Included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and the FTSE Blossom Japan Index for the first time
Suzuki Motor Corporation was included in the FTSE4Good Index Series and the FTSE Blossom Japan Index, global indexes for ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) investments, for the first time.
On the back of increased criticism toward pursuing short-term profit in the capital market since the 2008 financial crisis, in the recent years, there has been increasing attention for ESG investments, which judges the company’s investments by considering environment, social, and governance activities by the company, besides the conventional financial information including sales and income. Currently, there are various ESG indexes that are gaining attention from investors worldwide, which they widely utilise as their judgment criteria.
We believe that, in addition to our initiatives for ESG, our efforts to proactively and comprehensively announce those activities through this report (Suzuki CSR & Environmental Report) have also took part in the inclusion into the above indexes.
The Company will continuously be conscious of disclosing the efforts for ESG, and enhance communication with the stakeholders to consistently promote sustainable enhancement of corporate value.
●FTSE4Good Index Series
Created by FTSE Russell, a wholly owned subsidiary of London Stock Exchange Group, the FTSE4Good Index Series is designed to measure the performance of companies demonstrating strong ESG practices. The FTSE4Good indexes are used by a wide variety of market participants focussed on ESG investments to create and assess responsible investment funds and other products.
More information about FTSE4Good Index Series
●FTSE Blossom Japan Index
The FTSE Blossom Japan Index is an ESG index focussed on Japanese firms, which is adopted by the world’s largest pension fund, Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), for ESG investments.
More information about FTSE Blossom Japan Index
Improving corporate value
The automobile industry is undergoing a period of great transformation. In this period of transformation, it is necessary to have a concrete vision of what the Company should be 10 or 15 years in the future, as a long-term view, and go back to the present from there to consider what the Company should do from now, instead of merely continuing as we are.
Around 2030, the Indian market may grow to a scale of 10 million units. If the Group can maintain its current share of 50%, it will have a size of 5 million units. With the assumption that the Group will sell 2 million units in other markets, overall sales of the Group will be 7 million units. These figures are theoretical values rather than a plan. The Group will continue to strive for future growth.
Also, we believe that committing to the Indian market will lead to our growth in other markets, through deploying the developed products worldwide.
Compared with now, it is totally uncharted territory that is more than twice as large. All employees, including the management team, will be required to change their mindset and distribute effectively the management resources.
In that sense, the effort we make based on this long-term view are challenges that decide the Group’s future, and they should be made promptly. We will commit ourselves to these challenges on a company-wide basis as Team Suzuki.
For our shareholders and investors
With respect to the annual dividends, although the consolidated financial results showed a considerable decrease, it decreased temporarily owing to accounting extraordinary loss for conducting recall campaign in Japan. The Company places shareholder return as one of the important management issues. Taking the above into consideration, from the view of stable dividend payout, the Company kept the annual dividends same as the previous fiscal year to ¥74.00 per share, and the year-end dividends to ¥37.00 per share.
In line with our basic policy, the surplus is distributed twice a year in the forms of the interim dividend and the year-end dividend. According to the resolution of our Board of Directors, the interim dividend is available for the shareholders as of 30 September every year as the record date, which is stipulated in our company contract. The decision-making meetings for the dividends are the Board of Directors for the interim dividend, and the shareholder meeting for the year-end dividend.
With respect to acquisition of treasury shares, the Company acquired approximately 120 million shares worth approximately 460 billion yen of treasury shares in September 2015 upon termination of alliance with VW. As a result, there were shareholder returns in FY2015 with the overall return ratio exceeding 400%.
Also, with respect to the treasury shares held by the Company, we are making efforts in controlling dilution by not releasing them to the market. In March 2016, we have set the maximum treasury shares to be held by the Company to around 50 million shares, and cancelled approximately 70 million treasury shares. Upon issuing convertible bonds, we adopted a scheme to control dilution to the maximum, and due to this scheme, when bonds were converted as the stock price rose, we were able to control dilution to about half of normal schemes.
As of the end of March 2019, the treasury shares held by the Company is approximately 30 million shares, and our policy is to hold these shares to prepare for agile capital policies in the future.
*The dividend payout ratio in FY2015 and FY2016 keeps more than 15%, based on net income after excluding gain on sales of investment securities.
Shareholder benefit program
As a token of appreciation for the shareholders’ continuous support for Suzuki and in hope of further patronage of Suzuki’s products, we offer a shareholder benefit program.
This program was established in December 2005 in commemoration of winning two awards: "RJC Car of The Year" and "2005-2006 Japanese Car of The Year" ("Most Fun" Prize) for the Suzuki's world strategic model "SWIFT" in hope of further patronage of Suzuki's shareholders.
With respect to the shareholder benefit gift, in order to offer a more attractive program, we renewed the gift content. We will continue to consider the gift content to enhance the program. The gift content was changed from the program as of 31 March 2019 as the record date.
Shareholders who hold a minimum unit of shares (100 shares) as of 31 March every year
2 sets of Shizuoka tea
As a company headquartered in Shizuoka and from the view of local production for local consumption, we offer Shizuoka tea, which is one of the famous products of the prefecture.
Suzuki Group has been trying to be a company reliable for our stakeholders including shareholders, customers, business partners, local societies, employees, etc. that further contributes to international society and continues development through fair and efficient corporate activities. We will disclose the information defined by applicable laws and regulations immediately, correctly and fairly so that we can be more reliable for stakeholders and societies, also try to actively release the information considered to be effective in having us understood better and further improve transparency of the corporate.
IR materials on homepage
In particular, we provide investor relations information such as briefings, corporate information and data, which are required in making investment decisions, through the Global Suzuki homepage. (https://www.globalsuzuki.com/ir/index.html)
Within the same website, we disclose the Suzuki Disclosure Policy which indicates Suzuki’s basic policy on disclosure, internal system for timely disclosure and policy for constructive dialogue with shareholders.
In FY2017, ESG Information was fulfilled and index was added to enhance retrieval of such information.
* IR (Investor Relations) means activities of a company to offer the company information necessary for investment for shareholders and investors in a timely, fair and continuous manner.
Open periodical seminar for analysts and institutional investors
The settlement briefing for analysts is held every quarter of the year. Voice file and the actual major Q&A at the briefing are uploaded on our website for the convenience of shareholders and investors (voice files are uploaded only on Japanese website in Japanese language).
In addition, investors' conference and other presentation meetings, domestic/international IR meetings, new model announcement shows (to invite analysts), and plant tour events for analysts are held as well.
Set-up of department for IR
For IR-related sections, we have Corporate Management/IR/Cost Management Dept. as an IR contact in the headquarters, and Tokyo IR Group as an IR contact in Tokyo under Corporate Planning Office, and Accounting Group of Finance Department under Finance for materials to be disclosed, such as brief note on the settlement of accounts.
IR for foreign investors
The following IR activities are conducted for foreign investors.
- Providing IR information for foreign investors on the website
The equivalent information to that on the Japanese IR page for domestic investors is disclosed in English (https://www.globalsuzuki.com/ir/index.html), such as the brief note on the settlement of accounts, presentation documents for explanatory meeting for investors, proxy statement, resolution notice of shareholders' meeting, timely disclosure by the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and IR news.
- Attending domestic IR conferences for foreign investors
- Providing English data on brief note on the settlement of accounts to TDnet (Timely Disclosure Network) Database Service of the Tokyo Stock Exchange
IR event for individuals
The Company periodically holds IR presentations for individual investors by officers or IR representative, along with the securities company. Presentations are also held for sales persons of the security company as needed.
Since the 142nd annual meeting of shareholders held in June 2008, we have been inviting shareholders to the Suzuki Plaza, after the meeting, for better understanding of Suzuki. The Suzuki Plaza is a facility, which has been open to the public since April 2009, for showing the history of Suzuki, introducing its worldwide business activities, and comprehensively explaining the automobile production process under the theme of Suzuki's way of manufacturing.