We recently announced the consolidated financial results of Akebono Brake Group for the full fiscal year 2016 (April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016) which we would like to share with you as summarized below:
Consolidated net sales increased by 10.7% year-over-year to an all-time high of JPY281.3 billion. Regarding profitability, production problems in North America that began in 2014 have continued to result in increased costs, particularly in the areas of labor and expedited freight. The company also recorded impairment charges related to certain fixed assets at its North American operations. These and other factors resulted in a net loss of JPY19.5 billion. Due to this, as announced in a separate press release on November 4, 2015, the company decided to forego year-end dividend payments for the fiscal year 2015.
Although the company is accelerating restructuring and other group-wide initiatives to significantly improve profitability, North American operations are not expected to return to profitability during the fiscal year 2017 (April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017). Given this, the company has decided to forego semiannual and year-end dividends also for fiscal 2017. On behalf of the entire akebono organization, I apologize for any inconvenience and concern caused to our valued shareholders.
In order to facilitate a speedy recovery, Akebono has established a new Midterm Business Plan "aNF30-2016". The primary goals of the new Midterm Business Plan are 1) rebuilding the North American operations; 2) establishing global networks based on product-based business units; and 3) expanding high performance brake business and recreating European operations. By achieving these goals, Akebono aims to return the company to a sound financial condition and regain the trust of shareholders, in addition to facilitating sustainable growth, under the corporate brand slogan "Absolute safety; Unparalleled control."
We ask all of you for your continued understanding and on-going support.