I would like to take this opportunity to thank all shareholders for your continued support.
I would also like to express our heartfelt sympathy to the people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and their families. In light of the difficulties with materials, logistics and the like, caused by the earthquake, “NTTis. . . 2011 Spring Edition” was not printed and sent to shareholders, and was only posted on our website. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, NTT Group continued to direct its efforts towards an expansion of broadband and ubiquitous services pursuant to its “Road to Service Creation Business Group” Medium-Term Management Strategy.
Due to the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, in areas centered on the Tohoku region, NTT Group’s fixed-line communications and mobile communications services were unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Following the earthquake, NTT Group immediately established a disaster countermeasure headquarters and with a team of over 10,000 members, including support provided from across the nation, worked to restore damaged communications facilities and services. As a result, as of the end of April, recovery of exchange offices and mobile communications base stations in customer residential areas was virtually complete.
In addition, NTT Group provided a Disaster Emergency Message Dial Service and Disaster Emergency Broadband message board service, lent out satellite mobile phones (approx. 900 units) for free, and deployed mobile communications base station vehicles (approx. 30), and special public phones (approx. 3,600 units), among other things, to support victims of the earthquake. Further, in addition to the status of service restoration and restoration schedule, NTT DOCOMO provided on its website a “restoration area map,” by which people could confirm locations where free satellite mobile phones and free charging services were available.
With respect to business results in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, despite the effects of the devastating earthquake, for the first time in seven fiscal years, NTT Group saw an increase in revenues and income that exceeded forecasts. Operating revenues increased 123.6 billion yen over the prior fiscal year, due to, among other things, an increase in IP-related revenue resulting from an increase in the number of FLET’S Hikari subscribers and an increase in NTT DOCOMO’s packet ARPU. Operating income was up 97.2 billion yen over the prior fiscal year, as NTT East, NTT West, and NTT DOCOMO all showed steady increases in income.
In the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, the following three initiatives will be promoted in ongoing efforts to develop businesses based on the Medium-Term Management Strategy.
First, with respect to the “Enhancement of ICT Service and Solutions for Corporations and Government,” NTT Group will enhance its lineup for data centers and applications, offering a range of menus from high-reliability to economically-priced. Further, to enhance convenience in government, education and medical services and to respond to such societal issues as environmental protection and the aging population, NTT Group will promote widespread ICT usage.
Next, with respect to the “Enhancement of Consumer Services,” NTT Group will promote the use of “Xi (pronounced “crossy”),” which employs the new LTE standard for mobile communications with high-speed and large-capacity features, and expand its broadband user base through the introduction of easy-to-use rate plans, including “FLET’S Hikari LIGHT,” a two-tier fixed-rate service. NTT Group will also make efforts towards further enhancement of ICT services using both fixed and wireless broadband.
Finally, with regards to the “Strengthening of the Framework for Promotion of Global Businesses and the Enhancement of Services,” the strengths of Dimension Data Holdings plc, Keane International, Inc. and other group companies will be combined to achieve business synergy, and management will be further strengthened in both the strategic and personnel aspects, in order to accelerate growth in global businesses.
With respect to shareholder returns, NTT decided to increase the annual dividend amount per share by 20 yen, from 120 yen to 140 yen for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. This increase will be implemented starting with the interim dividends.
In addition, at the board of directors meeting held May 13, 2011, it was decided that a share buyback program would be implemented, with a limit of 60.0 million shares or 280.0 billion yen.
I would like to conclude this message by thanking our shareholders in advance for your further understanding and support.