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Nippon Suisan Appoints Hosomi As New President, Koike As Managing Director

April 5, 2012

President Kakizoe and VP Sato As Consultants

Nippon Suisan unofficially decided at an April 4 board meeting to appoint Senior Managing Executive Officer Norio Hosomi as Nissui President and Managing Executive Officer Kunihiko Koike as Senior Managing Executive Officer. President Naoya Kakizoe and VP Yasuhisa Sato will function as consultants. The shakeup will be officially determined at an annual shareholders’ and board meeting scheduled for late June.

Mr. Hosomi is 61 years old born on April 12, 1950. After earning a degree in food science from the School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido Univ., he began working at Nippon Suisan. He became a director in 2003, a managing officer in 2007, a senior managing executive officer in 2009, and a representative board member/ senior managing executive officer in 2011.

Mr. Koike is 59 years old born on May 14, 1952. He graduated from the School of Commerce, Waseda Univ. and began his work at Nissui in 1975. He then became a director in 2003 and a managing executive officer in 2009.

Formulating New Midterm Corporate Plan “2014 MVIP”

Nippon Suisan devised a new three-year group business plan 2014 MVIP with 2012 as the first year. The name of the plan represents the following:

2: Improving an operating margin by 2 points
0: Going back to the starting point
1: Becoming #1 in each operation
4: Being aware of 4 points in the new plan
Make Value through innovative Plan
Most Valuable Impressive Player

The plan aims for consolidated sales for FY 2014 of upwards of 600 billion yen, an overseas percentage-of-sales of 26 percent or higher, and consolidated operating earnings of 23 billion yen or more.

In line with the 100th year anniversary last year, the plan is considered as a path to another 100 years with the central concept of “Let’s go back where we came from.” In the previous midterm plan “New TGL” (2006-2011), with the Global Links, which included domestic and overseas equity method affiliates, the Group’s growth and influence in markets were emphasized for the goal of heightened and sophisticated business operations. In a bid to establish a business structure centered on manufacturing functions and turn to high profitability, the previous plan set objectives of improved profitability of core operations and enhanced operations → sophisticated aquaculture operations and establishment of bio-technology.

Even though the Group summarized the prior plan as a good move, the final figures fell short of the original goals - the original consolidated sales of 600 billion yen ended at 494.2 billion yen; the ideal operating profit of 30 billion yen at 8 billion yen. Due to that reason, the new plan puts emphasis on “reaching the goal.” With an integrated operation as a core, the volume and width of peripheral operations surrounding it will be increased as the central part of the plan. An improved image of the Nissui Group and the revamped financial structure can be found in the plan, as well.

Picture 1: Mr. HosomiPicture 2: Mr. Koike

The original article was published on April 5, 2012 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

AEON Aims for MSC Product Sales Percentage of 10% in 5 Years

April 4, 2012

The AEON Group that began retailing MSC products for the first time in Japan back in 2006, intends to add more MSC merchandise on the store shelves. Currently other than a private brand TOPVALU, 28 kinds of 12 products, such as salmon, pollack roe, and mackerel, are being sold.

Kinzo Matsumoto, Director of Seafood Product Dept., Food Planning Division of AEON Retail, said sales of MSC products in 2011 favorably hit 130 percent over the previous year.

“We aim to raise a sales percentage of MSC products to five percent of all seafood sales this term or by the next term (at present the rate is about 3.5 percent). Within the next five years, we want to make it 10 percent” Matsumoto said.

The top three of the most popular items are Alaskan sockeye salmon, fish roe (pollack, salmon), and salted mackerel.

“The advantage of MSC is not only its sustainability, but its tastiness,” Matsumoto pointed out. He named B1 frozen, super fresh seared bonito as an example.

He talked of the future move: “In addition to its sustainability and deliciousness, we want to focus more on MSC’s convenient products called “Fast Fish”. Also, we want to proactively handle Hokkaido scallop and coho salmon that are under assessment right now.”

The original article was published on April 4, 2012 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Kyokuyo Aims for 200B Yen in Sales for FY March 2015

April 2, 2012

Kyokuyo announced its new midterm management plan, “Power Up Kyokuyo 2015” with 2012 as the first year on March 30.

The fundamental aim is to optimize the Kyokuyo Group’s value by shoring up the superiority of Kyokuyo Group and presenting safe, competitive products. Furthering the revamping of the Group’s strategies for processing and globalization, with a new strategy to exert synergetic effects among 26 group companies, concrete grand designs are now on the table to realize the goals.

Power up Kyokuyo 2015

Reinforcement of the financial structure and crafting of BCP became part of the plan this time around. The consolidated business goals during this period are sales of 200 billion yen, operating profit of 5 billion yen, a ROE of 10 percent, a net capital ratio of 30 percent, and a less than doubled D/E ratio.

Marine Products Purchasing will attempt to strengthen resource procurement and a cooperative system with the Group. The segment will maintain the stable supply of high quality marine products, harnessing their abundant experiences with marine foods and deepening long-lasting relationships with domestic and foreign suppliers. High value added products will be also another focal point. Exerting a network of overseas companies in Europe, the US, and South East Asia and buttressing trading among countries, the segment is to put an extra effort into overseas markets.

The segment of Cooked Frozen Business makes a foray into a commercial chilled food market as its major objective. In addition to creating a new brand, the segment plans to develop products that meet market demands, heighten manufacturing engineering, and expand its business fields. In order to pump up its strong business of sushi topping operations, the cultivation of production bases in Asia and intensified cooperation with business clients that attempt to develop overseas businesses will be conducted. A strategy to extend its sales channels domestically and abroad is part of the plan, as well. In terms of production, the segment intends to reorganize factories of direct relations and decentralize production bases to reduce risk from the supply structure.

For Canned Food Business, securing canned goods processing sites in Japan and abroad and dealing with price fluctuations by expanding foreign processed products are the key points. Tuna Business has objectives to produce 1,000 tons of farmed bluefin tunas and build a whole cycle bluefin aquaculture.

The original article was published on April 2, 2012 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Maruha Nichiro Suisan in Partnership with Leading Russian Fishing Company for Russian Surimi

March 30, 2012

Maruha Nichiro Suisan announced its new endeavor to collaborate with a leading Russian fishing company that owns a surimi factory fleet, the Victoria, in a bid to undertake production and sales of Russian pollack surimi. The first term will see a production of 4,000-5,000 tons just as a trial this year. From the point onward, 12,000-13,000 tons are planned. Maruha Nichiro Foods is to sell 90 percent of all the resultant surimi production in Japan. The move was made possible by Maruha Nichiro Suisan with an agenda for a stable supply of surimi and the Russian side that aims to ramp up value added products such as surimi and fillet.

Pollack stocks in Russian waters got worse back in 2000; from that point on, efforts to recover the stocks turned fruitful. Pollack TACs have remained high since then at 172,000 tons in 2010, 165,000 tons in 2011, and 175,000 tons in 2012. Ninety percent of landings are allocated for H&G and surimi production stayed at a 100,000-ton level. In hopes to utilize stabilized pollack resources, Russia wished to upsize the production of such value added products as fillet and surimi.

On the other hand, surimi output in South East Asia and South America has been going downhill, projecting a shaky future. Even though pollack stocks in North America have been consistent, with unfavorable factors of salmon bycatch and lackluster fishing conditions, Maruha Nichiro Suisan was in the quest for a new source of fish procurement with a steady supply of surimi in mind.

“This partnership is a perfect match for both of us,” Kenji Funaki, Director of Fishery Dept. 1, said.

In line with the partnership, one employee and two well-seasoned technicians from the Company will board the Victoria. Their goal is to share the Company’s established knowledge and technology in relation to surimi production, from production management to standard and manufacturing.

The Victoria operates from January to mid May mainly in the Northern Okhotsk and the west of the Kamchatka Peninsula. A monthly output of surimi is about 3,000 tons. Sixty to 70 percent of raw materials caught are used for surimi, and the rest goes to fillet and H&G. For the first year, the Company will try out by producing mainly A grade surimi as well as FA and KA grades.

Referring to products made by Russia, “This is to augment the surimi supply from North America. What’s produced by them is totally different and we cannot simply compare the two in terms of standard and price,” Funaki said.

The original article was published on March 30, 2012 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Maruha Nichiro Conducts Survey on Sushi Boat Dining Experience

March 19, 2012

Maruha Nichiro Holdings announced the results of a consumer survey on sushi boat dining experience on March 15. This online survey that was conducted in February, targeted 1,000 men and women of 15-59 years of age living in Kanto and Kansai who would visit sushi boat restaurants more than once a month.

Cheap flat-price restaurants were favored by 70.4 percent of responders. By region, those in Kanto accounted for 66.4 percent, as opposed to 74.4 percent in Kansai. To a question of who would accompany them, 83.2 percent answered family members; 22.6 percent said friends; and 9.7 percent would go there alone.

Men would eat 11.1 plates and women 8.4 plates on average. Many expressed hesitation in ordering a plate that was higher than 415 yen. At sushi boat diners, 57.1 percent would order from sushi chefs; 22.3 percent would just pick sushi off a sushi conveyer.

The very first sushi topping they would choose was salmon answered by 20.1 percent, followed by tuna (red meat) by 11.8 percent, and then squid by 8.4 percent. The finale was salmon, egg, and tuna (medium-grade toro) in the order of popularity. The most frequently consumed topping was salmon by 39.9 percent. Twenty-three percent said yellowtail or buri, followed by tuna (red meat). Salmon was chosen as the first and the last sushi to be consumed, and was also the most frequently chowed down sushi topping.

In addition, 80 percent of females would accept a sushi boat eatery as a dating spot. One of the factors of selecting a sushi boat restaurant was if the restaurant would have a touch screen ordering system and one in four would consider the option important.

The original article was published on March 19, 2012 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Nichirei Foods Makes A Foray Into Vietnamese Market

March 15, 2012

Nichirei Foods (President Yasuhiro Ikeda) announced on March 14 the acquisition of stocks of Ho Chi Ming-based food company, Cholimex Foods Joint Stock Company (President Duong Van Hung). The purpose of the action was to make a foray into the processed foods market that includes frozen foods in Vietnam, which holds the growth potential.

The Vietnamese market boasts one of the highest economic growth rates within newly developing countries in Asia and is rapidly upsizing. The market focuses on material oriented products, mainly of processed frozen marine foods. It is believed that the market will expand in the area of processed foods.

“We have decided on a 19 percent equity participation in one of the finest Vietnamese companies Cholimex. In addition to a financial aspect, we will strengthen our relationship as strategic business partners for a rapid market growth in the future.”

Cholimex Foods was established in 1983 as a Ho Chi Ming City government affiliated company. As the company was privatized in 2006, its name was changed to the current one. The company specializes in sauces, condiments, and frozen foods. Its sales are not disclosed due to the fact that it is an unlisted company.

The original article was published on March 15, 2012 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

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