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2009年2月 7日 (土)

企業決算総崩れ 「選択と集中」で乗り切れ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 7, 2009)

Firms must strengthen their pillars of profit

企業決算総崩れ 「選択と集中」で乗り切れ(27日付・読売社説)

One after another, leading Japanese companies have revised downward their earnings projections for the year ending March.

 主要企業が、2009年3月期決算の業績予想を、相次いで下方修正している。

We wonder how many corporate executives could have predicted only six months ago that their firms would report a drastic business deterioration. Business performances are worsening both rapidly and substantially, regardless of the type of industry.

 半年前にこんな悪化を予想していた経営者が、どれほどいただろう。

 業績悪化は業種を問わず、急速に、しかも大幅に進んでいる。

It is not unusual to see corporations that just a year ago were registering record profits now reporting huge losses in what has been a wholesale change.

1年前には過去最高益をあげていた企業が、一転して巨額の赤字に転落する例も珍しくない。

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Firms face long recession

Since autumn, many companies have seen their sales and profits plunge--a drop as precipitous as falling off cliff. And since the turn of the year, many have realized that their operations will only result in further losses.

 特に昨秋から、多くの企業の売上高や利益が、がけを転がり落ちるように急減している。今年に入ってからは、仕事をしても赤字が増えるだけという状況だ。

With no sign of business deterioration reaching the bottom soon, companies must brace themselves for a prolonged recession and hunker down to improve their profitability.

 悪化の底はまだ見えない。各企業は不況の長期化も覚悟して、腰を据えた収益改善策に取り組む必要があるだろう。

Toyota Motor Corp. on Friday revised its projection for the 2008 business year to March for the third time, following reports in November and December. While it posted an operating profit of 2.2 trillion yen in the last business year, the automaker projected an operating loss of 450 billion yen for this business year.

 トヨタ自動車は、昨年11月、12月に続き、三たび業績を下方修正した。前期に2兆2000億円あった営業利益が、今期は4500億円の赤字になる。

Sales of its highly profitable, luxury cars are slumping in the major markets of Japan, the United States and Europe, which have been hit hard by the simultaneous global recession. The automaker also is riddled with losses from fluctuations of the currency market due to the steep appreciation of the yen.

 世界同時不況の直撃を受け、日米欧の主要市場で、稼ぎ頭の高級車が売れなくなった。円高による為替差損も追い打ちをかける。

There is no denying, also, that Toyota's strategy of expanding its operations to become the top automaker in the world--in terms of both production and sales--has gone too far, compounding its business woes.

 生産・販売世界一を目指した拡大路線が行き過ぎ、傷口を広げた面が否めない。

Companies in the electrical machinery industry also are struggling. Hitachi Ltd. is expected to report a net loss of 700 billion yen for the business year ending March, the biggest ever for a Japanese manufacturer. Panasonic Corp. and Sony Corp. also have been tormented by poor sales of flat-screen TVs and semiconductors.

 電機業界では、日立製作所の税引き後利益の赤字額が、日本の製造業で過去最大の7000億円に膨らむ見通しだ。パナソニックやソニーも、薄型テレビや半導体の販売不振に苦しんでいる。

The tendency of virtually all companies in this industry to rush to manufacture the latest popular product has weakened their strength to weather a recession. It is imperative that such firms now jettison loss-making departments and identify their pillars of profit-generation--the business strategy known as "selection and concentration."

 一斉に売れ筋に飛びつく横並びの体質が、不況への抵抗力を弱めている。不採算部門は切り離し、収益の柱を明確にする「選択と集中」が今こそ必要だ。

In the nonmanufacturing sector, airlines are suffering noticeably poor sales. The recession and the yen's appreciation have drastically reduced the volume of both international passengers and cargo. Japan Airlines Corp. anticipates a group net loss of 340 billion yen for this current business year.

 非製造業では、航空会社の業績悪化が目立つ。不況と円高で国際線の旅客や貨物が急減した。日本航空の税引き後利益は、340億円の赤字になる見通しだ。

The Construction and Transport Ministry plans to compile a package of measures by the end of March to support the ailing industry. It should expedite its study of what kind of government support could be offered.

 国土交通省は、3月末までに航空業界への支援策をまとめる方針だ。国としてどんな支援が可能なのか、検討を急ぐべきだろう。

The implications of the recession are becoming ever more serious as exemplified by the bankruptcy of condominium developer Japan General Estate Co.

 マンション販売大手の日本綜合地所が破綻(はたん)するなど、不況の影響はより深刻化してきている。

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and other major financial groups also are likely to see drastically reduced profits.

三菱UFJフィナンシャル・グループなどの金融グループも利益を大きく減らしそうだ。

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Some silver linings

Despite the gloomy business climate, however, Nintendo Co. is posting record operating profits thanks to a series of hit video-game products.

 だが、ヒット商品を連発する任天堂は、この逆風下でも過去最高の営業利益をあげるという。

Many Japanese companies carried out major restructuring after the recession that followed the bursting of the bubble economy in the early 1990s. Therefore, they should not have exhausted their fundamental corporate strength--not yet. Taxing their ingenuity to cultivate new business fields, which they can then foster to boost their business strength, holds the key to firms' long-term survival.

 日本企業の多くはバブル崩壊後の不況を経て、大規模なリストラを実施した。基礎体力はまだあるはずだ。知恵を絞って得意分野を開拓し、それを伸ばすのが生き残る道である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 7, 2009)

2009270132  読売新聞)

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