December 2014 10th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders
General meeting of shareholders
December 2014 10th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders
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Questions about M & A concept, recruitment of our R & D personnel, current number of personnel, etc.
<President Izumo> Regarding M & A, we believe that we must strengthen our sales channels so that Euglena In fiscal 2014, we began selling products containing Euglena major convenience stores and supermarkets. Even so, we may receive opinions such as not being available at a convenience store in the neighborhood or being sold out in some cases. In the first place, M & A aims to solve such problems, and as a sales partner, we have partnered with a company that has a strong sales channel, and it seems that more customers can purchase closer. I would like to utilize it for environment maintenance. The second point is the number of our research staff, but currently 16 people are dedicated to research and development. Human resources who have thoroughly researched their specialties in various fields and those who have gained experience in other R & D institutions are now working on it. We are also collaborating with many research institutes and universities. We would like to expand the number of research personnel who have functions like a kind of external organization in the future, and steadily achieve the roadmap that we are aiming to realize by 2020.
Questions about the outlook for shareholder composition (mainly stable shareholders) and shareholder ITOCHU
<President Izumo> ITOCHU has been supporting our business for many years. We also know that it is extremely important to increase the number of stable shareholders. Above all, when a business company becomes a shareholder, it is known that the perspective will be the same and the joint research will be a very fulfilling system. There are still many major companies in Japan other than Mr. Ito, who have synergies from the perspective, so we hope that those companies will understand the goodness of Euglena 's Midorimushi, and at the same time, we will jointly conduct business and research. We must continue to request that we become stable shareholders.
Question about the news release "Starting full-scale culture Euglena by heterotrophic culture method" announced on September 8, 2014 by Kobelco Eco-Solutions Co., Ltd.
<President Izumo> We have received similar questions from a large number of shareholders. On top of that, I would like to make two points. First, the news release of Kobelco Eco-Solutions states that it is more than twice as productive as Euglena (common as a living thing), which is twice as productive as our company. We receive many opinions as to whether it is expensive. First of all, there are more than 100 types of Euglena. We are aware that Kobelco Eco-Solutions will have euglena that is twice as productive as NIES-48 (National Institute for Environmental Studies) in the presence of various euglena. We also own Euglena, which is more than twice as productive as NIES-48. The second point is that the culture method is different. In the future, as a biofuel, we would like to make new energy that is friendly to the global environment with Euglena. From the perspective of this new energy, reducing carbon dioxide is extremely important. Utilizing Euglena cultivated by a method other than photosynthesis as fuel does not lead to CO2 reduction, so I think that we are aiming for something different from ours.
Questions about the measures we are taking to protect technical and confidential information
<President Izumo> There are two main points we are focusing on to protect confidential information. The first point is a patent. In order to apply for a patent, the exclusive right cannot be secured as a patent unless the information is written in detail as public information in the patent gazette. If you blindly apply for a patent for an invention, the details will be disclosed. Therefore, I think that the patent system must be used properly. In other words, we have accumulated know-how on how to cultivate Euglena in large quantities outdoors without making a patent. On the other hand, the development of biofuel extraction methods, such as research results that utilize cultured Euglena as fuel, suppress the absorption of purines, and make it difficult for the uric acid level to rise, and parts that are not related to the Euglena culture method. We would like to continue to patent the euglena and maintain its technological superiority. The second point is that we continue to maintain it as know-how and take great care not to leak it to the outside. I can't answer specifically how to keep the Euglena culture method secret, but what is important here is that it does not leak out from the awareness education of company colleagues by taking various measures such as hardware. We are working on it. As I said, we use know-how and patents properly. We will do everything we can to protect our know-how, keep this secret, and maintain our technological superiority.
Questions about addition of bills (addition of business purpose of articles of incorporation) and increase / decrease of assets
<President Izumo> thanks you. I received two questions. I would like to explain the content of the first agenda item. Regarding assets, Mr. Nagata, the director in charge, will reply. First of all, the first question is about "air transportation business and aircraft use business", "car transportation business", "tourism business and travel business" after 16. There are no particular decisions regarding this at this time. However, we are taking advantage of the bioduzel fuel and biojet fuel that we are currently developing, as well as the location of the production plant and research institute on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture, to demonstrate the technology and beyond. We have started a basic investigation into whether or not we may or can work on business, so we would like to expand the options for future possibilities when this amendment to the Articles of Incorporation. I am going to discuss this.
<Director Nagata> We will answer the second question regarding the increase or decrease in assets. On page 11 of the "Notice of Convocation of the 10th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders", "Status of Corporate Group Property and Profit and Loss" and "Status of Company Property and Profit and Loss" are described in circle 2. .. The question you asked was the reason why the assets in the 10th period decreased compared to the 9th period, but as described here, per share, net assets, and total assets, In all cases, the amount has increased from the 9th to the 10th period. As a matter of course, we are operating in the black, so we would like you to confirm that our assets are increasing due to the increase in operating income and the increase in shareholders' equity of 7.6 billion yen procured from the market last year. think.
Opinions and questions about advertising design and appointment of female directors
<President Izumo> First of all, if you have to work with your female colleagues, it is important to listen carefully and earnestly as a customer's voice to make it more fashionable, and be sure to reflect it in future advertisements and promotion methods. I would like to accept it as an opinion. In addition, we believe that our company must actively consider women and diversity, and the current situation is that the number of employees is 2: 1 for men and women, and women are also relatively. I'm wondering if it's a company that can play an active role. Therefore, I don't think there is a system in which women's opinions are completely absent or cannot be reflected within the company, but I think we must listen more carefully and work on them. Similarly, regarding outside directors, we would like to welcome outside directors appropriately and appropriately to those who can give us the best opinions, regardless of whether they are men, women, Japanese, or foreigners. We would appreciate it if you could properly and firmly report to our shareholders at the time of the relationship.
Questions about consideration for business models that do not end with a boom, and questions about whether biofuels are profitable
<President Izumo> Regarding the first question, regarding materials that you can associate with for a long time and materials that ended in a temporary boom, we invited external lecturers led by Fukumoto, who is in charge of marketing, many times in the company to study and analyze various things. did. For example, it became famous in a blink of an eye on TV commercials, and inventory temporarily disappeared from stores, and I don't even remember that it became a boom a few months later. It spread rapidly due to TV commercials. We have a hypothesis that the material may not be something that you will love for a long time. As for the media, you need to prepare for the launch and get to know Euglena little by little. We are trying to penetrate the market by properly communicating through the media that it is not an insect but a member of the same algae as wakame seaweed and kelp. Also, looking at the materials that I have been fond of for a long time, it has been shown that it is rational to use them based on various scientific evidences, not just images. It can be related to the patent strategy, but if there is evidence that eating Euglena will contribute to your health, we will invest money from the perspective that it will take root without becoming a boom. We are also focusing on patenting evidence of R & D and functionality. The second question is whether biofuels will be profitable. First of all, the practical application of bio-jet fuel, which we are aiming for in 2020, means to provide it to the market at a competitive price. Regardless of the price in 2020, Euglena must be able to be cultivated in large quantities in a very stable manner in order to be offered at a competitive price. And this technology is actually very beneficial to our healthcare business. We have accumulated various know-how in-house to stably cultivate Euglena for biofuels, and we are actively sharing these research results. Therefore, the more research and development of biofuels is carried out, the higher the profitability of the healthcare business will be. This research is definitely meaningful in the long run, so I hope to proceed steadily until 2020.
Questions about the ratio of advertising expenses to SG & A expenses and questions about measures to raise awareness of Euglena (material brand)
<President Izumo> Regarding how the advertising expense ratio of SG & A will change in the future, we are currently securing a certain level of gross profit, but first of all, we are making an upfront investment in advertising expenses. We do not plan to continue this forever. The ratio of advertising expenses to sales is steadily rising, and it is one of the medium-term management goals to aim for 2018 sales of 15 billion yen to gradually reduce it and raise the profit margin. I am aware of it. In addition, I would like to supplement only one point regarding the need for up-front investment related to advertising expenses. I feel that the name of Euglena is increasing recently. Many people say that they know Euglena, but for example, when you ask them to draw Euglena, we recognize that most people are misunderstood as insects. However, once you eat Euglena with some kind of product, you often say, "It's delicious and contains 59 kinds of nutrients, so I wanted to eat it earlier." You don't have to explain Euglena over and over again. We believe that it will be a product that customers will love compared to various other materials, so we have invested in advertising expenses for a while for the past few years, and have you eat it even once, and advertising expenses as the years go by. We hope that you will look forward to the decrease and the increase in the operating income margin.
Questions about dividend policy and how to deal with shareholders
<President Izumo> Naturally, it will take a lot of money for research to make new energy from Japan with biofuel produced from Midorimushi, so first of all, I would like to invest funds in research and development until the technology is put into practical use. We are doing it. From this point of view, we would like to proceed with no dividend for a while. In addition, regarding the voices of our shareholders, we have received a feeling different from other companies, that is, encouragement to put new technology to practical use for the first time in Japan, and scolding to aim for practical use a little sooner. .. We are truly grateful that many shareholders supported us and changed the market to the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on December 3. On top of that, we sent a discount postcard for shareholder benefits because we would like you to eat it once as much as possible. Since many people have already made regular purchases, we have received comments that it is a good initiative in the sense that it can be used as a gift for friends. I think the people around you are still bugs. We would like to make many people aware of Euglena through somehow, and we would like to consider measures that can be returned to shareholders who have been supporting us for a long time at the right time. It depends on what you want to do.
Questions about the specific timing of dividends and questions about the current stock price and its transition
<President Izumo> We are very sorry that we cannot clearly specify the timing of dividends, but we would like to give appropriate returns to the shareholders who support us, so we hope that you will understand until then. In addition, I am not in a position to directly say that the current stock price is high or low. However, we are aware that we have received a certain level of expectations from a large number of people, and we are the first venture company that started from the University of Tokyo to change the market to the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. We also know that you are expecting and supporting us. Therefore, we will continue to steadily implement measures that will please more shareholders.
Questions and opinions about the "Euglena
<President Izumo> For the "Euglena GENKI Program", every time one product of our company or an OEM customer who agrees with our purpose is sold, 10 yen will be applied from the sales. This is a program to distribute cookies containing Euglena to about 2,500 children in Bangladesh as school lunches. Therefore, it does not mean that the funds are generated from the sales. In addition, we are receiving various ideas and opinions such as donations and volunteers who want to work together, so we can continue to promote it, including considering what form is most appropriate. I would like to work on it.
Opinions and questions about the competition with later biofuels and questions about the sales status of our products at FamilyMart
<President Izumo> Regarding the competition with other biofuels, we are aware that research on making biofuels from algae is currently competing outside Japan. The Japanese government's program to make biofuel from algae is a very large project, so each company established a council instead of researching and developing separately, and teams throughout Japan, such as their technological progress and information sharing. We are working together to create a biofuel from algae. Since our company is also a member of the council, we are not conducting research and development independently, and of course we do not provide confidential information, but we are proceeding while exchanging various information as appropriate, so it is simply a latecomer. I hope you understand that not all of our companies are fighting as rivals. Next, regarding the sales situation of FamilyMart, we are really sorry that there are not many things other than brown sugar soymilk despite the fact that you have come, and we must first apologize. We think. On top of that, it is completely up to FamilyMart to decide what kind of products to line up at each FamilyMart store, so we will continue to work to ensure regular display. I think I have to do it.
Opinions on sales targets based on the current stock price
<President Izumo> 89 people (consolidated, end of September 2014) are working hard toward the medium-term management target of 15 billion yen in 2018. On the other hand, in response to the words of encouragement for further growth, the current stock price cannot be explained unless we work toward a certain sales scale value of 30 to 50 billion yen. In order to meet the expectations of our shareholders, as with biofuels, we are more pleased with sales of 30 billion yen than 15 billion yen, so we realized it as a truly loving opinion. We will work hard toward it. We hope that you will continue to watch over us as a shareholder who can receive your opinions and encouragement. thank you very much.
Questions about drinking and opinions on the development of Euglena
<President Izumo> Regarding the first point of drinking, it is different for each customer to take medicine, so I can not tell you without understanding the situation at this time, but of course we will provide the necessary information. We would appreciate it if you could call our call center and let us know what you think. At the same time, we will make it easy to guide you so that you can purchase after understanding the points that you should pay attention to about drinking. The second point is that we would like to hear your opinions on the fields in which Euglena
Questions about the future outlook for the comprehensive alliance agreement with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and questions about sales strategies in China
<President Izumo> Paramylon, a unique component of Euglena, is a polymer of β-1,3-glucan, suggesting that it may be positively involved in immunostimulatory and immunomodulatory effects, and humoral and cell-mediated immunity regulatory effects. We have obtained evidence. There is some evidence that these research results are shared with Takeda Pharmaceutical based on the contract and are of great interest. We would like to deliver these as products to everyone as soon as possible by raising the priority as necessary and working on them. Therefore, we are proceeding with experiments in the order of high interest in the joint research of paramylon, aiming for commercialization as soon as possible.
<Director Fukumoto> When considering our sales strategy outside of Japan, we consider sales in East Asia to be the most important sales strategy, and China in particular is the most important country. We have already been preparing for the registration application of raw materials for three years, and in December 2013, we will accept the food application from Japan, so the sales environment in China is now in place. After that, we are promoting to many people together with local partners including ITOCHU, our sales partner, and in September and October 2014, we sold a certain amount of samples. In the future, we will start full-scale sales in China with a view to selling our own products, so we would like to consider including establishing a local base.