Return to Shareholders and IR Activities

In recent years, institutional investors have shifted the way to evaluate a company. One emphasis from this perspective of evaluation is engagement. The dialogue between companies and their shareholders as well as investors is growing in terms of strategies and efforts to improve corporate value. Trends to promote even broader engagement are growing after the publishing of the Stewardship Code even in Japan.

The Sumitomo Forestry Group places great importance on engagement from the perspectives of properly assessing the corporate value and earning trust from the market. The Group discloses a wide range of information, including non-financial information, in a timely and transparent manner to facilitate understanding among stakeholders of our management policies and business strategies, while regularly feeds back the opinions and requirements of investors who are a vital stakeholder into operations to put in place measures toward sustainable growth.

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Returns to Shareholders

Basic Policy on Returns to Shareholders and Retained Earnings

Acknowledging that providing returns to shareholders is one of its most important tasks, Sumitomo Forestry has adopted a basic policy of paying stable and continuous returns.

Going forward, in addition to improving return on equity (ROE) and enhancing shareholders’ equity by making good use of retained earnings for effective investment and research and development activities that help improve long-term corporate value, Sumitomo Forestry will continue to pay an appropriate level of shareholder returns in line with earnings while reflecting an overall balanced consideration of factors such as business fundamentals, financial conditions and cash flow.

Dividends in Fiscal 2018

In fiscal 2018 (year ended March 31, 2019), a year-end dividend of 20 yen per share and an interim dividend of 20 yen per share were issued. This corresponds to a full-year dividend of 40 yen per share.

Share Distribution by Shareholder Type (As of March 31, 2019)

Share Distribution by Shareholder Type (As of March 31, 2019)

* Digits below unit values displayed are cutoff on the chart.

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Information Disclosure and Communication

Basic Policy on Information Disclosure and Communication

In the interest of greater management transparency, Sumitomo Forestry takes a proactive approach to information disclosure.

We strive to provide reporting and explanations in an easy to understand manner at the General Meeting of Shareholders held in June every year. We also publish a wealth of IR information in Japanese and English such as information about the settlement of accounts and monthly order information in the housing businesses that includes short financial statements, factoring and a summary of financial results and forecasts on our website.

In addition, we also publish our CSR initiatives in Japanese and English online.

We have been publishing the Integrated Report since fiscal 2017 in place of the Annual Report published up until now in order to strengthen informational communication for both financial information and non-financial ESG information about the initiatives to improve corporate value throughout the Group. Besides the integrated report and the Japanese language report for shareholders on business activities, we also strive to actively provide information that includes the publishing of notifications for our Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders in both English and Japanese in print and online forms.

Integrated Report 2019

Integrated Report 2019

Japanese reports for shareholders on business activities (Year ended March 31, 2019)

Japanese reports for shareholders on business activities (Year ended March 31, 2019)

Two-Way Communication with Shareholders and Investors

General Meeting of Shareholders

Sumitomo Forestry holds its Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders every June. Through various initiatives, the Company endeavors to get as many shareholders as possible to participate at the meetings and exercise their right to vote. These initiatives include sending out and posting online convocation notices (in Japanese and English) earlier than legally required, scheduling the meeting to avoid the date when most other shareholder meetings are held, and accommodating shareholders who wish to cast their votes online or via mobile phone.

Individual Meetings

Sumitomo Forestry holds individual meetings with security analysts and institutional investors following the announcement of its quarterly results. In fiscal 2018, we conducted a total of 183 consultations in Japan and overseas. In addition, we will also regularly hold forums such as small meetings and on-site briefings.

IR Informative Meetings for Individual Investors

Sumitomo Forestry holds regular IR informative meetings for individual investors. During fiscal 2018, many investors attended the meetings held in Osaka and Tokyo. The meetings presented the growth strategy of the Sumitomo Forestry Group in addition to its business operations while its exhibition booth at the venue provided those investors who have requested with briefings on customized housing, rental housing, renovation, and private-pay elderly care facilities.

IR Activities for Overseas Institutional Investors and Shareholders

Sumitomo Forestry management team visits institutional investors and shareholders in Europe and North America in fiscal 2018 in addition to engaging in efforts such as the distribution of English versions of financial information to all of our institutional investors and shareholders overseas.

These efforts offer us the chance to exchange ideas in addition to explain aspects of our business such as our business performance and business strategies.

We also provide many opportunities for dialogue by participating in conferences held in Japan and overseas.

Issuance of Green Bonds

Sumitomo Forestry Group promotes initiatives informed by an awareness of the global environment in all of the activities it pursues. In September 2018, as part of this initiative, Sumitomo Forestry issued ten billion yen of Convertible Bonds with Stock Acquisition Rights in accordance with the Green Bond Principles and with a second party opinion received from a leading evaluation agency (hereinafter “Green CBs”). The purpose was to refinance the reduced amount of cash on hand resulting from our acquisition of forest assets in New Zealand in fiscal 2016. This was the first instance of the issuance of Green CBs worldwide, and it was this advanced initiative that was highly evaluated and won the New Products category at the 4th Green Bond Pioneer Awards hosted by the Climate Bonds Initiative as a result. We were the first Japanese company to receive a Green Bond Pioneer Award. Issuance of Green CBs will contribute to activating ESG investment markets and expanding the base within and outside of Japan.

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Sustainability Report