negative impact of 6 billion yen) resulted in cash and cash equivalents at the end of fiscal 2010 of 1,110 billion yen, compared with 974 billion yen a year ago.
Free cash flow in fiscal 2010 amounted to a cash inflow of 199 billion yen, compared with a cash outflow of 353 billion yen in fiscal 2009. This result was due mainly to operational improvement, as well as a decrease in inventories and capital expenditures. (For a reconciliation of free cash flow to the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP financial measure and related discussion, see OverviewKey performance indicators in Section A of this Item 5.)
Commitments for Capital Expenditures
As of March 31, 2010, commitments outstanding for the purchase of property, plant and equipment amounted to 105 billion yen.
In fiscal 2010, Panasonic executed initiatives to accelerate R&D with a focus on key development themes and to bolster development of energy-saving and environmental technologies.
Panasonic engages in a broad range of R&D themes, including digital network software, device and environmental technologies. The Company has established R&D sites at optimal locations globally as it builds an R&D structure that optimally utilizes the personnel and technologies in Japan, North America, Europe, China and the ASEAN region. For example, at the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory in North America, Panasonic has developed Blu-ray 3D technologies in collaboration with movie studios. In Europe and China, meanwhile, the Company has strengthened its development of appliances products that are more tailored to regional characteristics in terms of food, clothing and housing.
R&D Expenditures amounted to 477 billion yen, 518 billion yen and 555 billion yen for the three fiscal years ended March 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008, respectively, representing 6.4%, 6.7% and 6.1% of Panasonics total net sales for each of those periods.
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Key development themes during the fiscal year were as follows:
Panasonic developed high-speed 3D image display drive technology, including new panel materials and LSIs, that enables rapid illumination of pixels while maintaining brightness, as well as crosstalk reduction technology for minimizing double-image (ghosting) that occurs when left- and right-eye images are alternately displayed thanks to newly developed phosphors with short luminescence decay time and illumination control technology. Due to these developments, the Company nearly doubled luminous efficiency from the previous fiscal year and reduced the luminescence decay time to one-third*1 of conventional phosphors.
As a result, Panasonic refined the worlds first*2 103-inch full HD 3D PDP which developed in the previous fiscal year. The new panel can provide full HD images for the left and right eyes at twice the speed of conventional 2D displays (1/120 of a second), enabling the production of clear 3D images and making possible a true high-quality 3D movie-theatre experience in the home living room.
Panasonic has achieved energy savings of up to approximately 70%*3 during heating due to automatic energy-conservation operation made possible by three types of sensors: a people sensor that detects peoples location and movement in a room and also controls airflow according to body temperature; a room layout sensor that detects the position of furniture and controls the direction of airflow to reach people, as well as detects the position of walls to cap operation; and an insolation sensor which senses changes in the amount of sunlight in a room from windows due to changes in the weather and time of day and adjusts the room temperature accordingly.
Panasonic developed safe, high-capacity 3.1 Ah batteries with Companys safety technology. This technology, called Heat Resistance Layer (HRL) technology, forms an insulating metal oxide layer between the nickel positive and negative electrodes, preventing batteries from overheating even if a short circuit occurs. Panasonic has begun mass producing these batteries in December 2009.
Moreover, the Company developed a 3.4 Ah high-capacity battery with greater density (mass production is scheduled to commence in fiscal 2011) using a proprietary nickel positive electrode for extended operating times in notebooks PCs and electric vehicles (EVs) as well as a 4.0 Ah high-capacity battery that uses a silicon-based alloy for the negative electrode. Panasonic plans to begin mass production of the latter battery in fiscal 2012.
Panasonic has developed technology for fabricating GaN transistors on a cost-effective Si substrate with a large diameter. The GaN-based transistors function as high-speed switches between an on-state with low resistance and an off-state with a high breakdown voltage in order to efficiently and safely control large amounts of electricity.
In addition, the inverter conversion loss was decreased by approximately 42%*6 to achieve the inverter function that converts direct to alternating current by single-chip by the insulation technology that enabled an independent drive of six GaN transistors, and a highly effective motor drive was achieved.
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The world has drastically shifted to a sustainable multipolarized society with serious environmental issues, resource depletion, and the growth of emerging countries. A worldwide recession which began in the fall of 2008 accelerated this shift. Although the Company continues to anticipate uncertainties in the global economy in fiscal 2011, it expects a gradual recovery trend and greater demand from emerging markets. Panasonic also expects the greater presence of businesses, products, and services that are based on new values such as environmental awareness and conscientious consumption.
The Company has launched a new three-year midterm management plan, Green Transformation 2012, or GT12, for the period from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2013. To realize its vision of becoming the No.1 Green Innovation Company in the Electronics Industry leading up to its 100th anniversary, the Company will contribute to the environment and business growth to build a new Panasonic with a Paradigm shift for growth and Lay a foundation to be a Green Innovation Company as key themes to establish a Panasonic Group with strong potential for growth.
To engineer a paradigm shift for growth, the Company will shift its business: 1) from existing to new fields such as energy, 2) from Japan-centric to globally oriented, and 3) from individual products to solutions and systems. To lay the foundation to be a Green Innovation Company, the Company aims to: 1) increase profitability based on growth and 2) contribute to the environment, using indexes respectively.
Panasonic has set the following Group management goals for GT12: 5% or more in operating profit ratio, 10 trillion yen in sales, a three-year accumulative total of over 800 billion yen in free cash flow, 10% in ROE, and a 50 million ton reduction in CO2 emissions (compared with the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006).
The four main Group strategies to achieve these goals are as follows:
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Panasonic will also promote management innovation for supporting these Group strategies. On April 1, 2010, the Company established the Group Management Innovation Division and the four subcommittees under it, which are implementing the following initiatives:
Besides the above actions, Panasonic is accelerating global human resources development and working on cash flow-oriented management. Regarding the latter, the Company will execute a clear-cut strategy that divides its business into four categories from the standpoint of growth potential and profitability. At the same time, in order to improve the cash flow generation capability at operating sites, Panasonic will implement its Midterm Enhanced Cash Flow Management Project. It will strengthen the monitoring of large-scale investments and develop the concept of theoretical inventories and apply this throughout all Group companies.
Based on its basic management philosophy, Panasonic believes todays mission is to make all its business activities environment centered and take the lead to offer life innovation with decisive actions. Having added SANYO and its consolidated subsidiaries to the Panasonic Group, in the next three years of the new midterm management plan, Panasonic will take initiatives to change itself to fill Panasonic with innovation and growth potential to carry out its mission. In fiscal 2011, the Company will begin the first phase of innovation and targets a return to profitability and to parlay this into achievement of its GT12 goals.
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The Company established sale-leaseback arrangements for manufacturing machinery and equipment, and sale of receivables without recourse and with recourse, as off-balance sheet arrangements in order to reduce its total assets.
In fiscal 2010, Panasonic sold machinery and equipment for 95 billion yen, which are used for manufacturing plasma display panel and other products, to Sumishin Matsushita Financial Services Co., Ltd. (On April 1, 2010, the name has been changed to Sumishin Panasonic Financial Services Co., Ltd.) and other third parties. The assets are leased back to Panasonic over a period of one to five years. Panasonic guarantees a specific value of the leased assets. These leases are classified as operating leases for U.S. GAAP purposes. Including the above-mentioned, the aggregate amount of future minimum lease payments under non-cancelable operating leases is 170 billion yen at March 31, 2010. (For further details, see Note 6 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
In fiscal 2010, Panasonic sold, without recourse, trade receivables of 444 billion yen to independent third parties for proceeds of 443 billion yen. In fiscal 2010, Panasonic sold, with recourse, trade receivables of 356 billion yen to independent third parties for proceeds of 355 billion yen. (For further details, see Note 16 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
In addition, the Company provides several types of guarantees and similar arrangements. (For further details, see Note 19 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
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The two tables below show Panasonics cash payment obligations and guarantees and other commercial commitments, broken down by the payment amounts due for each of the periods specified below, as of March 31, 2010:
Discounted exported bills generally have contractual lives of less than one year. Loan guarantees are principally provided on behalf of employees, associated companies and customers, and generally have long-term contractual lives coinciding with the maturities of the guaranteed obligations. (For further details, see Notes 6, 9, 10, 11 and 19 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
See Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements.
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Critical Accounting Policies
The Company has identified the following critical accounting policies which are important to its financial condition and results of operations, and require managements judgment.
The useful lives of long-lived assets are summarized in Note 1(h) of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this annual report and reflect the estimated period that the Company expects to derive economic benefit from their use. In estimating the useful lives and determining whether subsequent revisions to the useful lives are necessary, the Company considers the likelihood of technological obsolescence, changes in demand for the products related to such assets, and other factors which may affect their utilization of the long-lived assets. The effect of any future changes to the estimated useful lives of the long-lived assets could be significant to the Companys results of operations.
Long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amounts of assets or asset group may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset to future net cash flows (undiscounted and without interest charges) expected to be generated by the asset. If such assets are considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured by the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset exceeds the estimated fair value of the asset. Assets to be disposed of are reported at the lower of the carrying amount or fair value less selling costs. Factors which may contribute to the need for future impairment charges include changes in the use of assets resulting from the Companys restructuring initiatives, technological changes or any significant declines in the demand for related products.
Valuation of Investment Securities
The Company holds available-for-sale securities, held-to-maturity securities, equity method securities and cost method securities, included in short-term investments, and investments and advances. Available-for-sale securities are carried at fair value with unrealized holding gains and losses included as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of applicable taxes.
Individual securities are reduced to net realizable value by a charge to earnings for other-than-temporary declines in fair value. Management regularly reviews each investment security for impairment based on criteria that includes the extent to which cost exceeds market value, the duration of that market decline and the financial health of and specific prospects for the issuer. Because such specific information may become available after the Company makes the impairment evaluation, and whether the impairment is other-than-temporary depends upon future events that may or may not occur, the Company may be required to recognize an other-than-temporary impairment in the future. Determination of whether a decline in value is other-than-temporary requires judgment. At March 31, 2010, the Company has recorded 384 billion yen of available-for-sale securities, 2 billion yen of held-to-maturity securities, 22 billion yen of cost method securities, 50 billion yen of equity method securities that have market values, and 179 billion yen of equity method securities that do not have market values, advances and others. These investments could be determined to be other-than-temporarily impaired, depending on changes to the current facts and assumptions. In fiscal 2010, the Company recorded 7 billion yen impairment losses on investment securities.
For further discussion on valuation of investment securities, see Notes 4 and 5 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this annual report.
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Valuation of Inventory
Inventories are stated at the lower of cost, determined on a first-in, first-out basis or average basis, or net realizable value. Net realizable value is the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business less the estimated costs of completion and the estimated costs necessary to make a sale. The Company routinely reviews its inventories for their salability and for indications of obsolescence to determine if inventories should be written-down to net realizable value. Judgments and estimates must be made and used in connection with establishing such allowances in any accounting period. In estimating the net realizable value of its inventories, the Company considers the age of the inventories and the likelihood of spoilage or changes in market demand for its inventories.
The Company makes estimates of potential warranty claims related to its goods sold. The Company provides for such costs based upon historical experience and its estimate of the level of future claims. Management makes judgments and estimates in connection with establishing the warranty reserve in any accounting period. Differences may result in the amount and timing of its revenue for any period if management makes different judgments or utilizes different estimates. (For further details, see Note 19 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.)
Valuation of Accounts Receivable and Noncurrent Receivables
The Company reviews its accounts receivable on a periodic basis and provides an allowance for doubtful receivables based on historical loss experience and current economic conditions. In evaluating the collectibility of individual receivable balances, the Company considers the age of the balance, the customers payment history, their current credit-worthiness and adequacy of collateral.
The Company records noncurrent receivables, representing loans from finance lease transactions, at cost, less the related allowance for impaired receivables. A loan is considered to be impaired when, based on current information and events, it is probable that the Company will be unable to collect all amounts due according to the contractual terms of the loan agreement. When a loan is considered to be impaired, the amount of impairment is measured based on the present value of expected future cash flows or the fair value of the collateral. Cash receipts on impaired receivables are applied to reduce the principal amount of such receivables until the principal has been recovered and are recognized as interest income thereafter. Managements judgment is required in making estimates of the future cash flows of an impaired loan. Such estimates are based on current economic conditions and the current and expected financial condition of the debtor. (For further details, see Schedule II of Item 18.)
Valuation of Goodwill
Goodwill is tested for impairment on an annual basis, or more frequently if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the goodwill may be impaired, such as an adverse change in business climate. Impairment is recorded if the implied fair value of goodwill is less than its carrying amount. The fair value determination used in the impairment assessment requires estimates of the fair value of reporting units based on quoted market prices, prices of comparable businesses, present value or other valuation techniques, or a combination thereof, necessitating management to make subjective judgments and assumptions. These estimates and assumptions could result in significant differences to the amounts reported if underlying circumstances were to change. At March 31, 2010, the Company has recorded 923 billion yen of goodwill, part or all of which could be determined to be impaired in future periods, depending on changes to the current facts and assumptions. For further discussion on goodwill, see Note 8 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this annual report.
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Valuation of Deferred Tax Assets and Sustainability of Uncertain Tax Positions
In assessing the realizability of deferred tax assets and uncertain tax positions based on the expected future generation of taxable income or assessed sustainability of uncertain tax positions, Panasonic considers whether it is more likely than not that any portion or all of the deferred tax assets or recognized benefit under uncertain tax position benefit will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets and uncertain tax positions is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which those temporary differences become deductible or dependent on assessed sustainability of uncertain tax positions. Management considers the scheduled reversal of deferred tax liabilities, projected future taxable income, and tax planning strategies in making this assessment over the valuation of deferred tax assets.
At March 31, 2010, the Company has recorded gross deferred tax assets of 1,652 billion yen with a total valuation allowance of 1,015 billion yen. Included in the gross deferred tax assets is 617 billion yen resulting from net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs) of 1,668 billion yen, which are available to offset future taxable income. In order to fully realize these NOLs, the Company will need to generate sufficient taxable income by the expiration of these NOLs. These NOLs of 1,528 billion yen expire from fiscal 2011 through 2017 and the remaining balance expire thereafter or do not expire. Based upon the level of historical taxable income and projections for future taxable income over the periods in which the deferred tax assets are deductible, management believes it is more likely than not that the Company will realize the benefits of these deductible differences, net of the existing valuation allowance at March 31, 2010 based on available evidence. The Company could be required to increase the valuation allowance if such assumptions would change concluding that the Company would not be able to generate sufficient taxable income. At March 31, 2010, the Company has recorded 10 billion yen of unrecognized tax benefits. For further discussion on valuation of deferred tax assets and realizability of uncertain tax positions, see Note 11 of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in this annual report.
Retirement and Severance Benefits
Retirement and severance benefits costs and obligations are dependent on assumptions used in calculating such amounts. The discount rate and expected return on assets are the most critical assumptions among others, including retirement rates, mortality rates and salary growth. While management believes that the assumptions used are appropriate, actual results in any given year could differ from actuarial assumptions because of economic and other factors. The resulting difference is accumulated and amortized and therefore, generally affect the Companys retirement and severance benefit costs and obligations in future period.
The Company determines discount rates by looking to rates of return on high-quality fixed income investments, and the expected long-term rate of return on pension plan assets by considering the current and expected asset allocations, as well as historical and expected returns on various categories of plan assets. Decreases in discount rates lead to increases in benefit obligations which, in turn, could lead to an increase in amortization cost through amortization of actuarial gain or loss, and vice versa. A decrease of 50 basis points in the discount rate is expected to increase the projected benefit obligation by approximately seven percent. A decline in market stock values generally results in a lower expected rate of return on plan assets, which would result in an increase of future retirement and severance benefit costs.
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Accounting for Derivatives
The Company has limited involvement with derivative financial instruments and does not use them for trading purposes. The Company uses derivative instruments principally to manage foreign currency risks resulting from transactions denominated in currencies other than the Japanese yen. The Company recognizes all derivatives as either assets or liabilities on the balance sheet at their fair values. Changes in the fair value of a derivative are reported in earnings or other comprehensive income (loss) depending on their use and whether they qualify for hedge accounting. The accounting for gains and losses associated with changes in the fair value of the derivative depends on its hedge designation and whether the hedge is highly effective in achieving offsetting changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedged item. The Company evaluates and determines on a continuous basis if the derivative remains highly effective in offsetting changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedged item. If the derivative ceases to be highly effective in offsetting changes in the fair value or cash flows of the hedged item, the Company discontinues hedge accounting prospectively. Because the derivatives the Company uses are not complex, significant judgment is not required to determine their fair values. Fair values are determined based an unadjusted market prices or quotations from brokers.
Loss contingencies may from time to time arise from situations such as product liability claims, warranty claims, disputes over intellectual property rights, environmental remediation obligations, and other legal actions. Loss contingencies are recorded as liabilities when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the loss is reasonably estimable. Disclosure is required when there is a reasonable possibility that the ultimate loss will exceed the recorded provision. Contingent liabilities are often resolved over long time periods. In recording liabilities for probable losses, management is required to make estimates and judgments regarding the amount or range of the probable loss. Management continually assesses the adequacy of estimated loss contingencies and, if necessary, adjusts the amounts recorded as better information becomes known.
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New Accounting Pronouncements
In December 2009, FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2009-16, Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets. ASU2009-16 removes the concept of a qualifying special-purpose entity (QSPE) from ASC 860, Transfers and Servicing, and the exception from applying ASC 810 to QSPEs, thereby requiring transferors of financial assets to evaluate whether to consolidate transferees that previously were considered QSPEs. ASU 2009-16 also clarifies ASC 860s sale-accounting criteria pertaining to legal isolation and effective control and creates more stringent conditions for reporting a transfer of a portion of a financial asset as a sale. ASU 2009-16 is effective for the Company as of April 1, 2010. The adoption of ASU 2009-16 is not expected to have a material effect on the Companys consolidated financial statements.
In December 2009, FASB issued ASU 2009-17, Improvements to Financial Reporting by Enterprises Involved with Variable Interest Entities. ASU 2009-17, which amends ASC 810, revises the test for determining the primary beneficiary of a Variable Interest Entities (VIE) from a primarily quantitative risks and rewards calculation based on the VIEs expected losses and expected residual returns to a primarily qualitative analysis based on identifying the party or related-party (if any) with the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the VIEs economic performance and the obligation to absorb losses of, or the right to receive benefits from, the VIE that could potentially be significant to the VIE. ASU 2009-17 is effective for the Company as of April 1, 2010. The adoption of ASU 2009-17 is not expected to have a material effect on the Companys consolidated financial statements.
In October 2009, FASB issued ASU 2009-13, Multiple-Deliverable Revenue Arrangements. ASU 2009-13 amends ASC 605 to eliminate the requirement that all undelivered elements have vendor specific objective evidence of selling price (VSOE) or third party evidence of selling price (TPE) before an entity can recognize the portion of an overall arrangement fee that is attributable to items that already have been delivered. In the absence of VSOE and TPE for one or more delivered or undelivered elements in a multiple-element arrangement, entities will be required to estimate the selling prices of those elements in a multiple-element arrangement. The overall arrangement fee will be allocated to each element (both delivered and undelivered items) based on their relative selling prices, regardless of whether those selling prices are evidenced by VSOE or TPE or are based on the entitys estimated selling price. Application of the residual method of allocating an overall arrangement fee between delivered and undelivered elements will no longer be permitted upon adoption of ASU 2009-13. ASU 2009-13 is effective prospectively for the Companys revenue arrangements entered into or materially modified beginning on or after April 1, 2011. The Company is currently in the process of assessing the impact of adoption of ASU 2009-13 on the Companys consolidated financial statements.
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The Articles of Incorporation of the Company provide that the number of Directors of the Company shall be three or more and that of Corporate Auditors shall be three or more. Directors and Corporate Auditors shall be elected at the general meeting of shareholders.
The Board of Directors has ultimate responsibility for administration of the Companys affairs and monitoring of the execution of business by Directors. Directors may, by resolution of the Board of Directors, appoint a Chairman of the Board of Directors, a Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, a President and Director, and one or more Executive Vice Presidents and Directors, Senior Managing Directors and Managing Directors. The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and Director, Executive Vice Presidents and Directors, and Senior Managing Directors are Representative Directors and severally represent the Company. A Japanese joint stock corporation with corporate auditors, such as Panasonic, is not obliged under the Company Law of Japan and related laws and ordinances (collectively, the Company Law), to have any outside directors on its board of directors. However, Panasonic has two (2) outside Directors. An outside director is defined as a director of the company who does not engage or has not engaged in the execution of business of the company or its subsidiaries as a director of any of these corporations, and who does not serve or has not served as an executive officer, manager or in any other capacity as an employee of the company or its subsidiaries. Outside Directors directly or indirectly cooperate with the internal audit, audit by Corporate Auditors and external audit, receive reports from the Internal Auditing Group and conduct an effective monitoring through reports on financial results at meetings of the Board of Directors and through reviews of the basic policy regarding the development of internal control systems and other methods. The term of office of Directors shall, under the Articles of Incorporation of the Company, expire at the conclusion of the ordinary general meeting of shareholders with respect to the last business year ending within one year from their election.
Corporate Auditors of the Company are not required to be, and are not, certified public accountants. Corporate Auditors may not at the same time be Directors, accounting counselors, executive officers, managers or any other capacity as employees of the Company or any of its subsidiaries. Under the Company Law, at least half of the Corporate Auditors shall be outside corporate auditors. An outside corporate auditor is defined as a corporate auditor of the company who has never been a director, accounting counselor, executive officer, manager or in any other capacity as an employee of the company or any of its subsidiaries. Outside Corporate Auditors directly or indirectly cooperate with the internal audit, audit by Corporate Auditors and accounting audit, receive reports from the Internal Auditing Group and conduct an effective monitoring through reports on financial results at meetings of the Board of Directors, through reviews of the basic policy regarding the development of internal control systems and through exchanges of opinions and information at meetings of the Board of Corporate Auditors and other methods. Each Corporate Auditor has the statutory duty to audit the non-consolidated and consolidated financial statements and business reports to be submitted by a Director to the general meeting of shareholders and, based on such audit and a report of an Accounting Auditor referred to below, to respectively prepare his or her audit report. Each Corporate Auditor also has the statutory duty to supervise Directors execution of their duties. The Corporate Auditors are required to attend meetings of the Board of Directors and express opinions, if necessary, at such meetings, but they are not entitled to vote. In addition, Corporate Auditors receive monthly reports regarding the status of the internal control system, the audit results, etc. from the Internal Audit Group or from other sections. Corporate Auditors may request the Internal Audit Group or the Accounting Auditor to conduct an investigation, if necessary. The terms of office shall expire at the conclusion of the ordinary general meeting of shareholders with respect to the last business year ending within four years from their election. However, they may serve any number of consecutive terms if re-elected.
Corporate Auditors constitute the Board of Corporate Auditors. The Board of Corporate Auditors has a statutory duty to, based on the reports prepared by respective Corporate Auditors, prepare and submit its audit report to Accounting Auditors and certain Directors designated to receive such report (if such Directors are not designated, the Directors who prepared the financial statements and the business report). A Corporate Auditor may note his or her opinion in the audit report if his or her opinion expressed in his or her audit report is different from the opinion expressed in the audit report of the Board of Corporate Auditors. The Board of Corporate Auditors shall elect one or more full-time Corporate Auditors from among its members. The Board of Corporate Auditors is empowered to establish auditing policies, the manner of investigation of the status of the corporate affairs and assets of the Company, and any other matters relating to the execution of the duties of Corporate Auditors. However, the Board of Corporate Auditors may not prevent each Corporate Auditor from exercising his or her powers.
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Pursuant to recent amendments to the regulations of the Japanese stock exchanges, the Company is required to have one or more independent director(s)/corporate auditor(s) which terms are defined under the relevant regulations of the Japanese stock exchanges as outside directors or outside corporate auditors (each of which terms is defined under the Company Law) who are unlikely to have any conflict of interests with shareholders of the Company. All five (5) outside directors and corporate auditors satisfy the requirements for the independent director/corporate auditor under the regulations of the Japanese stock exchanges, respectively. The definition of the independent director/corporate auditor is different from that of the independent directors under the corporate governance standard of the New York Stock Exchange or under Rule 10A-3 under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
In addition to Corporate Auditors, an independent certified public accountant or an independent audit corporation must be appointed by general meetings of shareholders as Accounting Auditor of the Company. Such Accounting Auditor has the duties to audit the consolidated and non-consolidated financial statements proposed to be submitted by a Director at general meetings of shareholders and to report their opinion thereon to certain Corporate Auditors designated by the Board of Corporate Auditors to receive such report (if such Corporate Auditors are not designated, all Corporate Auditors) and certain Directors designated to receive such report (if such Directors are not designated, the Directors who prepared the financial statements). The consolidated financial statement is prepared in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) and financial information on a non-consolidated (a parent company alone) basis is in conformity with Japanese regulations.
Under the Company Law and the Articles of Incorporation of the Company, the Company may, by a resolution of the Board of Directors, exempt Directors or Corporate Auditors, acting in good faith and without significant negligence, from their liabilities owed to the Company arising in connection with their failure to perform their duties to the extent permitted by the Company Law. In addition, the Company has entered into liability limitation agreements with each of the outside Directors and outside Corporate Auditors, acting in good faith and without significant negligence, which limit the maximum amount of their liabilities owed to the Company arising in connection with their failure to perform their duties to the extent permitted by the Company Law.
The Company implemented in fiscal 2004 a reform of its corporate management and governance structure by (i) reorganizing the role of the Board of Directors, (ii) introducing Panasonics own Executive Officer system* in its Group and (iii) strengthening its Corporate Auditor system, all tailored to the Groups new business domain-based, autonomous management structure.
Panasonics Executive Officer system was introduced to address the diversity of business operations over the entire Group through delegation of authority and to help integrate the comprehensive strengths of all Group companies in Japan and overseas. The Board of Directors appoints Executive Officers mainly from senior management personnel of business domain companies, such as internal divisional companies and subsidiaries, as well as from management personnel responsible for overseas subsidiaries and certain senior corporate staff. The Executive Officers assume responsibility as the Groups executives regarding execution of business. The Executive Officers may be given such titles as Vice President Executive Officer, Senior Managing Executive Officer, Managing Executive Officer and Executive Officer, depending on the extent of responsibility and achievement of each individual. The terms of office of the Executive Officers shall expire at the conclusion of the ordinary general meeting of shareholders with respect to the last business year of the Company ending within one year from their election. Each of the Executive Officers has the authority to operate businesses for which such Executive Officer is responsible, under the supervision of the Board of Directors and in accordance with the Board of Directors decisions on the management of corporate affairs.
The Board of Directors has, at the same time, been reformed in order to concentrate on establishing corporate strategies and supervising the implementation thereof by the Executive Officers. The Company has reduced the number of Directors to facilitate more effective decision-making, and shortened their term of office to one year in order to clarify their responsibilities. Taking into consideration the diversified scope of the Companys business operations, the Company has chosen to continue its policy of having management personnel, who are well-versed in day-to-day operations at operational fronts, be members of the Board of Directors, while outside Directors continue to fully participate in Board meetings.
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Meanwhile, the non-statutory full-time senior auditors were newly appointed within the Companys internal divisional companies in order to strengthen auditing functions at each business domain company. In addition, the Company has also launched the Panasonic Group Auditor Meeting chaired by the Chairman of the Board of Corporate Auditors of the Company in order to promote collaboration among the Companys Corporate Auditors, the non-statutory full-time senior auditors of the internal divisional companies and the corporate auditors of the Companys subsidiaries and affiliates. Moreover, as a part of their audit duties, Corporate Auditors maintain a close working relationship with the Internal Audit Group of the Company to ensure effective audits. Furthermore, in order to enhance the effectiveness of audits conducted by Corporate Auditors and ensure the smooth implementation of audits, the Company has established a Corporate Auditors Office with full-time staff under the direct control of the Board of Corporate Auditors.
The following table shows information about Panasonics Directors and Corporate Auditors as of June 25, 2010, including their dates of birth, positions, responsibilities and brief personal records.
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Asterisks (*) denote members of the Board of Directors who concurrently serve as Executive Officers, pursuant to the Executive Officer System which was introduced to facilitate the development of optimum corporate strategies that integrate the Panasonic Groups comprehensive strengths.
Ikuo Uno and Masayuki Oku are outside directors as stipulated in the Company Law.
Yasuo Yoshino, Ikuo Hata and Hiroyuki Takahashi are outside corporate auditors as stipulated in the Company Law.
All two (2) outside directors and three (3) outside corporate auditors were notified to the Japanese stock exchanges as independent directors/corporate auditors pursuant to the regulations of the Japanese stock exchanges.
There are no family relationships among any Directors or Corporate Auditors except as described below:
Masayuki Matsushita, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors is the son of Masaharu Matsushita, Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors and Executive Advisor, Member of the Board.
The following table shows information about Panasonics Executive Officers as of June 25, 2010, including their positions and responsibilities.
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(Directors who concurrently serve as Executive Officers are not included in the above list.)
The aggregate amounts of remunerations, including equity compensation such as stock options, bonuses, and other financial benefits given in consideration of performance of duties (collectively, the remunerations), paid by the Company during fiscal 2010 to 21 Directors (other than Outside Directors) and 2 Corporate Auditors (other than Outside Corporate Auditors) for services in all capacities were 931 million yen and 63 million yen, respectively. The amounts of remunerations for 2 Outside Directors and 3 Outside Corporate Auditors were 26 million yen and 39 million yen, respectively, in fiscal 2010.
The amounts of remunerations for Mr. Kunio Nakamura, Chairman of the Board of Director, and Mr. Fumio Ohtsubo, President and Director, were 122 million yen and 105 million yen, respectively, in fiscal 2010.
Under the Company Law, the maximum amounts of remunerations of directors and corporate auditors of Japanese joint stock corporations, except for a joint stock corporation with specified committees, must be approved at a general meeting of shareholders if the articles of incorporation of the company do not provide items about remunerations of directors and corporate auditors. Companies must also obtain the approval at a general meeting of shareholders to change such maximum amounts. Therefore, the remuneration of the directors and corporate auditors are subject to the approval of shareholders if the articles of incorporation of the company do not prescribe such items. The maximum total amounts of remunerations for Directors and Corporate Auditors of the Company is therefore determined by a resolution at a general meeting of shareholders, because the Articles of Incorporation of the Company do not provide such items, and thus remunerations of Directors and Corporate Auditors of the Company are under the oversight of shareholders. The remuneration amount for each Director is determined by the Companys Representative Directors who are delegated to do so by the Board of Directors, and the amount of remuneration for each Corporate Auditor is determined upon discussions amongst Corporate Auditors.
The amounts of the remuneration and bonuses of Directors are linked to individual performance based on Capital Cost Management (CCM), sales and CO2 emissions (an environmental management indicator). By implementing this new performance evaluation criteria based on shareholder interests, the Company intends to promote continuous growth and enhance profitability on a long-term basis for the Panasonic Group as a whole.
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For information on the Companys Directors and Corporate Auditors, see Section A of this Item 6.
The rights of ADR holders, including their rights relating to corporate governance practices, are governed by the Amended and Restated Deposit Agreement dated as of December 11, 2000, as amended by Amendment No.1 dated as of October 1, 2008 (incorporated by reference to the Registration Statements on Form F-6 (File Nos. 333-12694 and 333-133099) filed on October 4, 2000 and September 30, 2008, respectively).
The following table lists the number of full-time employees of Panasonic as of March 31, 2010, 2009 and 2008.
Most regular Company employees in Japan, except management personnel, are members of unions that belong to the Panasonic Workers Unions. As is customary in Japan, the Company negotiates annually with the unions and revises annual wage. The annual bonuses of unionized employees are determined in consideration of the Companys performance of the previous year. The Company also renews the terms and conditions of labor contracts, other than those relating to wages and bonuses, every other year. In recent years, the Company has introduced in Japan new comprehensive employment and personnel systems to satisfy the diverse needs of employees.
Such systems include an individual performance-oriented annual salary system, a regional-based employee remuneration system and an alternative payment system under which employees can receive retirement and fringe benefits up front in addition to their semiannual bonuses. During the last few years, the Company and its several subsidiaries have also implemented special early retirement programs for employees who wished to pursue careers outside the Company. For a quarter century, Panasonic has not experienced any major labor strikes or disputes. The Company considers its labor relations to be excellent.
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The shareholders that owned more than five percent of the Companys common stock on the register of shareholders as of March 31, 2010 were The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd. (trust account) and Moxley & Co., which are securities processing services companies. The Company understands that these shareholders are not the beneficial owners of the Companys common stock, but the Company does not have available further information concerning such beneficial ownership by these shareholders. The ten largest shareholders of record and their share holdings as of March 31, 2010 are as follows:
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In the ordinary course of the Companys business, it has entered into transactions with certain of its related parties, but none of such transactions that were entered into during the year ended March 31, 2010 was material to the Company or to any such related party.
There are 232 associated companies under the equity method and the Company had 0.3 billion yen of loan receivable from an associated company under the equity method as of March 31, 2010.
Tokyo Interbank Offered Rate at the end of quarterly period plus 0.75% is applied for this loan receivable and revises quarterly. The Company has started to offer this loan since January 2009 as one of the major shareholders.
Refer to Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements (see Item 18).
Finished goods and materials sent out of Japan are mainly bound for consolidated subsidiaries of the Panasonic Group, and are not, therefore, recorded as exports on a consolidated basis. For this reason, the proportion of exports to total net sales is not significant.
There are some legal actions and administrative investigations against Panasonic. Management is of the opinion that damages, based on the information currently available, if any, resulting from these actions will not have a material effect on Panasonics results of operations or financial position.
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Since its establishment, Panasonic has managed its businesses under the concept that returning profits to shareholders is one of its most important policies. In accordance with this basic stance, the Company has implemented a proactive and comprehensive profit return to shareholders. From the perspective of return on the capital investment made by shareholders, Panasonic, in principle, distributes profits to shareholders based on its business performance and is aiming for stable and continuous growth in dividends, targeting a dividend payout ratio of between 30% and 40% with respect to consolidated net income. Regarding share buybacks, the Company is repurchasing its own shares as it considers appropriate, taking comprehensively into consideration strategic investments and the Companys financial condition, with the aim of increasing shareholder value per share and return on capital.
The Company regrettably recorded a net loss for the second year running in fiscal 2010. In order to quickly improve its performance and achieve growth in the years ahead, Panasonic is working urgently to strengthen its management foundations from a business and financial perspective. In light of the Companys circumstances and due to the emphasis it puts on stable returns to shareholders, Panasonic paid an interim dividend of 5 yen per share on November 30, 2009 and paid a year-end dividend of 5 yen per share on May 31, 2010, making a total annual cash dividend of 10 yen per share. In fiscal 2010, the Company did not repurchase its own shares, except for acquiring fractions of a trading unit and other minor transactions. Although Panasonic expects severe business conditions to continue, the Company will strive to improve its performance as soon as possible and distribute earnings to shareholders.
On April 28, 2005, the Board of Directors resolved to adopt a policy related to a Large-scale Purchase of the Companys shares called the Enhancement of Shareholder Value (ESV) Plan. The ESV Plan has been approved at every Board of Directors meeting since then. On May 7, 2010, the Board of Directors resolved to continue the ESV Plan.
With respect to a Large-scale Purchaser who intends to acquire 20% or more of all voting rights of the Company, this policy requires that (i) a Large-scale Purchaser provides sufficient information, such as its outline, purposes or conditions, the basis for determination of the purchase price and funds for purchase, and management policies and business plans which the Large-scale Purchaser intends to adopt after the completion of the Large-scale Purchase, to the Board of Directors before a Large-scale Purchase is to be conducted and (ii) after all required information is provided, the Board of Directors should be allowed a sufficient period of time (a sixty-day period or a ninety-day period) for consideration.
The Board of Directors intends to assess and examine any proposed Large-scale Purchase after the information on such purchase is provided, and subsequently to disclose the opinion of the Board of Directors and any other information needed to assist shareholders in making their decisions. The Board of Directors may negotiate with the Large-scale Purchaser regarding purchase conditions or suggest alternative plans to shareholders, if it is deemed necessary.
If a Large-scale Purchaser does not comply with the rules laid out in the ESV Plan, the Companys Board of Directors may take countermeasures against the Large-scale Purchaser to protect the interests of all shareholders. Countermeasures include the implementation of stock splits, issuance of stock acquisition rights (including allotment of share options without contribution) or any other measures that the Board of Directors is permitted to take under the Company Law in Japan, other laws and the Companys Articles of Incorporation.
If a Large-scale Purchaser complies with the Large-scale Purchase rules, the Board of Directors does not intend to prevent the Large-scale Purchase at its own discretion, unless it is clear that such Large-scale Purchase will cause irreparable damage or loss to the Company.
The Board of Directors will make decisions relating to countermeasures by referring to advice from outside professionals, such as lawyers and financial advisers, and fully respect the opinions of outside directors and statutory corporate auditors.
When invoking the aforementioned countermeasures, if the Companys Board of Directors decides that it is appropriate to confirm the will of shareholders from the perspective of the interest of all shareholders, a general meeting of shareholders will be held. If the Companys Board of Directors decides to hold a general meeting of shareholders, it will give notice to that effect as well as the reasons for such a meeting at that time.
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The Board of Directors will adopt specific countermeasures which it deems appropriate at that time. If the Board of Directors elects to make a stock split for shareholders as of a certain record date, the maximum ratio of the stock split shall be five-for-one. If the Board of Directors elects to issue stock acquisition rights to shareholders, the Company will issue one stock acquisition right for every share held by shareholders on a specified record date. One share shall be issued on the exercise of each stock acquisition right.
If the Board of Directors elects to issue stock acquisition rights as a countermeasure, it may determine the exercise period and exercise conditions of the stock acquisition rights in consideration of the effectiveness thereof as a countermeasure, such as the condition that shareholders do not belong to a specific group of shareholders including a Large-scale Purchaser, as well as the conditions that allow the Company to acquire share options by swapping Company stock with a party other than the Large-scale Purchaser. The Company recognizes that the aforementioned countermeasures may cause damage or loss, economic or otherwise, to a prospective Large-scale Purchaser who does not comply with the Large-scale Purchase Rules.
The Company does not anticipate that taking such countermeasures will cause shareholders, other than the Largescale Purchaser, economic damage or loss of any rights. However, in the event that the Board of Directors determines to take a specific countermeasure, the Board of Directors will disclose such countermeasure in a timely and appropriate manner, pursuant to relevant laws and stock exchange regulations. The terms of office of all Directors are for one year, and they are elected at an annual general meeting of shareholders in June of each year. All of the two Outside Directors and three Outside Corporate Auditors are notified to the Japanese stock exchanges as independent directors/corporate auditors pursuant to the regulations of the Japanese stock exchanges and are likely to have any conflict of interests with our shareholders. Panasonics Board of Directors intends to review the Large-scale Purchase Rules, as necessary, for reasons including amendments to applicable legislation. Any such review would be conducted strictly in the interests of all shareholders.
For further details about the ESV Plan, please see the press release issued on May 7, 2010 at the Companys Web site:
No significant changes have occurred since the date of the annual financial statements included in this annual report.
The primary market for the Companys common stock (Common Stock) is the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). The Common Stock is traded on the First Section of the TSE and is also listed on two other stock exchanges (Osaka and Nagoya) in Japan. In the United States, the Companys American Depositary Shares (ADSs) have been listed on and traded in the NYSE in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). There may from time to time be a differential between the Common Stocks price on exchanges outside the United States and the market price of ADSs in the United States.
Panasonic delisted its shares from Amsterdam Stock Exchange in June 2006 and Frankfurt Stock Exchange in August 2006.
ADRs were originally issued pursuant to a Deposit Agreement dated as of April 28, 1970, as amended from time to time (Deposit Agreement), among the Company, the Depositary for ADRs, and the holders of ADRs. The current Depositary for ADRs is JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., which succeeded to this business from Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York upon their merger. Effective December 11, 2000, Panasonic again revised its ADR Deposit Agreement and executed a 10:1 ADS ratio change. As a result, one ADS now represents one share of Common Stock. ADRs evidence ADSs that represent the underlying Common Stock deposited under the Deposit Agreement with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, as agent of the Depositary.
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The following table sets forth for the periods indicated the reported high and low prices of the Companys Common Stock on the TSE, and the reported high and low composite prices of the Companys ADSs on the NYSE:
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See Section A of this Item 9.
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The Company is a joint stock corporation (kabushiki kaisha) incorporated in Japan under the Company Law (kaishaho) of Japan (Company Law). The Company is registered in the Commercial Register (shogyo tokibo) maintained by the Moriguchi Branch Office of the Osaka Legal Affairs Bureau.
Objects and Purposes
Article 3 of the Articles of Incorporation of the Company provides that its purpose is to engage in the following lines of business:
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Each Director (other than an outside Director) has executive powers and duties to manage the affairs of the Company and each Representative Director, who is elected from among the Directors by the Board of Directors, has the statutory authority to represent the Company in all respects. Under the Company Law, the Directors must refrain from engaging in any business competing with the Company unless approved by the Board of Directors and any Director who has a special interest in the subject matter of a resolution to be taken by the Board of Directors cannot vote on such resolution. Under the Company Law, the maximum total amounts of remunerations must be approved at a general meeting of shareholders. The Company must also obtain the approval at a general meeting of shareholders to change such maximum amounts. Within such authorized amounts, the remuneration amount for each Director is determined by Representative Director who is delegated to do so by the Board of Directors, and the amount of remuneration for each Corporate Auditor is determined upon discussions amongst the Corporate Auditors.
Except as stated below, neither the Company Law nor the Companys Articles of Incorporation make special provisions as to the Directors or Corporate Auditors power to vote in connection with their own compensation or retirement age, the borrowing power exercisable by a Representative Director (or a Director who is given power by a Representative Director to exercise such power), or requirements to hold any shares of Common Stock of the Company. Under the Company Law, the Company is required to obtain resolutions of the Board of Directors in specific circumstances, e.g. for a company to acquire or dispose of material assets; to borrow a substantial amount of money; to appoint or dismiss important employees such as a manager; to establish, change or abolish material corporate organizations such as a branch office; to determine such material conditions for offering of corporate bonds as set forth in the ordinances of the Ministry of Justice; to establish and maintain the internal control system to secure legitimate performance of duties of Directors as set forth in the ordinances of the Ministry of Justice; and to exempt a Director or Corporate Auditor from the liability for his/her actions under Article 423, Paragraph 1 of the Company Law pursuant to Article 426, Paragraph 1 of the Company Law.
The Regulations of the Board of Directors of the Company require a resolution of the Board of Directors for the Company to borrow a large amount of money or to give a guarantee in a large amount. There is no statutory requirement as to what constitutes a large amount in these contexts. However, it has been the general practice of the Companys Board of Directors to adopt a resolution for a borrowing in an amount not less than 10 billion yen or its equivalent.
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Except as otherwise stated, set forth below is information relating to the Companys Common Stock, including brief summaries of the relevant provisions of the Companys Articles of Incorporation and Share Handling Regulations, as currently in effect, and of the Company Law and related regulations.
Effective on January 5, 2009, a new central book-entry transfer system for listed shares of Japanese companies was established pursuant to the Law Concerning Book-Entry Transfer of Corporate Bonds, Shares etc. and regulations thereunder (collectively, the Book-entry Transfer Law), and this system is applied to the shares of Common Stock of the Company. Under this system, shares of all Japanese companies listed on any Japanese stock exchange are dematerialized, and shareholders of listed shares must have accounts at account management institutions to hold their shares unless such shareholder has an account at Japan Securities Depository Center, Inc. (JASDEC), the only institution that is designated by the relevant authorities as a clearing house under the Book-entry Transfer Law. Account management institutions are financial instruments business operators (i.e., securities companies), banks, trust companies and certain other financial institutions which meet the requirements prescribed by the Book-entry Transfer Law. Transfer of the shares of Common Stock of the Company is effected exclusively through entry in the records maintained by JASDEC and the account management institutions, and title to the shares passes to the transferee at the time when the transfer of the shares is recorded at the transferees account at an account management institution. The holder of an account at an account management institution is presumed to be the legal holder of the shares recorded in such account.
Under the Company Law and the Book-entry Transfer Law, in order to assert shareholders rights to which shareholders as of record dates are entitled (such as the rights to vote at a general meeting of shareholders or receive dividends) against the Company, a shareholder must have its name and address registered in the Companys register of shareholders. Under the central book-entry transfer system, shareholders shall notify the relevant account management institutions of certain information prescribed under the Book-entry Transfer Law and the Companys Share Handling Regulations, including their names and addresses, and the registration on the register of shareholders is made upon receipt by the Company of necessary information from JASDEC (as described in “ Record date). On the other hand, in order to assert, directly against the Company, shareholders rights to which shareholders are entitled regardless of record dates such as minority shareholders rights, including the right to propose a matter to be considered at a general meeting of shareholders, excluding shareholders rights to request the Company to purchase or sell shares constituting less than a full unit (as described in “ Unit share system), JASDEC shall, upon the shareholders request, issue a notice of certain information including the name and address of such shareholder to the Company. Thereafter, such shareholder is required to present the Company with a receipt of the request of the notice in accordance with the Companys Share Handling Regulations. Under the Book-entry Transfer Law, the shareholder shall exercise such shareholders right within four weeks after the notice above has been given.
Non-resident shareholders are required to appoint a standing proxy in Japan or provide a mailing address in Japan. Each such shareholder must give notice of such standing proxy or mailing address to the relevant account management institution. Such notice will be forwarded to the Company through JASDEC. Japanese securities companies and commercial banks customarily act as standing proxies and provide related services for standard fees. Notices from the Company to non-resident shareholders are delivered to such standing proxies or mailing addresses.
The registered holder of deposited shares underlying the American Depositary Shares (ADSs) is the Depositary for the ADSs. Accordingly, holders of ADSs will not be able to directly assert shareholders rights against the Company.
Article 6 of the Articles of Incorporation of the Company provides that the total number of shares authorized to be issued by the Company is four billion nine hundred and fifty million (4,950,000,000) shares.
As of March 31, 2010, 2,453,053,497 shares of Common Stock were issued. All shares of Common Stock of the Company have no par value. All issued shares of the Company are fully-paid and non-assessable.
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Distribution of Surplus
Distribution of Surplus General
Under the Company Law, dividends shall be paid by way of distribution of Surplus (Surplus is defined in Restriction on Distributions of Surplus) in cash or in kind.
The Company may make distributions of Surplus to the shareholders any number of times per business year, subject to certain limitations described in Restriction on Distributions of Surplus. Distributions of Surplus need, in principle, to be declared by a resolution of a general meeting of shareholders, but the Company may also authorize distributions of Surplus by a resolution of the Board of Directors as long as its non-consolidated annual financial statements for the last business year fairly present its assets and profit or loss, as required by ordinances of the Ministry of Justice.
Distributions of Surplus may be made in cash or in kind in proportion to the number of shares of Common Stock of the Company held by respective shareholders. A resolution of a general meeting of shareholders or the Board of Directors, as the case may be, authorizing a distribution of Surplus must specify the kind and aggregate book value of the assets to be distributed, the manner of allocation of such assets to shareholders, and the effective date of the distribution. If a distribution of Surplus is to be made in kind, the Company may, pursuant to a resolution of a general meeting of shareholders or the Board of Directors, as the case may be, grant a right to the shareholders to require the Company to make such distribution in cash instead of in kind. If no such right is granted to shareholders, the relevant Distribution of Surplus must be approved by a special resolution of a general meeting of shareholders (see Voting Rights with respect to a special resolution).
Under the Companys Articles of Incorporation, year-end dividends and interim dividends may be distributed to shareholders appearing in the Companys register of shareholders as of March 31 and September 30 each year respectively, in proportion to the number of shares of the Common Stock of the Company held by respective shareholders following approval by the general meeting of shareholders or the Board of Directors. The Company is not obliged to pay any dividends in cash which have not been received within three years from the commencement of payment thereof. In Japan, the ex-dividend date and the record date for dividends precede the date when the amount of the dividends to be paid is determined by the Company. The shares of common stock generally go ex-dividend on the second business day prior to the record date for dividends.
Distribution of Surplus Restriction on Distributions of Surplus
In making a distribution of Surplus, the Company must, until the sum of its additional paid-in capital and legal reserve reaches one-quarter of its stated capital, set aside to its additional paid-in capital and/or legal reserve an amount equal to one-tenth of the amount of Surplus so distributed.
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The amount of Surplus at any given time must be calculated in accordance with the following formula:
A + B + C + D (E + F + G)
In the above formula:
A= the total amount of other capital surplus and other retained earnings, each such amount being that appearing on the non-consolidated balance sheet as of the end of the last business year
B= (if the Company has disposed of its treasury stock after the end of the last business year) the amount of the consideration for such treasury stock received by the Company less the book value thereof
C= (if the Company has reduced its stated capital after the end of the last business year) the amount of such reduction less the portion thereof that has been transferred to additional paid-in capital or legal reserve (if any)
D= (if the Company has reduced its additional paid-in capital or legal reserve after the end of the last business year) the amount of such reduction less the portion thereof that has been transferred to stated capital (if any)
E= (if the Company has cancelled its treasury stock after the end of the last business year) the book value of such treasury stock
F= (if the Company has distributed Surplus to its shareholders after the end of the last business year) the total book value of the Surplus so distributed
G= certain other amounts set forth in ordinances of the Ministry of Justice, including (if the Company has reduced Surplus and thereby increased its stated capital, additional paid-in capital or legal reserve after the end of the last fiscal year) the amount of such reduction and (if the Company has distributed Surplus to the shareholders after the end of the last business year) the amount set aside from such Surplus to additional paid-in capital or legal reserve (if any) as required by ordinances of the Ministry of Justice.
The aggregate book value of Surplus to be distributed by the Company may not exceed a prescribed distributable amount (the Distributable Amount), as calculated on the effective date of such distribution. The Distributable Amount at any given time shall be equal to the amount of Surplus less the aggregate of the followings:
The Company, for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, elected to become a company with respect to which consolidated balance sheets should be considered in the calculation of the Distributable Amount (renketsu haito kisei tekiyo kaisha) as described below. If a company has become at its option a company with respect to which consolidated balance sheets should also be considered in the calculation of the Distributable Amount, a company shall, in calculating the Distributable Amount, further deduct from the amount of Surplus the excess amount, if any, of (x) the total amount of stockholders equity appearing on the non-consolidated balance sheet as of the end of the last business year and certain other amounts set forth by ordinances of the Ministry of Justice over (y) the total amount of stockholders equity and certain other amounts set forth by ordinances of the Ministry of Justice appearing on the consolidated balance sheet as of the end of the last business year.
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If the Company has prepared interim financial statements as described below, and if such interim financial statements have been approved by the Board of Directors or, if so required by the Company Law, by a general meeting of shareholders, then the Distributable Amount must be adjusted to take into account the amount of profit or loss, and the amount of consideration for any of the treasury stock disposed of by the Company, during the period in respect of which such interim financial statements have been prepared. The Company may prepare non-consolidated interim financial statements consisting of a balance sheet as of any date subsequent to the end of the last business year and an income statement for the period from the first day of the current business year to the date of such balance sheet. Interim financial statements so prepared by the Company must be audited by the Corporate Auditors and the Accounting Auditor, as required by ordinances of the Ministry of Justice.
The Company may at any time split shares in issue into a greater number of shares by resolution of the Board of Directors, and may in principle amend its Articles of Incorporation to increase the number of authorized shares to be issued in proportion to the relevant stock split pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Directors rather than a special shareholders resolution (as defined in Voting Rights) as is otherwise required for amending the Articles of Incorporation.
When a stock split is to be made, the Company must give public notice of the stock split, specifying the record date therefor, at least two weeks prior to such record date. Under the central book-entry transfer system operated by JASDEC, the Company must also give notice to JASDEC regarding a stock split at least two weeks prior to the relevant effective date. On the effective date of the stock split, the number of shares recorded in all accounts held by the Companys shareholders at account managing institutions or JASDEC will be increased in accordance with the applicable ratio.
Consolidation of shares
The Company may at any time consolidate shares in issue into a smaller number of shares by a special shareholders resolution (as defined in Voting Rights). When a consolidation of shares is to be made, the Company must give public notice or notice to each shareholder at least two weeks prior to the effective date of the consolidation of shares. Under the central book-entry transfer system operated by JASDEC, the Company must also give notice to JASDEC regarding a consolidation of shares at least two weeks prior to the effective date of the consolidation of shares. On the effective date of the consolidation of shares, the number of shares recorded in all accounts held by the Companys shareholders at account managing institutions or JASDEC will be decreased in accordance with the applicable ratio. The Company must disclose the reason for the consolidation of shares at the general meeting of shareholders.
General meeting of shareholders
The ordinary general meeting of shareholders of the Company for each fiscal year is normally held in June in each year. In addition, the Company may hold an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders whenever necessary by giving notice of convocation thereof at least two weeks prior to the date set for the meeting.
Notice of convocation of a shareholders meeting setting forth the place, time, purpose thereof and certain matters set forth in the Company Law and the ordinances of the Ministry of Justice, must be mailed to each shareholder having voting rights (or, in the case of a non-resident shareholder, to his or her standing proxy or mailing address in Japan) at least two weeks prior to the date set for the meeting. Under the Company Law, such notice may be given to shareholders by electronic means, subject to the consent of the relevant shareholders. The record date for exercising voting rights at the ordinary general meeting of shareholders is March 31 of each year.
Any shareholder or group of shareholders of the Company holding at least three percent of the total number of voting rights for a period of six months or more may require the convocation of a general meeting of shareholders for a particular purpose by showing such a purpose and reason for convocation to a Representative Director. Unless such shareholders meeting is convened promptly or a convocation notice of a meeting which is to be held not later than eight weeks from the day of such demand is dispatched, the requiring shareholder may, upon obtaining a court approval, convene such shareholdersmeeting.
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Any shareholder or group of shareholders of the Company holding at least 300 voting rights or one percent of the total number of voting rights for a period of six months or more may propose a matter to be considered at a general meeting of shareholders by showing such matter to a Representative Director at least eight weeks prior to the date of such meeting.
Under the Company Law, any of minimum percentages, time periods and number of voting rights necessary for exercising the minority shareholder rights described above may be decreased or shortened if the articles of incorporation of a joint stock corporation so provide.
So long as the Company maintains the unit share system (see Item 10.B. Memorandum and Articles of Association Common Stock Unit share system below; currently 100 shares constitute one unit) a holder of shares constituting one or more full units is entitled to one voting right per unit of shares subject to the limitations on voting rights set forth in the following two sentences. Any corporate or certain other entity, one-quarter or more of whose total voting rights are directly or indirectly owned by the Company, may not exercise its voting rights with respect to shares of Common Stock of the Company that it owns. In addition, the Company may not exercise its voting rights with respect to its shares that it owns. If the Company eliminates from its Articles of Incorporation the provisions relating to the unit of shares, holders of Common Stock will have one voting right for each share they hold. Except as otherwise provided by law or by the Articles of Incorporation, a resolution can be adopted at a general meeting of shareholders by a majority of the number of voting rights of all the shareholders entitled to exercise their voting rights represented at the meeting. The Company Law and the Companys Articles of Incorporation provide, however, that the quorum for the election of Directors and Corporate Auditors shall not be less than one-third of the total number of voting rights of all the shareholders entitled to exercise their voting rights. The Companys shareholders are not entitled to cumulative voting in the election of Directors. Shareholders may exercise their voting rights through proxies, provided that the proxies are also shareholders holding voting rights. The Companys shareholders also may cast their votes in writing, or exercise their voting rights by electronic means pursuant to the method determined by the Board of Directors.
The Company Law and the Companys Articles of Incorporation provide that in order to amend the Articles of Incorporation and in certain other instances, including:
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the quorum shall be one-third of the total voting rights of all the shareholders and the approval by at least two-thirds of the voting rights of all the shareholders entitled to exercise their voting rights represented at the meeting is required (the special shareholders resolutions).
Pursuant to the terms of the Amended and Restated Deposit Agreement relating to American Depositing Receipts (ADRs) evidencing ADSs, each ADS representing one share of Common Stock of the Company, as soon as practicable after receipt of notice of any meeting of shareholders of the Company, the Depositary (currently JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.) will mail to the record holders of ADRs a notice which will contain the information in the notice of the meeting. The record holders of ADRs on a date specified by the Depositary will be entitled to instruct the Depositary as to the exercise of the voting rights pertaining to the shares of Common Stock of the Company represented by their ADSs. The Depositary will endeavor, in so far as practicable, to vote the number of shares of Common Stock of the Company represented by such ADSs in accordance with such instructions. In the absence of such instructions, the Depositary has agreed to give a discretionary proxy to a person designated by the Company to vote in favor of any proposals or recommendations of the Company. However, such proxy may not be given with respect to any matter which the Company informs the Depositary that the Company does not wish such proxy given, or for any proposal that has, in the discretion of the Depositary, a materially adverse effect on the rights of shareholders of the Company.
Issue of additional shares
Holders of the Companys shares of Common Stock have no pre-emptive rights under the Company Law. Authorized but unissued shares may be issued at such times and upon such terms as the Board of Directors determines, subject to the limitations as to the offering of new shares at a specially favorable price mentioned under Voting rights above. In the case of an issuance or transfer of the Companys shares of Common Stock or stock acquisition rights by way of an allotment to a third party which would dilute the outstanding voting shares by 25% or more or change the controlling shareholder, in addition to a resolution of the Board of Directors, the approval of the shareholders or an affirmative opinion from a person independent of our management is generally required pursuant to the regulations of the Japanese stock exchanges. The Board of Directors may, however, determine that shareholders shall be given subscription rights regarding a particular issue of new shares, in which case such rights must be given on uniform terms to all shareholders as at a record date at least two weeks prior to which public notice must be given. Each of the shareholders to whom such rights are given must also be given notice of the expiry thereof at least two weeks prior to the date on which such rights expire.
Subject to certain conditions, the Company may issue stock acquisition rights or bonds with stock acquisition rights by a resolution of the Board of Directors. Holders of stock acquisition rights may exercise their rights to acquire a certain number of shares within the exercise period as prescribed in the terms of their stock acquisition rights. Upon the exercise of stock acquisition rights, the Company will be obliged to issue the relevant number of new shares or alternatively to transfer the necessary number of treasury stock held by it. The Company may determine by a resolution of the Board of Directors at the time of offerings that a transfer of the stock acquisition rights shall require the approval of the Company. Whether the Company will determine such a matter in future stock acquisition rights offerings will depend upon the circumstances at the time of such offerings.
In the event of a liquidation of the Company, the assets remaining after payment of all debts and liquidation expenses and taxes will be distributed among shareholders in proportion to the respective numbers of shares of Common Stock held.
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As mentioned above (see Item 10.B. Memorandum and Articles of Association Common Stock Distribution of Surplus Distribution of Surplus General), March 31 is the record date for the Companys year-end dividends. So long as the Company maintains the unit share system, the shareholders who are registered as the holders of one or more units of shares in the Companys registers of shareholders at the end of each March 31 are entitled to exercise shareholders rights at the ordinary general meeting of shareholders with respect to the business year ending on such March 31. September 30 is the record date for interim dividends. In addition, the Company may set a record date for determining the shareholders entitled to other rights and for other purposes by giving at least two weeks prior public notice. Under the Book-entry Transfer Law, JASDEC is required to give the Company a notice of the names and addresses of the shareholders, the number of shares held by them and other relevant information as of each such record date, and the Companys register of shareholders shall be updated accordingly.
The shares generally goes ex-dividends or ex-rights on Japanese stock exchanges on the second business day prior to a record date (or if the record date is not a business day, the third business day prior thereto), for the purpose of dividends or rights offerings.
Acquisition by the company of its common stock
Under the Company Law and the Companys Articles of Incorporation, the Company may acquire its own shares of Common Stock (i) from a specific shareholder other than any of its subsidiaries (pursuant to a special shareholders resolution), (ii) from any of its subsidiaries (pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Directors), or (iii) by way of purchase on any Japanese stock exchange on which the Companys shares of Common Stock are listed or by way of tender offer (as long as its non-consolidated annual financial statements and certain documents for the last business year fairly present its asset and profit or loss status, as required by ordinances of the Ministry of Justice)(in either case pursuant to an ordinary resolution of a general meeting of shareholders or a resolution of the Board of Directors). In the case of (i) above, any other shareholder may make a request to the Company that such other shareholder be included as a seller in the proposed purchase, provided that no such right will be available if the purchase price or any other consideration to be received by the relevant specific shareholder will not exceed the last trading price of the shares on the relevant stock exchange on the day immediately preceding the date on which the resolution mentioned in (i) above was adopted (or, if there is no trading in the shares on the stock exchange or if the stock exchange is not open on such day, the price at which the shares are first traded on such stock exchange thereafter).
Shares acquired by the Company may be held for any period or may be cancelled by a resolution of the Board of Directors. The Company may also transfer such shares to any person, subject to a resolution of the Board of Directors and to other requirements similar to those applicable to the issuance of new shares, as described in Issue of additional shares and pre-emptive rights above. The Company may also utilize its treasury stock for the purpose of transfer to any person upon exercise of stock acquisition rights or for the purpose of acquiring another company by way of merger, share exchange or corporate split through exchange of treasury stock for shares or assets of the acquired company.
Unit share system
The Articles of Incorporation of the Company provide that 100 shares constitute one unit of shares of Common Stock. Although the number of shares constituting one unit is included in the Articles of Incorporation, any amendment to the Articles of Incorporation reducing (but not increasing) the number of shares constituting one unit or eliminating the provisions for the unit of shares may be made by a resolution of the Board of Directors rather than by a special shareholders resolution, which is otherwise required for amending the Articles of Incorporation. The number of shares constituting one unit, however, cannot exceed 1,000.
Under the unit share system, shareholders shall have one voting right for each unit of shares that they hold. Any number of shares less than a full unit will carry no voting rights.
Under the central book-entry transfer system operated by JASDEC, shares constituting less than one unit are generally transferable. Under the rules of the Japanese stock exchanges, however, shares constituting less than one unit do not comprise a trading unit, except in limited circumstances, and accordingly may not be sold on the Japanese stock exchanges.
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A holder of shares constituting less than one unit may require the Company to purchase such shares at their market value in accordance with the provisions of the Share Handling Regulations of the Company. In addition, the Articles of Incorporation of the Company provide that a holder of shares constituting less than one unit may request the Company to sell to such holder such amount of shares which will, when added together with the shares constituting less than one unit held by such holder, constitute one unit of stock, in accordance with the provisions of the Share Handling Regulations of the Company. As prescribed in the Share Handling Regulations, such requests shall be made through an account management institution and JASDEC pursuant to the rules set by JASDEC, without going through the notification procedure required for the exercise of shareholders rights entitled regardless of record dates as described in General.
A holder who owns ADRs evidencing less than 100 ADSs will indirectly own less than one full unit of shares of Common Stock. Although, as discussed above, under the unit share system holders of less than one unit have the right to require the Company to purchase their shares or sell shares held by the Company to such holders, holders of ADRs evidencing ADSs that represent other than integral multiples of units are unable to withdraw the underlying shares of Common Stock representing less than one unit and, therefore, are unable, as a practical matter, to exercise the rights to require the Company to purchase such underlying shares or sell shares held by the Company to such holders. As a result, access to the Japanese markets by holders of ADRs through the withdrawal mechanism will not be available for dispositions of shares of Common Stock in lots less than one unit. The unit share system does not affect the transferability of ADSs, which may be transferred in lots of any size.
Sale by the Company of shares held by shareholders whose location is unknown
The Company is not required to send a notice to a shareholder if a notice to such shareholder fails to arrive at the registered address of the shareholder in the Companys register of shareholders or at the address otherwise notified to the Company continuously for five years or more.
In addition, the Company may sell or otherwise dispose of shares of Common Stock for which the location of the shareholder is unknown. Generally, if (i) notices to a shareholder fail to arrive continuously for five years or more at the shareholders registered address in the Companys register of shareholders or at the address otherwise notified to the Company, and (ii) the shareholder fails to receive distribution of Surplus on the shares continuously for five years or more at the address registered in the Companys register of shareholders or at the address otherwise notified to the Company, the Company may sell or otherwise dispose of the shareholders shares by a resolution of the Board of Directors and after giving at least three months prior public and individual notice, and hold or deposit the proceeds of such sale or disposal of shares at the then market price of the shares for the shareholder, the location of which is unknown.
Reporting of substantial shareholdings, etc.
The Financial Instruments and Exchange Law of Japan and regulations thereunder requires any person, regardless of his/her residence, who has become, beneficially and solely or jointly, a holder of more than five percent of the total issued shares with voting rights of common stock of a company listed on any Japanese stock exchange or whose shares are traded on the over-the-counter market in Japan, to file with the Director-General of a competent Local Finance Bureau of Ministry of Finance within five business days a report concerning such shareholdings.
A similar report must also be filed in respect to any subsequent change of one percent or more in any such holding or any change in material matters set out in reports previously filed, with certain exceptions. For this purpose, shares issuable to such person upon conversion of convertible securities or exercise of share subscription warrants or stock acquisition rights are taken into account in determining both the number of shares with voting rights held by such holder and the issuers total issued share capital. Any such report shall be filed with the Director General of the relevant Finance Bureau of the Ministry of Finance through the Electronic Disclosure for Investors Network (EDINET) system. Copies of such report must also be furnished to the issuer of such shares.
Except for the general limitations under Japanese anti-trust and anti-monopoly regulations on holding shares of common stock of a Japanese corporation which leads or may lead to a restraint of trade or a monopoly, except for the limitations under the Foreign Exchange Regulations as described in D. Exchange Controls below, and except for general limitations under the Company Law or the Companys Articles of Incorporation on the rights of shareholders applicable regardless of residence or nationality, there is practically no limitation under Japanese laws and regulations applicable to the Company or under its Articles of Incorporation on the rights of non-resident or foreign shareholders to hold the shares of Common Stock of the Company or exercise voting rights thereon.
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There is no provision in the Companys Articles of Incorporation that would have an effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of the Company and that would operate only with respect to merger, consolidation, acquisition or corporate restructuring involving the Company. However, the Board of Directors resolved to adopt the ESV Plan which provides certain rules which a Large-scale Purchaser who intends to acquire 20% or more of all voting rights of the Company must comply with. (For details, please see (4) Initiatives to Maximize Shareholder Value in Section A of Item 8.)
Daily price fluctuation limits under Japanese stock exchange rules
Stock prices on Japanese stock exchanges are determined on a real-time basis by the balance between bids and offers. These stock exchanges are order-driven markets without specialists or market makers to guide price formation. In order to prevent excessive volatility, these stock exchanges set daily upward and downward price range limitations for each listed stock, based on the previous days closing price. Although transactions may continue at the upward or downward limit price if the limit price is reached on a particular trading day, no transactions may take place outside these limits. Consequently, an investor wishing to sell at a price above or below the relevant daily limit on these stock exchanges may not be able to effect a sale at such price on a particular trading day, or at all.
All contracts concluded by the Company during the two years preceding the date of this annual report were entered into in the ordinary course of business.
The Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law of Japan and its related cabinet orders and ministerial ordinances (the Foreign Exchange Regulations) govern the acquisition and holding of shares of Common Stock of the Company by exchange non-residents and by foreign investors. The Foreign Exchange Regulations currently in effect may affect transactions between exchange non-residents to purchase or sell shares in certain circumstances, even if such transactions are being made outside Japan using currencies other than Japanese yen.
Exchange non-residents are:
Generally, branches and other offices of non-resident corporations that are located within Japan are regarded as residents of Japan. Conversely, branches and other offices of Japanese corporations located outside Japan are regarded as exchange non-residents.
Foreign investors are:
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In general, the acquisition of shares of a Japanese company (such as the shares of Common Stock of the Company) by an exchange non-resident from a resident of Japan is not subject to any prior filing requirements. In certain circumstances, however, the Minister of Finance may require prior approval of an acquisition of this type. While prior approval, as described above, is not required, in the case where a resident of Japan transfers shares of a Japanese company (such as the shares of Common Stock of the Company) for consideration exceeding 100 million yen to an exchange non-resident, the resident of Japan who transfers the shares is required to report the transfer to the Minister of Finance within 20 days from the date of the transfer, unless the transfer was made through a bank or financial instruments business operator licensed or registered under Japanese law.
If a foreign investor acquires shares of a Japanese company that is listed on a Japanese stock exchange (such as the shares of Common Stock of the Company) or that is traded on an over-the-counter market in Japan and, as a result of the acquisition, the foreign investor, in combination with any existing holdings, directly or indirectly holds 10% or more of the issued shares of the relevant company, the foreign investor must file a report of the acquisition with the Minister of Finance and any other competent Ministers having jurisdiction over that Japanese company on or before the 15th day of the month following the month in which such acquisition was made. However, in certain circumstances, such as where a business of a Japanese company falls under any business related to the national security of Japan or to maintenance of public safety, etc. which is listed in a schedule included in the Foreign Exchange Regulations, or where the foreign investor is in a country that is not listed in an exemption schedule included in the Foreign Exchange Regulations, a prior notification of the acquisition must be filed with, and the proposed acquisition must be subject to an examination process by, the Minister of Finance and any other competent Ministers, who may then modify or prohibit the proposed acquisition. In such circumstances, the foreign investor must wait until the examination process is completed, which ordinarily takes 30 days after the filing in principle although such waiting period may be shortened or extended to up to 5 months. The Company believes that certain businesses of the Company fall under businesses listed in the above-mentioned schedule in the Foreign Exchange Regulation, and thus, a foreign investor must file a prior notification of the acquisition with, and must be subject to an examination process by, the Minister of Finance and any other competent Ministers.
Under the Foreign Exchange Regulations, dividends paid on and the proceeds from the sale in Japan of shares of Common Stock of the Company held by non-residents of Japan may generally be converted into any foreign currency and repatriated abroad.
The discussion below is not intended to constitute a complete analysis of all tax consequences relating to the ownership and disposition of shares of Common Stock and ADSs. Prospective purchasers and holders of the shares of Common Stock or ADSs should consult their own tax advisors concerning the tax consequences of their particular situations.
The following is a summary of the principal Japanese national and U.S. federal tax consequences of the ownership and disposition of shares of Common Stock or ADSs by an Eligible U.S. Holder and a U.S. Holder (each as defined below), as the case may be, that holds those shares or ADSs as capital assets (generally, property held for investment). This summary does not purport to address all material tax consequences that may be relevant to holders of shares of Common Stock or ADSs, and does not take into account the specific circumstances of any particular investors, some of which (such as tax-exempt entities, banks, insurance companies, broker-dealers, traders in securities that elect to use a mark-to-market method of accounting for their securities holdings, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, investors liable for alternative minimum tax, investors that own or are treated as owning 10% or more of the Companys voting stock, investors that hold shares of Common Stock or ADSs as part of a straddle, hedge, conversion or constructive sale transaction or other integrated transaction, investors that hold shares of Common Stock or ADSs through a partnership or other pass-through entity and investors whose functional currency is not the U.S. dollar) may be subject to special tax rules. This summary is based on the national or federal tax laws of Japan and of the United States as in effect on the date hereof, as well as on the current income tax convention between the United States and Japan (the Treaty), all of which are subject to change (possibly with retroactive effect) and to differing interpretations.
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In addition, this summary is based in part upon the representations of the Depositary and the assumption that each obligation in the Deposit Agreement for ADSs and in any related agreement will be performed in accordance with its terms.
For purposes of this discussion, a U.S. Holder is any beneficial owner of shares of Common Stock or ADSs that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, is:
An Eligible U.S. Holder is a U.S. Holder that:
This summary does not address any aspects of U.S. federal tax law other than income taxation, and does not discuss any aspects of Japanese tax law other than national income taxation, inheritance and gift taxation. Investors are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal, state and local and Japanese and other tax consequences of owning and disposing of shares of Common Stock or ADSs. In particular, where relevant, investors are urged to confirm their status as Eligible U.S. Holders with their tax advisors and to discuss with their tax advisors any possible consequences of their failure to qualify as Eligible U.S. Holders. In general, taking into account the earlier assumption, for purposes of the Treaty and for U.S. federal income and Japanese income tax purposes, beneficial owners of ADRs evidencing ADSs will be treated as the owners of the shares of Common Stock represented by those ADSs, and exchanges of shares of Common Stock for ADRs, and exchanges of ADRs for shares of Common Stock, will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax or Japanese income tax.
The following is a summary of the principal Japanese tax consequences (limited to national taxes) to non-residents of Japan or non-Japanese corporations without permanent establishments in Japan (non-resident Holders) who are holders of shares of Common Stock of the Company or of ADRs evidencing ADSs representing shares of Common Stock of the Company.
Generally, non-resident Holders are subject to Japanese withholding tax on dividends paid by a Japanese corporation. Such taxes are withheld prior to payment of dividends as required by Japanese law. Stock splits in themselves generally are not subject to Japanese income tax.
In the absence of an applicable tax treaty, convention or agreement reducing the maximum rate of Japanese withholding tax or allowing exemption from Japanese withholding tax, the rate of Japanese withholding tax applicable to dividends paid by Japanese corporations to non-resident Holders is 20%. However, with respect to dividends paid on listed shares issued by a Japanese corporation (such as the shares of Common Stock of the Company or ADSs) to non-resident Holders, except for any individual shareholder who holds 5% or more of the total issued shares of the relevant Japanese corporation, the aforementioned 20% withholding tax rate is reduced to (i) 7% for dividends due and payable on or before December 31, 2011, and (ii) 15% for dividends due and payable on or after January 1, 2012. At the date of this annual report, Japan has income tax treaties, conventions or agreements whereby the above-mentioned withholding tax rate is reduced, in most cases to 15% or 10% for portfolio investors (15% under the income tax treaties with, among other countries, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, and 10% under the income tax treaties with Australia, France, the U.K. and the United States.)
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Under the Treaty, the maximum rate of Japanese withholding tax which may be imposed on dividends paid by a Japanese corporation to an Eligible U.S. Holder that is a portfolio investor is generally limited to 10% of the gross amount actually distributed, and dividends paid by a Japanese corporation to an Eligible U.S. Holder that is a pension fund are exempt from Japanese income taxation by way of withholding or otherwise unless such dividends are derived from the carrying on of a business, directly or indirectly, by such pension fund.
If the maximum tax rate provided for in the income tax treaty applicable to dividends paid by the Company to any particular non-resident Holder is lower than the withholding tax rate otherwise applicable under Japanese tax law, or if any particular non-resident Holder is exempt from Japanese income tax with respect to such dividends under the income tax treaty applicable to such particular non-resident Holder, such non-resident Holder of the Companys shares of Common Stock who is entitled to a reduced rate of or exemption from Japanese withholding tax on payment of dividends is required to submit an Application Form for Income Tax Convention Regarding Relief from Japanese Income Tax on Dividends in advance through the withholding agent to the relevant tax authority before such payment of dividends. A standing proxy for non-resident Holders of a Japanese corporation may provide this application service. With respect to ADSs, this reduced rate or exemption is applicable if the Depositary or its agent submits two Application Forms (one before payment of dividends, the other within eight months after the record date concerning such payment of dividends) together with certain other documents to the Japanese tax authorities. To claim this reduced rate or exemption, any relevant non-resident Holder of ADSs will be required to file a proof of taxpayer status, residence and beneficial ownership (as applicable) and to provide other information or documents as may be required by the Depositary. A non-resident Holder who is entitled, under an applicable income tax treaty, to a reduced treaty rate lower than the withholding tax rate otherwise applicable under Japanese tax law or an exemption from the withholding tax, but failed to submit the required application in advance will be entitled to claim the refund of withholding taxes withheld in excess of the rate under an applicable tax treaty (if such non-resident Holder is entitled to a reduced treaty rate under the applicable income tax treaty) or the whole of the withholding tax withheld (if such non-resident Holder is entitled to an exemption under the applicable income tax treaty) from the relevant Japanese tax authority, by complying with a certain subsequent filing procedure. The Company does not assume any responsibility to ensure withholding at the reduced treaty rate or not withholding for shareholders who would be so eligible under an applicable tax treaty but where the required procedures as stated above are not followed.
Gains derived from the sale of shares of Common Stock or ADSs outside Japan by a non-resident Holder holding such shares or ADSs as a portfolio investor are, in general, not subject to Japanese income or corporation tax. Eligible U.S. Holders are not subject to Japanese income or corporation tax with respect to such gains under the Treaty, subject to a certain filing requirement under Japanese law.
Japanese inheritance and gift taxes at progressive rates may be payable by an individual who has acquired from an individual shares of Common Stock or ADSs as a legatee, heir or donee even though neither the acquiring individual nor the deceased nor donor is a Japanese resident.
Holders of shares of Common Stock of the Company or ADSs should consult their tax advisors regarding the effect of these taxes and, in the case of U.S. Holders, the possible application of the Estate and Gift Tax Treaty between the U.S. and Japan.
U.S. federal income taxation
The following is a summary of certain United States federal income tax consequences of the ownership of
shares of Common Stock or ADSs by a U.S. Holder. This summary is based on United States tax laws, including the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and on the Treaty all of which are subject to change possibly with retroactive effect.
This summary is not a comprehensive description of all the tax considerations that may be relevant with respect to a U.S. holders shares or ADSs. Each beneficial owner of shares or ADSs should consult its own tax advisor regarding the U.S. federal, state and local and other tax consequences of owning and disposing of shares and ADSs in its particular circumstances.
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Taxation of dividends
Under the United States federal income tax laws, and subject to the passive foreign investment company (PFIC) rules discussed below, the gross amount of any dividends received by a U.S. Holder (before reduction for Japanese withholding taxes) to the extent paid out of the Companys current or accumulated earnings and profits (as determined for United States federal income tax purposes) will be subject to U.S. federal income taxation. Dividends paid to non-corporate U.S. Holders in taxable years beginning before January 1, 2011 that constitute qualified dividend income will be taxable at a maximum tax rate of 15% provided that the U.S. Holders held the shares of Common Stock or ADSs for more than 60 days during the 121-day period beginning 60 days before the ex-dividend date and meet other holding period requirements. Dividends the Company pays with respect to the shares of Common Stock or ADSs generally will be qualified dividend income. The U.S. Holder must include any Japanese tax withheld from the dividend payment in this gross amount even though it does not in fact receive it. The dividend is taxable to the U.S. Holder when the U.S. Holder, in the case of shares of Common Stock, or the Depositary, in the case of ADSs, receives the dividend, actually or constructively. The dividend will not be eligible for the dividends-received deduction generally allowed to United States corporations in respect of dividends received from other United States corporations. The amount of the dividend the U.S. Holder must include in its income will be the U.S. dollar value of the Japanese yen payments made, determined at the spot Japanese yen/U.S. dollar rate on the date the dividend is includible in the U.S. Holders income, regardless of whether the payment is in fact converted into U.S. dollars. Generally, any gain or loss resulting from currency exchange fluctuations during the period from the date the U.S. Holder includes the dividend payment in income to the date the U.S. Holder converts the payment into U.S. dollars will be treated as ordinary income or loss and will not be eligible for the special tax rate applicable to qualified dividend income. This gain or loss generally will be income or loss from sources within the United States for foreign tax credit limitation purposes. Distributions in excess of current and accumulated earnings and profits, as determined for United States federal income tax purposes, will be treated as a non-taxable return of capital to the extent of the U.S. Holders basis in the shares of Common Stock or ADSs and thereafter as capital gain.
Subject to certain limitations, the Japanese tax withheld in accordance with the Treaty will be creditable or deductible against the U.S. Holders United States federal income tax liability. To the extent a refund of the tax withheld is available to a U.S. holder under Japanese law or under the Treaty, the amount of tax that is refundable will not be eligible for credit against your United States federal income tax liability. Please see Japanese Taxation, above, for the procedures for obtaining a reduced rate of withholding under the Treaty or a tax refund. Special rules apply in determining the foreign tax credit limitation with respect to dividends that are subject to the maximum 15% tax rate. For foreign tax credit limitation purposes, the dividend will be income from sources outside the United States and will, depending on the U.S. Holders circumstances, be either passive income or general income for purposes of computing the foreign tax credit allowable to a U.S. Holder.
Taxation of capital gains
Subject to the PFIC rules discussed below, upon a sale or other disposition of shares of Common Stock or ADSs, a U.S. Holder will recognize gain or loss in an amount equal to the difference between the U.S. dollar value of the amount realized and the U.S. Holders tax basis (determined in U.S. dollars) in such shares of Common Stock or ADSs. Generally, such gain or loss will be capital gain or loss and will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. Holders holding period for such shares of Common Stock or ADSs is greater than one year. Long-term capital gain of a non-corporate U.S. Holder is generally taxed at preferential rates. Any such gain or loss will generally be income or loss from sources within the United States for foreign tax credit limitation purposes.
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Transfers of retained earnings and sales of shares of Common Stock to the Company
A transfer of retained earnings or legal reserve to stated capital is generally treated as a dividend payment for Japanese tax purposes subject to withholding tax. A sale of shares of Common Stock or ADSs to the Company results in a deemed dividend for Japanese tax purposes to the selling shareholders to the extent that the sales price exceeds the aggregate of the stated capital and the capital surplus attributable to the shares sold. Transfers of retained earnings or legal reserves to stated capital and deemed dividends that may result from sales of shares of Common Stock to the Company are not generally taxable events that give rise to foreign source income for U.S. federal income tax purposes and U.S. Holders would not be able to use the foreign tax credit arising from any Japanese withholding tax imposed on such transactions unless they can apply the credit (subject to limitations) against U.S. tax due on other foreign source income in the appropriate category for foreign tax credit purposes.
Passive foreign investment company considerations
The Company believes that shares of Common Stock and ADSs should not be treated as stock of a PFIC for United States federal income tax purposes, but this conclusion is a factual determination made annually and thus may be subject to change. If the Company were to be treated as a PFIC (unless a U.S. Holder elects to be taxed annually on a mark-to-market basis with respect to the shares of Common Stock or ADSs), gain realized on the sale or other disposition of shares of Common Stock or ADSs would in general not be treated as capital gain, and a U.S. Holder would be treated as if such holder had realized such gain and certain excess distributions ratably over the holders holding period for the shares of Common Stock or ADSs and would be taxed at the highest tax rate in effect for each such year to which the gain was allocated, together with an interest charge in respect of the tax attributable to each such year. With certain exceptions, shares of Common stock or ADSs will be treated as stock in a PFIC if the Company was a PFIC at any time during the U.S. Holders holding period in the shares of Common Stock or ADSs.
Dividends that such U.S. Holder receives from the Company will not be eligible for the special tax rates applicable to qualified dividend income if the Company is treated as a PFIC with respect to such U.S. Holder either in the taxable year of the distribution or the preceding taxable year, but instead will be taxable at rates applicable to ordinary income.
According to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, the Company is subject to the requirements of informational disclosure. The Company files various reports and other information, including its annual report on Form 20-F, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports and other information may be inspected at the public reference room at the Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, N.E., Washington D.C. 20549. You can also obtain a copy of such material by mail from the public reference room of the Securities and Exchange Commission at prescribed fees. You may obtain information on the operation of the Securities and Exchange Commission public reference room by calling the Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States at 1-800-SEC-0330.
Also, documents filed via the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system (EDGAR) are available at the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (http://www.sec.gov).
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The Company is exposed to market risk, including changes of foreign exchange rates, interest rates and prices of marketable securities and commodities. In order to hedge the risks of changes in foreign exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices, the Company uses derivative financial instruments. The Company does not hold or issue financial instruments for trading purposes. Although the use of derivative financial instruments exposes the Company to the risk of credit-related losses in the event of nonperformance by counterparties, the Company believes that such risk is minor because of the high credit rating of the counterparties.
Equity Price Risk
The Company holds available-for-sale securities included in short-term investments and investments and advances. In general, highly-liquid and low risk instruments are preferred in the portfolio. Available-for-sale securities included in investments and advances are held as longer term investments. The Company does not hold marketable securities for trading purposes.
Maturities of investments in available-for-sale securities at March 31, 2010 and 2009 are as follows:
Foreign Exchange Risk
The primary purpose of the Companys foreign currency hedging activities is to protect against the volatility associated with foreign currency transactions. The Company primarily utilizes forward exchange contracts and options with a duration of less than a few months. The Company also enters into foreign exchange contracts from time to time to hedge the risk of fluctuation in foreign currency exchange rates associated with long-term debt that is denominated in foreign currencies. Foreign exchange contracts related to such long-term debt have the same maturity as the underlying debt.
The following table provides the contract amounts and fair values of foreign exchange contracts, primarily hedging U.S. dollar and euro revenues, at March 31, 2010 and 2009. Amounts related to foreign exchange contracts entered into in connection with long-term debt denominated in foreign currencies which eliminate all foreign currency exposures, are shown in the table of Interest Rate Risk.
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Commodity Price Risk
The Company is exposed to market risk of changes in prices of commodities including various non-ferrous metals used in the manufacturing of various products. The Company enters into commodity future contracts to offset such exposure.
The following table provides the contract amounts and fair values of commodity futures at March 31, 2010 and 2009.
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Interest Rate Risk
The Companys exposure to market risk for changes in interest rates relates principally to its debt obligations. The Company has long-term debt primarily with fixed rates. Fixed-rate debt obligations expose the Company to variability in their fair values due to changes in interest rates. To manage the variability in the fair values caused by interest rate changes, the Company enters into interest rate swaps when it is determined to be appropriate based on market conditions. Interest rate swaps change fixed-rate debt obligations to variable-rate debt obligations by entering into fixed-receiving, variable-paying interest rate swap contracts. The hedging relationship between interest rate swaps and hedged debt obligations is highl