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2008年11月 7日 (金)

企業中間決算

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 7, 2008)

Even Toyota can't escape global woes

企業中間決算 あのトヨタですら大幅減益に(117日付・読売社説)

The world economy is on the skids as the financial crisis spreads around the globe, particularly hitting the economies of the United States and Europe, which are being haunted by the specter of recession.

 金融危機の拡大で、景気後退懸念がある米国と欧州を中心に、世界の景気は急減速している。

Meanwhile, Japanese corporations have been hurt by the yen's surge against the dollar and euro as well as price hikes in crude oil and raw materials, the ramifications of which are now reflected in their performances.

 その一方で、円が対ドルと対ユーロで急騰し、原油と原材料も値上がりした。これらが、企業業績に重くのしかかっている。

Many Japanese companies have released or will shortly release their earnings reports on a consolidated basis for the April-September period. A considerable number of companies saw profits drop, and a net decline in profit for all listed companies is expected to occur for the first time in seven years. The margin of profit declines for the entire group of listed companies is expected to be even wider for the business year ending March 31, 2009.

 2008年9月中間連結決算の発表がピークを迎えた。減益となる企業が続出し、上場企業全体で7年ぶりの減益となる見込みだ。来年3月末までの通期では、さらに減益幅が拡大する見通しだ。

Until last fiscal year, Japanese corporate performances had been buoyed by economic growth in the United States and many other countries and by the weak yen. But this favorable business climate was completely wiped out and a powerful headwind has appeared in the path of Japanese companies.

 昨年度までの企業業績は、米国など海外の景気拡大と円安が追い風となってきた。しかし、恵まれた経営環境は様変わりし、猛烈な逆風に転じた。

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Precarious situation for many

Toyota Motor Corp. exemplifies the embattled nature of Japanese corporations. The brakes have been applied on the carmaker's long streak of churning out growing profits year after year.

 その象徴は、右肩上がりの増益に急ブレーキがかかったトヨタ自動車である。

Its operating profit--a measure of the company's earning power from ongoing operations--was slashed by a whopping 54 percent from the same period last year due to the dramatic slump in sales in North America, its main overseas market. The yen's appreciation, which has exceeded the predictions of most corporations, also dealt a blow to the automaker.

 本業の儲(もう)けである営業利益は、前年同期比で54%減と大幅に減少した。主力の北米市場が記録的な不振で、想定以上に急伸した円高も、ダメージとなった。

Toyota also slashed its earnings projection for the business year ending in March by 73.6 percent from the last business year to 600 billion yen. Even Toyota, one of the world's most profitable manufacturers, finds itself in a precarious position, showing how seriously the global market has been afflicted by dampened consumption.

 通期予想も大幅に下方修正し、営業利益は前期比7割減の6000億円と落ち込む。世界の製造業の儲け頭だったトヨタですら、この状況だ。今回の消費不況の深刻さを示すものといえよう。

This is not just limited to the automobile industry. Harsh business conditions also are affecting electronics companies, such as Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp., which reported sluggish sales of digital home appliances and semiconductors, and export-oriented companies whose revenues come largely from abroad.

 厳しい状況は自動車業界だけでない。デジタル家電や半導体が不振だったソニーや東芝などの電機をはじめ、海外で稼ぐ輸出企業に共通する。

Electric power companies and steelmakers also reported profit reductions.

電力や鉄鋼各社も減益が相次いだ。

There are, however, some companies that have managed to keep their heads above water in this relentless business environment, including Nintendo Co., which reported record high profits due to robust game console sales. Companies such as this have business advantages due to having lineups of highly popular, strategic products.

 一方、ゲーム機販売が好調で最高益を記録した任天堂など、逆風をはね返した企業もある。人気の高い戦略商品を持つ強みだ。

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Time for firms to reassess

Japanese firms now have to brace themselves for prolonged, harsh business conditions. Given the current environment, it is essential for them to carefully combine both offensive and defensive business measures.

 今後を展望すれば、各企業にとって、厳しい経営環境が続くと覚悟せねばなるまい。それだからこそ、守りと攻めをうまく組み合わせることが重要になる。

First of all, there is no option but for firms to cut costs as much as possible so they can have the corporate strength to endure the pains of the surging yen. Companies should accelerate the selection of, and concentrate on, operations for moving forward. Mergers and acquisitions might be needed.

 まず、コスト削減を徹底し、円高進行に耐える経営体力の強化を目指すしかあるまい。事業の選択と集中を加速し、M&A(企業の合併・買収)も選択肢だろう。

It is important for companies to rectify an overdependence on U.S. and European markets and establish global-earning strategies that include such emerging economies as China and other Asian nations. Although its growth rate is slowing, the Chinese economy is projected to grow further.

 欧米市場への過度な依存を見直すとともに、減速しているとはいえ、依然、成長が見込める中国を含めたアジアなどの新興国など、グローバルに稼ぐ体制が大事だ。

Bolstering the sluggish domestic market also is crucial.

低迷が続いている国内市場のてこ入れも重要だ。

Japanese corporations also should expedite efforts to hone their research and development capabilities if they want to produce new products and technologies that can create competitive edges in the future.

 将来の競争力の源泉となる新商品や新技術を生み出すには、研究開発体制の強化も急ぐべきだ。

Can they create business opportunities from this predicament? It is not an easy task, but we hope to see the creation of bold strategies for survival.

 ピンチをチャンスに変えることができるか。なかなか容易ではないが、各企業の果敢な生き残り戦略に期待したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2008)

20081170141  読売新聞)

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