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.
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 the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2022
In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, a year-end dividend of 65 yen per share and an interim dividend of 60 yen per share were issued. This corresponds to a full-year dividend of 125 yen per share.
Share Distribution by Shareholder Type (As of December 31, 2022)
* Digits below unit values displayed are cutoff on the chart
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. We also publish a wealth of IR information in Japanese and English such as information about the settlement of accounts that includes short financial statements, fact book and a summary of financial results and forecasts, and monthly order information in the housing businesses on our website. In addition, we also publish detailed information about sustainability initiatives in Japanese and English on our website.
Furthermore, News releases share the latest information about Sumitomo Forestry Group with stakeholders. Sumitomo Forestry published 78 news releases in fiscal 2022.
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.
Two-Way Communication with Shareholders and Investors
General Meeting of Shareholders
Through various initiatives, we endeavor 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 and accommodating shareholders who wish to cast their votes electronically (online, etc.).
Sumitomo Forestry holds individual meetings with security analysts and institutional investors following the announcement of its quarterly results. In fiscal 2022, we conducted a total of 254 consultations in Japan and overseas. Additionally, we held small meetings focused on the Overseas Housing and Real Estate Business and ESG, and three outside directors engaged in direct dialogue with institutional investors in Japan. 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. In November 2022, we held two IR informative meetings for individual investors online. During these meetings, we explained about the Sumitomo Forestry Group’s history and business lines, in addition to our long-term vision. Meetings were concluded with a Q&A session.
IR Activities for Overseas Institutional Investors and Shareholders
Sumitomo Forestry management team held online conferences with institutional investors and shareholders in the United States, Europe, Asia, and other regions in fiscal 2022, 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. In Europe, we held an overseas roadshow for the first time in three years to exchange ideas in addition to explaining aspects of our business such as our business performance and business strategies.
We also participate in conferences held by stock brokerage firms to have even more opportunities for dialogues.
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”). This was the first instance of the issuance of Green CB worldwide, and this advanced initiative 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. This initiative contributes to activating ESG investment markets and expanding the base within and outside of Japan.