Last year, we devoted the comprehensive powers of the MHI Group to support early recovery of the regions that suffered severe damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March, including our customers whose infrastructure was adversely impacted by the tragedy. Through that experience, we renewed our strong awareness of our inherent corporate mission.
In April we launched a major overhaul of our companywide operating structure, an issue that had long been pending. Thanks to the resulting structural reforms, coupled with various initiatives taken to achieve improvements in myriad ways, during the first half of fiscal 2011 we succeeded in marking year-on-year growth in both orders received and profits. Nevertheless, the business environment surrounding the MHI Group remains unpredictable. Domestically, the nation has made no progress toward extricating itself from entrenched deflation; overseas, Europe remains racked by fiscal and financial crises, and the historically strong yen, combined with the ascendancy of Chinese and Korean companies, is accelerating competition in the emerging markets.
In view of these factors, in preparing our forthcoming 2012 Business Plan, while retaining the content of the 2010 Business Plan we will now be adding in adjustments to reflect the strong yen, the earthquake disaster and the other substantial changes that have occurred in our operating environment. Through these revisions we will strive to underpin our growth process, to realize a "manufacturing-based conglomerate" that develops within global markets, and to achieve a business scale, earning capacity and solid financial base on a par with our overseas competitors. With those dynamic goals in mind we wish to make three requests for this new year.
1. Greater Competitive Strength in Product Operations and Leveraging of Comprehensive Powers through an Enhanced Business Structure
Under our recent structural reforms, we reconfigured our internal organization into a system of business headquarters and corporate departments. The business headquarters handle all functions from product strategy development to after - sale services, thereby enabling the performance of all related business operations integrally. The corporate departments have been reorganized according to specific job functions, with the aim on achieving companywide operation. As a result, measures toward leveraging our comprehensive capabilities have gone forward - for example, strengthening of companywide strategies, acceleration of intra -company ties, greater efficiency and sophistication of business processes - thus enabling us to pursue stronger global competitiveness.
This month we have also founded a new Engineering Headquarters. The new entity will now enable us to strengthen our capacity in the performance of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) duties previously performed by multiple business headquarters. It will also drive our development of solutions business, especially in the area of smart community services.
Together, this strengthening of individual business areas combined with our comprehensive Groupwide powers integrating specific functions will make for a company of great strength. I ask that you will keep this in mind and proceed to make steady improvements in your daily endeavors.
2. Acceleration of Global Business Expansion
In order to achieve sustained growth going forward, it is indispensable for us to pursue global business development. Changes in the global business environment are severe, however, and under the strong yen market competition is becoming ever more intense. If we are to overcome this external environment, not only will we have to develop next-generation products responding to the market's needs; we will also need to pursue, effectively on a companywide basis, measures on multiple facets, including the formation of a business model incorporating upstream and downstream factors, the achievement of local production and procurement, and links with external partners. Toward these ends, last April we inaugurated a new "Global Strategic Planning & Operations Headquarters," followed in December by the establishment of a Global Personnel Section that is enhancing our support initiatives in personnel matters. I ask that you will all take up this new challenge as we seek to become a truly global player capable of winning in the global markets.
3. Securing the Trust of the Customer, and of Society
Last year we suffered a loss of trust in our company as a result of quality problems relating to the manufacture of certain aircraft parts. Also, the damages we suffered to our information network as a result of pernicious computer viruses were widely reported in the press. If any leak of important information were to occur as a result, ultimately we would suffer a loss of trust from society. All employees must maintain acute consciousness of their social position, exercise strict judgment in all matters, and strive together, in each workplace, to achieve social trust. One of the underpinning elements of our corporate operations is our strong commitment to make contributions to the nation and to society through our business operations. It is this steadfast commitment that has driven our sustained growth throughout our corporate history. I sincerely ask that you will each share in this commitment and will pool your collective capabilities to forge an all-new MHI Group for today and tomorrow's world.