Latest Update : Nov.27, 2007

Back to Financial Results (FY3/2008)

Investor Meeting Presentation for 2Q FY 3/2008 held on October 31, 2007

* Some parts have been added and modified for a clearer understanding.


Question and Answer

Operating income for the second quarter rose by approximately 1 billion yen over the first quarter. Operating income of the Machined Components segment rose by approximately 0.5 billion yen. Pivot assemblies contributed the largest increase of operating income. Since HDD makers' inventory adjustment in the first quarter was over, sales value and sales quantities of pivot assemblies grew strongly from the first quarter through the second quarter. Next, the internal sales quantity of ball bearings also increased. This resulted in increased production quantities, and sales quantities including internal sales. Sales of rod-end & spherical bearings were also favorable. These three factors contributed to increased operating income of about ¥0.5 billion in the Machined Components segment.
In the Electronic Devices and Components segment, information motors contributed the largest increase of operating income from the first quarter through the second quarter. Within this, improved profitability of hybrid-type and the previously struggling permanent-type stepping motors made large contributions. DC brush motors and vibration motors also saw steady improvement. Although fan motors results were flat, information motors made great improvement overall.
Keyboards saw the second largest improvement. Keyboards had already seen improvement during the first quarter. During the second quarter, sales of high-value-added products increased in addition to increased sales quantities of keyboards. However, operating income of electronic devices declined slightly. Also, speakers saw no improvement. Although the sales quantity of HDD spindle motors increased significantly, from a profitability aspect its deficit was almost unchanged.
From now on, in the Machined Components segment, we expect that sales quantities of ball bearings, pivot assemblies, and rod-end & spherical bearings for the coming quarter will remain almost the same as in the second quarter. In the Electronic Devices and Components segment, we foresee that the sales quantity of HDD spindle motors will be favorable in the third quarter. We foresee keyboards and information motors will continue to perform well in October and November, although their sales may decline slightly during the Christmas selling season in December.
The main reason that we have not modified our full year forecast is because there are many factors, such as oil price hikes, foreign exchange fluctuations, and the subprime lending problem in the United States that hinder us from making a trend forecast on our product markets. We have mostly forecast the trends through the Christmas selling season. However, it is difficult to forecast inventories in the market after the Christmas selling season. However, we would like to achieve at a minimum the performance figures that we announced in our original forecast. In the second half, we would like to work hard on the most important issue, which is how much we are able to achieve above the performance figures.
In the first place, I would like to make it clear that our lighting devices business is not in deficit but fairly profitable although the business had profit for the second quarter slightly lower than the first quarter. Our present forecast is that lighting devices will be able to firm up in the third and fourth quarters.
Concerning HDD spindle motors business in deficit, the business temporarily turned profitable in the first half of last fiscal year. However, the rapid appreciation of the Thai baht since the second half of last fiscal year has brought about increased costs, which exceeded our efforts for cost reductions. We have been working at reducing costs in the three processes of parts, fluid dynamic bearings units, and assembly. At present, our efforts for cost reductions in parts and fluid dynamic bearings units have reached our targets. So our challenge for the second half is cost reductions in the remaining assembly process. We forecast that we are able to make the HDD spindle motors business profitable by the end of this fiscal year.
Production of speakers in Thailand has faced increased production costs due to the higher Thai baht. The high material cost ratio and the low degree of processing have prevented us from making the business profitable in Thailand. Thus, we are shifting production in Thailand to production in China. We plan to complete this shift by the end of March 2008. As a result, we think that we can make our speaker business profitable. Unless we make progress in improving the business foundations of these two businesses in deficit, Minebea as a whole will not be able to advance to the next stage.
First of all, no problems have arisen with new products in the market. We had no major quality problems which forced us to recall products from the market or which forced us to halt our entire production. In addition, it is not true that profitability of our 2.5-inch HDD spindle motors was worse than we had expected. Although we have not stated that a sales quantity of 5 million units per month is the breakeven point, it is true that the higher Thai baht has led to increased costs, raising the breakeven point on a sales quantity basis. Moreover, the yield rate did not turn worse. It just failed to reach the level we had expected.
We have seen no yield rate problem with our pivot assemblies. Actually, the yield rate issue has not brought about any critical impacts on the profits of this business. However, it is true that we have been facing increasing price competition, higher raw material prices, and smaller profit margins. There are two measures for offsetting a declining margin--by reducing production costs or by reducing the number of defects. Concerning scrap, the business has set its main target for the fiscal year to reducing scrap, and we have been working at fulfilling this target.
The parts and fluid dynamic bearings units that we use in our assembly process are those introduced before the cost reductions. Although we have been pursuing cost reductions in our assembly process, you cannot expect very large improvement. Progress in cost improvements in parts and fluid dynamic bearings units will gradually be reflected in the costs of finished products. The yield rate of HDD spindle motors has not turned increasingly worse at all. To reduce costs, we must raise the yield rate higher than last year. To this end, we must pursue higher quality. Parts and fluid dynamic bearings units have achieved the levels of cost and yield rates that we had expected at the beginning. In this context, I stated that the assembly process will gradually see declining costs from now on.
I'm sorry that I cannot announce them now, though we have some. Minebea is a parts maker and cooperates with finished product makers. Unless a finished product maker announces a new product, Minebea cannot announce such new product parts. I hope that we will be able to announce one or so at the beginning of the next year. As I mentioned before, our HMSM is under development, which will be commercialized and released into the market in the next fiscal year. We are thinking that the HMSM will make some sort of contribution in the next fiscal year and onwards. We have no other new products under development that will contribute to the second half of this fiscal year. This fiscal year's plans have already been fixed, but there appear to be several such new products from next fiscal year onwards. So I think that we can talk of such new products when we announce our settlement of accounts for this fiscal year.

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