Ask IR Officers!

Here is a real-time report of the frequently asked questions during IR activities.

Mar. 10.2022

Q

How will the situation in Ukraine affect Kito's consolidated financial results?

A

We don't think it will have much dir ect effect, because Kito has no office in Russia, and our sales to Russia through sales agents are small. That said, we are keeping a close eye on the situation, because it will likely bring a steep rise in prices on materials and energy as well as confusion in the distribution system, affecting all of Europe.

Feb. 22.2022

Q

It appears that Kito's debt-to-equity ratio has substantially increased.

A

Recently we have been taking advantage of a surge in demand, mainly in North America, and have stepped up net-profit growth. A steady increase in operating cash flow has accelerated the repayment of temporarily high balances on short-term borrowings, that were needed to bolster operating funding and liquidity in preparation for possible negative effects of the pandemic.

Feb. 08.2022

Q

Please tell us about the results for the third quarter, announced at 13:00 today.

A

Sales up to the third quarter marked an a ll-time high for the company. Demand in North America and Europe remains strong, and that in Japan and the rest of Asia is on a gentle recovery path. The impact on profits due to soaring costs for materials and transportation is becoming apparent every day, and we've had to review our price structure occasionally to secure profits. By securing our supply chains, including suppliers and transportation routes, we are focusing on maintaining customer-service quality and expanding our market share. More details at https://kito.com/ir/irnews

Dec. 22.2021

Q

Tell us about Kito's shares of leading world markets.

A

Kito's market share is 60% in Japan and 40% in the US. Europe is the world's largest market for hoists and cranes, but because we were late to enter there our share is only a few percent. That said, with cooperation from our four local subsidiaries we are making steady progress with Kito brand penetration in Europe.

Dec. 13.2021

Q

The US has enacted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, promising investment of roughly $1.2 trillion. Does this offer opportunities for Kito?

A

It certainly does. In the US and other de veloped countries, aging infrastructure is serious and becoming a major social problem. In the medium and longer terms investment in infrastructure will be inevitable for the governments of developed nations, and we think related demand will continue.

Nov. 04.2021

Q

Tell us about the results for the second quarter of FY2021, announced today, November 4.

A

We have seen strong demand in North Ameri ca and Europe, though recovery trend has been slow in Japan and Asia. In response to the growing demand globally we have continued to increase production. There continue concerns about rising material costs and shipping charges, we have reviewed the selling prices for each market and worked to secure profits. As a result, net sales up to Q2 were at all-time highs for the period, and earnings also rose to reach a record high level. See the link for details.

Oct. 04.2021

Q

The recent financial crisis of the Evergrande Group in China is a major concern for world economy. How will it affect Kito operations, particularly in China?

A

About 80% Kito's China operations ar e related to the production and sale of wire-rope hoists. These products are generally needed for equipment investment in plants, rather than on temporary worksites related to construction or civil engineering, and this market is not affected directly by the trend of Evergrande real-estate development. That said, some impact on the Chinese economy as a whole may be inevitable, and we are keeping an eye on the situation.

Sep. 21.2021

Q

To which industries do your users mainly belong? Which industries will drive Kito growth in the future?

A

Kito products provide solutions to the un iversal and never-ending human need to lift, transfer and hold heavy loads. They are used in a multitude of industries. Our user base is expanding from heavy industry related to infrastructure to entertainment and clean energy, which are recent additions. So Kito operations are not driven by any specific group of industries, and will continue growing by catering to a broad range of industrial needs.

Sep. 13.2021

Q

With the Paralympic Games going on, public interest is growing on the increasingly active involvement of people with disabilities in society. Tell us how Kito's policy addresses them.

A

We believe that creating job opportunitie s is a primary contribution we can make to local communities, so Kito puts special effort into hiring people with disabilities. As an expression of our basic policy to build work environments that are open to diverse people, we continually endeavor to improve our workplaces and be a company in which anyone can easily work. As of September 2021, 6.69% of total workforce in Kito Japan consists of people with disabilities, far exceeding the legal requirement of 2.2%. Kito also helps encourage athletes competing in the global arena as a Gold Partner with the Japan Para-Ski Federation.

Aug. 27.2021

Q

While the world economy is rapidly recovering, there are global concerns like a shortage of intermodal containers, delays in shipping and a steep rise in transportation costs. How are these issues affecting Kito operations?

A

Kito maintains an exclusive consignment a greement with a leading transporter, so we have enough containers for our exports. Our exports have been stable as a result of expanded shipping routes to North America. In the US, our top export destination, local distribution has sometimes stalled due to confusion in the ports. This is causing short inventories of some parts, but with effective use of cargo flights we are working to continue satisfying customer needs and building our market share. Responding to rising transportation costs, we are transferring them into prices to minimize the impact on profits for the entire Group.

Aug. 05.2021

Q

Tell us about the results for the first quarter of FY2021, announced today, August 5.

A

Despite some regional differences, our re sults show a secure recovery to pre-pandemic levels. Our quarterly sales were at an all-time high for the first quarter, and we also made a new record level for profit in all stages. In the US and Europe, which are leading in Covid vaccinations, demand remains brisk. The recovery of our Japanese operation has been relatively modest, but we project that with progress in vaccinations will quickly grow lively. See the link for details.

May. 21.2021

Q

Please give us a summary of the financial briefing you provided on May 18.

A

We explained several points, (1) FY2020 f inancial results, (2) FY2021 forecast, and (3) directions for the next medium-term business plan. The five-year business plan was concluded in FY 2020. Kito has postponed announcing its new medium-term plan by one year, due to the uncertain market environment impacted by the COVID-19. Archived video on the briefing and question-and-answer text are available at: Presentations | IR Library | KITO GROUP | Global Site

May. 18.2021

Q

I've heard that Kito signed an agreement on business and capital ties with Fall Safe of Portugal on May 13. What is the business of Fall Safe, and what does Kito project from this alliance?

A

Fall Safe is a producer of personal prote ctive equipment for workers at height to prevent injuries from falls. It operates in 30 nations, mainly in Europe and South America. Its particular strength is in full safety harnesses that are light and do not hinder the work of the wearer. Kito hoists are often used in workplaces at height, for building infrastructure, wind energy, entertainment and the like, so the addition of Fall Safe products to our offerings will allow us to provide additional worker-safety solutions. Starting with the US and South American markets, we will expand our safety-equipment operations worldwide.

May. 10.2021

Q

Please give us a quick summary of Kito's financial results for fiscal 2020, announced today, May 10.

A

With the effects of the pandemic, demand declined significantly in the first quarter, but our business quickly began showing gentle recovery in Q2, and in Q4 returning to the levels of the corresponding period a year before in both sales and profit. Responding to rapid change in the business environment, we undertook groupwide effort to maintain the reliability of our production, customer service and supply chain. Putting employee health and safety first, we promoted remote work, leading to a review of the way our work is done, resulting in increasing efficiency. In addition, across-the-board work to reduce costs contributed to profit.

Apr. 16.2021

Q

To which industries do your users mainly belong? Which industries will drive Kito growth in the future?

A

Kito products provide solutions to the un iversal and never-ending human need to lift, transfer and hold heavy loads. They are used in a multitude of industries. Our user base is expanding from manufacturers and heavy industry related to infrastructure, to entertainment and clean energy, which are recent additions. So Kito operations are not driven by any specific group of industries, and will continue growing by catering to a broad range of industrial needs.

Feb. 10.2021

Q

Please summarize the results for the third quarter and revisions to your FY2020 forecast announced today, February 10.

A

Demand has been gradually recovering sinc e the trough in the first quarter. Although Japan and the Americas, the regions of the largest operational scale, are still in recovery, showing 19.8% and 19.2% year-on-year decreases in sales, respectively, we secured profit for the quarter by raising productivity and better managing expenditures. For fiscal 2020 overall we will revise projected profits upward across the board from the figures announced on October 16, 2020. While our demand outlook remains unclear, we project turning profits for the year based on tighter cost control.

Feb. 02.2021

Q

What are the defining characteristics of Kito's social contribution?

A

Kito addresses the universal problem of g aining freedom from the constraints of gravity through highly durable products that support maximum safety on the job.

They are used as human-assist machines in all industries for a broad variety of purposes, from manufacturing to building social infrastructure.

Through clean, waste-free production and supply processes, Kito works to reduce its impact on the environment and contributes widely to society.

Dec. 22.2020

Q

Looking at your results up to the second quarter, I am aware of your effort focused on generating profit. What are your specific methods for achieving this?

A

In the first quarter we turned an operati ng profit despite a 24% decrease in sales, resulting in an upward revision of result forecast for the first half of fiscal 2020. We attribute that profit mainly to across-the-board effort to enhance our control of costs and SGA expenses. In sales we succeeded in effectively communicating to customers the added value of Kito products and avoided being sucked into the price war in the market fluctuations caused by the pandemic. In production, our ERP system, introduced in 2017, made production processes more visible, encouraging our people on the production floors to be more cost-conscious, resulting in broad waste-reduction and higher productivity.

Nov. 19.2020

Q

We are still unsure who won the US presidential election. How will the eventual election result influence Kito operations?

A

The presidential election will have enorm ous effect on the US economy. First there are timing effects, such as corporations refraining from new investment till the results are official. We further foresee a major influence on the environmental policy. A renewed Republican administration will likely continue with policy changes to encourage investment in fossil fuels and other traditional energy sources, while a new Democratic administration will return to more environment-conscious policy. Kito has a very broad customer base, ranging from resource industries like oil and coal to the rising renewable energy industry, as represented by wind energy, so our earnings will be relatively stable even with any structural changes in the customer base following the official election results.

Nov. 12.2020

Q

Please give us a summary of the financial briefing you provided on November 11.

A

We explained several points, including: D emand touched bottom in the first quarter, and we've entered a phase of gentle recovery in the second quarter and onward; We're focusing on profits and cash-generation by raising work efficiency and enhancing cost control company-wide. Archived video on the briefing and question-and-answer text are available from: https://kito.com/ir/irnews

Nov. 10.2020

Q

Please tell us about your current situation looking into the second half of the fiscal year.

A

Demand has varied somewhat by region and industry, but we passed the worst of the crisis in early spring and are moving on a gentle recovery path. Our main production bases in Japan, the US and China are maintaining consistent production and responding flexibly to demand fluctuations. We're keeping up our customer-service quality despite the pandemic, and our market share is trending toward recovery. Going forward, we expect that earnings will gradually recover from the dip in the first half of fiscal 2020.

Nov. 05.2020

Q

Please summarize the financial results for the first two quarters (April-September 2020), which you announced on November 5.

A

While economic activity slowed significan tly worldwide with the pandemic, we are reporting profits as a result of several initiatives we undertook: (1) across-the-board cost control and compression of fixed costs, (2) enhanced control of order profitability and pursuit of added value while avoiding price competition, and (3) a review of operations and improvement of efficiency by instituting a telework program with priority on employee health. For details, please refer to; https://kito.com/ir/irnews

Oct. 16.2020

Q

You have revised the forecast UPWARD for this fiscal year. What are the factors behind this?

A

In terms of demand, China was the first t o escape the effects of the COVID-19, and Japan and the United States followed, turning to a recovery trend. In terms of production, Kito was able to maintain the supply chain at major bases in Japan, the United States, and China, and continue operations as usual. Considering all these factors, we revised our forecast upward for sales and profits on all levels.

More details at https://kito.com/ir/irnews

Sep. 28.2020

Q

I have never personally seen Kito products in use. Where are they?

A

They are used in any workplace where heav y loads need to be lifted, including manufacturing plants, infrastructure building sites, mines, warehouses and entertainment venues. Closer to daily life, they often appear on the sites of highway construction or redevelopment, around train stations and on trucks to hold loads. Temporary structures for construction, civil engineering and infrastructure-building, however, are very seldom open for the general public to enter and observe. The same is usually true with manufacturing plants where crane systems are working inside. We have an introductory video on the company and how our products are used that you can access on YouTube.

Sep. 18.2020

Q

What listed issuers are comparable with Kito?

A

Demand for Kito's core products, hoi sts, comes primarily from manufacturing plants and private-sector equipment investment for urban development and the like, as well as government investment in roads, bridges and other infrastructure. This leads some investors to compare Kito with industrial machine manufacturers, others with construction machine makers. Comparison with other Japanese hoist makers is difficult because Kito is the only hoist maker listed on the Japanese stock market. Without depending on any specific industry or industrial demand, Kito has an exceptionally broad customer base and production and sales bases worldwide. Many investors take those points into consideration and favor our widely risk-hedged operations in their investment decisions.

Aug. 24.2020

Q

Could you tell me about the online briefing for FY2020-Q1, held on August 20 ?

A

We highlighted that the Chinese business is recovering rapidly, the Japanese and US markets are gradually moving toward a recovery phase, and that there seems almost no impact on the KITO Group's supply chain. The archived video and translated summary of Q&A session are available at; https://kito.com/ir

Aug. 11.2020

Q

You plan to make capital investment of JPY 2.5 billion this fiscal year. Would you tell us the details?

A

In Japan we are making investments to imp rove productivity, such as upgrading facilities for new products, accelerating new-product development and improving customer service via renewed IT infrastructure. In addition to these designed for stable operations, we also invest to help preserve the environment through energy conservation. To continuously optimize our global supply chains, we also actively invest to help overseas subsidiaries raise their production quality.

Aug. 06.2020

Q

Tell us about your financial results for the first quarter (April-June 2020) and the fiscal 2020 projections you announced today, August 6.

A

With the broad impact of the Covid-19 pan demic, demand shrank in almost all markets, with some variation by region and industry. As a result we are reporting year-on-year decreases in sales and profit. At this moment, China (first quarter: January-March 2020) was first to emerge from the worst impact and has been in rapid recovery since February. Japan and the US saw demand dips in the first quarter, but they are gently moving toward a recovery phase, Japan since June and the US since July. Our major production bases in Japan, the US, China and elsewhere continued regular operations from the beginning of the period, and we think the negative effect on our supply chain has been and will be almost nil. Based on these factors we project a 16% year-on-year decrease in sales and 40% decrease in profits for fiscal 2020 overall. That said, we also project that our performance will begin recovering in the second half of the fiscal year and progress further in the first half of FY2021 as economic activity resumes in all markets, infrastructure demand rises in Japan, and our market shares grow in the US and China.

May. 28.2020

Q

I watched your video briefing on the FY2019 financial results (https://kito.com/ir/library/presentation) and learned that tire-chain demand fell in the US due to a warmer-than-usual winter. I didn't know that Kito produces chain as well. How big is that operation?

A

In August 2014 Kito acquired Peerless Ind ustrial Group, one of the largest chain manufacturers in the US. Peerless makes annual sales worth roughly $100 million, of which tire chain accounts for 25-30%. The acquisition of Peerless helped Kito achieve our goals to strengthen production of chain, the most important component in chain hoists (our core product group), and broaden our hoist-accessory line, including chain and slings.

May. 13.2020

Q

What were the financial results for fiscal 2019 (April 2019-March 2020) you announced today, May 13th?

A

Kito ended FY2019 with both sales and ope rating profit below projections, by 2.2% and 8.8%, respectively. Demand related to infrastructure and private equipment investment were strong, but at the end of the fiscal year earnings in some regions were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In comparison with the FY2018 results, earnings in the US were about the same, and sales grew in China on brisk domestic demand. However, demand softened in Japan in the autumn and onward, and a dip in South Korean operations impacted earnings across Asia. Because it is difficult to rationally assess the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic at this moment, we decided not to disclose projected results for the fiscal year ending March 2021, as well as a projected dividend for the fiscal year. As soon as we can make reliable projections, we will disclose them.

May. 13.2020

Q

What are the immediate effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on your operations?

A

The health and safety of our customers, b usiness partners, employees and their families are our top priority. The Kito Group, in all its operational bases worldwide, is following the policies of the respective governments and is working to prevent the spread of Covid-19. As of today (May 13), production is as usual in Japan, the US and China, and parts procurement and product supplies have not been particularly affected. Except in India where operation continues at the reduced level under its government instruction, our sales offices around the world are making utmost effort, through telework and other methods, to provide the products and services customers’ needs without interruption.

May. 01.2020

Q

I heard that Kito produces chain in-house as well. Is Kito chain used in other ways than with hoists?

A

Yes. In addition to its role as a key com ponent in our hoists, chain is used with slings to hold heavy loads for lifting. Chain must be strong, because if it happens to break and the load falls, it puts human life at risk and significantly impacts workplace operations. At the Yamanashi Plant we produce chain from carefully selected materials, applying state-of-the-art processing technology and putting all through load and other precision testing. The result is the world's premier grade-100 chain, in which we take great pride.

Mar. 23.2020

Q

What measures is Kito taking to reduce its environmental impact?

A

Kito provides customers with safe, durabl e products they can use over long periods, and across the entire product life cycle, from production to disposal, we work to reduce environmental impact. At the Yamanashi Plant we use our own purchasing guidelines listing the hazardous materials we voluntarily refrain from using in any of our manufacturing processes, and work to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions and environmentally harmful materials. A specific case in point is our recent shift to powder-coating, which reduced our use of organic solvents by 70% from our 2015 levels.

Feb. 13.2020

Q

Have Kito's production or supply chain been affected by recent concern about the new coronavirus?

A

Kito's main products, like chain hoi sts and lever hoists, are in a very large part produced in-house. Chain and other important parts are produced and processed exclusively at the Yamanashi Plant. Parts we procure from China directly and indirectly account for only 10% of total parts in our supply chain. So we are not concerned about short supply of any specific kinds of parts at the moment, but we have opened discussion on switching to alternative Japanese suppliers should the epidemic persist.

Feb. 12.2020

Q

What were the financial results up to the third quarter for FY2019 (April-December), which you announced today (Feb. 12)?

A

Profit is down due to the strengthening y en, exchange losses, and accounted nonrecurring costs, but both sales and operating profit are tracking the projections for the year we announced on November 17. We have seized order opportunities abroad, making the most of our diverse portfolio in terms of regions and industries. The results are higher regional sales in local currencies than those in the corresponding period of FY2018, but slightly lower consolidated sales due to exchange losses. Corporate equipment investment remains cautious, but we project a year-on-year increase in orders for FY2020.

Jan. 30.2020

Q

Tell us about the characteristics and advantages of Kito products.

A

Kito products respond to the universal, n ever-ending need to lift, move and hold heavy loads, cutting across international and industry lines. We put the customer's safety first, and provide durable products that can be as compact and light as they can be. We are also strong in custom-built and high-performance products to suit specific user environments and purposes, drawing very positive user evaluations for their quality and ease of operation. By delivering products that our customers can rely on over the long term with safety and confidence, Kito helps them control cost while reducing industrial waste and other kinds of environmental impact.

Jan. 14.2020

Q

What are you doing to attract more individual shareholders?

A

We consider it high-priority that we incr ease the number of individual shareholders. To raise our profile among potential individual investors, we've been participating in a nationwide program of seminars designed for them, with seven programs in fiscal 2018 and five so far this fiscal year. To help existing individual shareholders better understand Kito and feel more involved, we hold tours of the Yamanashi Plant twice a year and an after hours presentation following the annual shareholders meeting. This column was itself designed to promptly answer the questions of individual investors and shareholders. Kito aims for a dividend payout ratio of 20% or more, and FY2019 will be the third consecutive year of dividend increase.

Dec. 24.2019

Q

Your equipment investment has increased this year. Please give us the details on that.

A

At the Yamanashi Plant we have been inten sively investing in production equipment to raise productivity and expand capacity, preparing for future demand growth. From this fiscal year on into the next we have two investment priorities to reduce production cost: 1) revamping the equipment and lines currently impeding production growth, 2) optimizing the plant's internal distribution system. As we invest we are undertaking pro-environment measures, switching to more energy-efficient equipment, and reducing our use of organic solvents and other toxic materials.

Dec. 13.2019

Q

Your letters to shareholders and website mention examples of your hoists and cranes used in the food industry. Tell us more.

A

Demand has been growing for equipment on the food-processing floor, because of new requirements on hygiene control following the HACCP to be enforced in June 2020. To meet the needs of food manufactures, we apply lubricating oil, which is harmless to humans, and corrosion resistance materials to the food grade electric chain hoist. Also we provide aluminum cranes by Erikkila, a new Kito-Group member since 2017, which have strong corrosion-resistance with no painted surface. Economic and financial concerns make some industries cautious about heavy equipment investment, but along with the distribution and entertainment industries, the food industry is not. It's a sector where our customer base is growing along with our contribution to their performance.

Nov. 22.2019

Q

I am an individual shareholder interested in the Yamanashi Plant tour. Tell me about the features of the plant.

A

Our main plant in Yamanashi produces chai n hoists, which are our core products, among others. It's a comprehensive operation, from raw materials to final product assembly and inspection, including machining and assembly of parts. The tour is an opportunity for participants to see entire machine-production processes, namely die-casting, machining, heat-processing, coating and assembly, that are studied in university engineering courses, so we receive inquiries from institutions of higher learning as well. Having witnessed the processes involved in making a product, people on the tour often tell us at the end they feel Kito's commitment to manufacturing, or, as we would say it, building Kito quality as part of our effort to continually raise in-house productivity, and doing endurance testing at the limits of product performance. For individual shareholders we offer the tour twice a year, in spring and fall.

Nov. 07.2019

Q

What are the financial results of the 1st Half (Apr.-Sept. 2019) announced today, November 7?

A

With continuing steady demand, as in the first quarter we are reporting sales and operating profit almost in line with our projection of the beginning of the fiscal year, although exchange-rate fluctuation reduced pretax and other profit figures. Our well balanced product portfolio for industry, catering to a broad range of demand in private-sector and infrastructure equipment investment in Japan and North America, powered our earnings despite persistent market uncertainty through the year. In China, rising workplace awareness about safety and quality helped us seize demand in performing industries and build market share. Pretax and other profits were below our initial projections due to exchange losses.

Nov. 07.2019

Q

You have revised your projected results for the entire fiscal year. What are the factors behind this?

A

We made the revisions considering a softe ning economic trend worldwide and current strength of the yen. We plan to pay dividends as projected for the second half. More details at https://kito.com/ir/library

Oct. 17.2019

Q

Tell us about Kito’s European operations.

A

Kito established its first European sales base in 2006. As a latecomer to this major international market, with its many competitors, we had to build out our product lines while raising the profile of the Kito brand there. To be a provider of one-stop solutions in materials-handling, from core hoist products to cranes and accessories, we have been adding local firms with strengths in these areas to the Group since 2016. That effort has built a strong foundation in terms of products and customer service, lately demonstrating new synergy with our four European subsidiaries. Taking advantage of these strengths, we are enhancing our European operations.

Sep. 30.2019

Q

Will the October 1 increase in the consumption tax in Japan affect your operations?

A

At the moment we do not expect any last-m inute surge in purchasing to avoid higher tax, so we do not project a demand dip on the rebound that would otherwise follow. The same was true with the previous increases in 1997 and 2014. This is because most of our customers are corporations, and consumers have only limited influence on our operations.

Sep. 13.2019

Q

Why are machinery makers generally reluctant to enter the hoist market?

A

The hoist and crane market is a relativel y small-niche market that carries the challenge of continuously supplying products that guarantee safety. That sets the bar high for outsiders to enter. Kito manufacturing is marked by a high ratio of in-house work in a comprehensive production process that ranges from hoist design to development, testing, manufacturing of chain and other core parts, and final assembly. By assuring the safety and durability of our products and parts from the design stage, we win customer trust.

Aug. 28.2019

Q

I saw your press release on the new 1 ton CX manual chain hoist. Tell us about the features of this product.

A

The CX is a series of light, compact manu al chain hoists. The new 1 ton model is very small and one of the lightest in Japan in its class, so it's easy to carry and install in high or narrow spaces. As the model broadens the application of hoists across the industrial spectrum, making transportation and operations easier, we hope to welcome new kinds of users. The complete line, including 250kg, 500kg and 1 ton CX hoists, will be widely available abroad as well as in Japan. More details at https://kito.com/story_en/story_id=4683

Aug. 27.2019

Q

Tell us about the core industries of Kito end users.

A

Supplying durable and safe hoists and cra nes, Kito fulfills universal needs in all industries handling heavy loads for a broad range of purposes, from private-sector equipment to public infrastructure. In recent years we have introduced our products to new sectors, including renewable energy and entertainment. Our large and diverse product portfolio assures us stable growth over the long term without depending on any specific industries or regions.

Aug. 07.2019

Q

Are Kito's operations in China being influenced by trade conflict between the US and China?

A

While many machine manufacturers are bein g negatively affected by the US-China trade conflict, Kito's operations in China have been getting even better. Our business serves domestic demand, producing locally for local consumption, so we are not directly affected by exports from China to the US or the US tariff policy there. Due to the growing Chinese trend to value safety and quality, market share for Kito products, known for high quality and high safety, has been growing recently.

Aug. 06.2019

Q

Today, August 6 in Japan, Kito announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2019 (April-June 2019). How were they?

A

Demand was strong in all regions, and we made the results as planned. First-quarter sales this year were smaller than those for Q1 2018 because in that quarter we booked about 700M yen in sales of crane systems in South Korea. Except for that effect in Asia, sales have been good in all regions since last fiscal year. We raised gross margin by cutting costs and a better product mix. Behind the lower operating profit is a change in the accounting schedule. More details at https://kito.com/ir/library

Jul. 01.2019

Q

When will you make your financial results announcement of FY2019-Q1?

A

We plan to announce next financial result s at 15:00 (JST) on August 6. We will disclose a tanshin report with explanatory slides in Japanese and English simultaneously.

Jun. 14.2019

Q

While projecting another year of record-high sales and profit for fiscal 2019 overall, why are you predicting year-on-year decreases in both sales and profit for the first half, April to September?

A

We are projecting those decreases because of unusually high sales and profit due to special factors in the first half of fiscal 2018, and the corresponding figures for the first half of this year will be lower by comparison. The first special factor was the effect of the new IT infrastructure, which caused a temporary production glitch in fiscal 2017 and higher-than-usual figures for order balance and plant operation rates in the first half of fiscal 2018. Another special factor was a major crane project in South Korea, which was recorded in the first half of 2018. Demand remains strong, however, so we can project year-on-year growth in both sales and profit for fiscal 2019 overall.

May. 21.2019

Q

What happened in the fiscal 2018 yearend financial briefing?

A

In the briefing we outlined our results f or FY2018, which ended in March with all-time-high sales and profit, our plan to increase sales and profit in FY2019, and our progress with the medium-term business plan. In the Q&A session that followed, we took questions about demand trends in Japan, the US and China, industries with current growth potential, and Kito's direction and initiatives. The briefing is available for viewing via video streaming at https://kito.com/ir/library/presentation

May. 13.2019

Q

We understand that Kito is projecting growth in both sales and profit for the fiscal year ending March 2020.

A

With continuing brisk demand, we expect t o beat the records for sales and profit achieved in the previous fiscal year. In Japan and North America we see demand related to investment in private-sector equipment and public infrastructure remain strong. We work on building market share further in China, where Kito's high product quality is increasingly appreciated as safety-awareness rises. To meet strong demand in markets around the world, we are building out our global production and supply system and improving supply chains by transferring some production to our US and Asia bases. At home we are pushing forward with reforms in production processes at the Yamanashi Plant. More details at https://kito.com/ir/library

May. 13.2019

Q

Tell us about Kito's financial results for the year ended March 2019, which you announced on May 13, today.

A

We made record-high sales and profit for the year due to globally strong demand related to equipment investment. In Japan and North America, demand related to infrastructure propelled our business forward and private-sector investment remained strong. Production growth through the year in response to strong demand contributed to profits. Joint effort with two new European subsidiaries made products more competitive. More details at https://kito.com/ir/library

Apr. 03.2019

Q

When will you make your financial results announcement of FY2018 ended March 2019?

A

We plan to announce full year financial r esults at 15:00 (JST) on Monday 13, May. We will disclose a tanshin report with explanatory slides in Japanese and English simultaneously. We also plan to have video of the financial briefing a few days later, in both languages.

Apr. 03.2019

Q

Why does Kito have its main plant in Yamanashi Prefecture?

A

Kito was founded in Tokyo's Omori di strict in 1932, and moved to Kawasaki during the war. With the steady expansion of residential housing in the neighborhood, the company found it difficult to increase its production capacity, so in 1983 built its main plant in the current location in Yamanashi Prefecture. It chose Yamanashi for its access to the Chuo expressway, which had just opened for east-west connections to Tokyo area, and a planned southbound expressway toward Pacific Ocean. Its large campus supports comprehensive operations, from raw material supply to parts production, product assembly and final testing. In-house production of the key parts on which our products depend for safety and durability results in high quality and value for our customers.

Mar. 11.2019

Q

Private-sector equipment investment seems to be slowing. Does that affect our performance?

A

As we noted in the December 6 Q&A column, Kito end-users are not limited to industries related to private-sector equipment investment. Nearly half of demand is related to public investment in construction, civil engineering, infrastructure and the like. This kind of demand is rising, particularly in construction to revamp aging infrastructure and recover from disaster. Our customer base is broad, encompassing various industries, so Kito is not susceptible to a demand trend in any industrial sector.

Mar. 06.2019

Q

Tell us about US operations.

A

There are roughly two: Sales of hoists ma de in Japan, and production and sales of chain. The hoist operation began in earnest in 1990, when Kito entered the US market, while the chain operation began in 2014 with the local firm that joined our group that year. Currently our hoist chain is mostly produced at the Yamanashi Plant, we partially adopt US-made chain in our hoists. We are improving our supply chain by enhancing the link between the US hoist and chain operations.

Feb. 07.2019

Q

Please summarize the business result for the FY 2018 3rd Quarter ended December 31, 2018.

A

We have been expanding production since t he end of the last fiscal year, responding to demand related to private-sector equipment investment and expansion of infrastructure upgrades, mainly in Japan and the US. Even within China, where slowing markets are a concern, targeted domestic industries are generally doing well, allowing year-on-year growth in both sales and profit for the Group as a whole. Please refer to https://kito.com/ir/irnews for more details.

Jan. 09.2019

Q

When will you make your financial results announcement of FY2018-Q3?

A

We plan to announce next financial result s at 15:00 (JST) on February 7. We will disclose a tanshin report with explanatory slides in Japanese and English simultaneously.

Dec. 28.2018

Q

I understand that production was temporarily slowed last year due to problems with the full replacement of IT infrastructure. How has production been since then?

A

We completely replaced our IT infrastruct ure in July 2017. Production and shipments were affected immediately after the new system began operating. Our across-the-board effort to get up to speed led to a new 27-year record high for monthly production volume in March 2018. We are continuing to produce at high levels to meet brisk current demand both at home and abroad.

Dec. 06.2018

Q

Are your order and business trends different from those of machine-tool makers?

A

Our main business, hoist products can be roughly divided into two groups. Electric products are used mainly in the permanent workplaces of manufacturers and the like, where demand is based in private-sector equipment investment. Manual products are mainly used in temporary workplaces for construction, civil engineering, infrastructure, resource excavation and the like. Demand for electric hoists tends to track a little behind trends in machine-tool orders, because they are used not only on production lines but for wider purposes, like transportation and maintenance of production equipment. Manual hoists are less affected by trends in any specific industry, as they draw a broad range of demand in both public and private sectors.

Nov. 14.2018

Q

Please summarize the business result for the FY 2018 2nd Quarter ended September 30, 2018.

A

As a result of high level of production i n response to brisk demand, continuing from the previous fiscal year, sales and profit have grown year-on-year. Sales and operating income hit a record high for the 1st half of a fiscal year. We revised full year consolidated forecast upwardly on November 1, projecting a robust demand trend in third quarter and onward. Please refer to https://kito.com/ir/irnews?archive=2018 for more details.

Oct. 30.2018

Q

Tell us about your effort to hire people with disabilities.

A

In 2011 we created a master plan for that specific purpose, with the belief that the best social contribution a company can make is creating opportunities. The plan goes beyond achieving numeric goals, to creating a work environment where anyone, regardless of ability or disability of any kind or degree, can feel comfortable working. All of us put our heads together and continue to pool our ideas for further improvement. The results are not just more opportunities for people with disabilities, but higher workplace safety, productivity and morale. For details about our effort, read more at https://kito.com/csr/activity.

Oct. 05.2018

Q

Of the many plants that Kito operates, what special roles does the Yamanashi Plant play?

A

The Yamanashi Plant mainly produces hoist s that use chain, namely lever hoists, manual and powered chain hoists, our main products. We ship about half the products made there abroad, mainly to North America and Europe. As our mother plant, it takes charge of every production process, from design to development, testing, production of core parts like chain, and final assembly. This comprehensive operation guarantees the safety and durability of the hoists and parts from the design stage up.

Sep. 21.2018

Q

When will you make your next financial results announcement?

A

We plan to announce financial results for the second quarter (or the first half, April to September 2018) of the year ending March 2019 at 15:00 (JST)on November 14. We will disclose a tanshin report with explanatory slides in Japanese and English simultaneously. We also plan to have video of the financial briefing a few days later, in both languages.

Sep. 19.2018

Q

There is a press release titled "Armsel Writes 400-hoist Order for Bangladesh State-run Energy Firm." Tell us more about your operations in India.

A

Armsel, our Indian subsidiary, joined the Kito Group in 2010. Initially it offered cranes to customers related to infrastructure-building. But in 2017 the firm shifted away from crane production and sales to specialize in import sales of chain hoists and other Kito-brand products. It has expanded sales channels in and outside India to cater to a wide variety of industries, including energy, industrial infrastructure and manufacturing. Read more at https://kito.com/news_post_eng/post_id=3788

Aug. 22.2018

Q

What are Kito's operations in China?

A

Two pillars support Kito's Chinese o perations. The primary operation is local production and sales of wire-rope hoists in Jiangyin-brand for domestic use, accounting for about 85% of total sales in China. Kito launched its Chinese business in 1995, when the local joint venture was founded, and today our survey data show that they hold 25% of the Chinese market. The other is sales of Japanese imports, accounting for about 15% of sales.

Aug. 10.2018

Q

Please summarize the business result for the FY 2018 1st Quarter ended June 30, 2018.

A

Booking has been stable from infrastructu re, energy related industries and capital spending as a consequence of the robust demand seen globally. As a result, sales and profits are up across the group. Please refer to https://kito.com/ir/irnews?archive=2018 for more details. Currently we keep a high level of production in response to brisk demand since the previous fiscal year.

Jul. 09.2018

Q

What are Kito's shares of major world markets?

A

We enjoy high market share around the wor ld due to the reliable quality of our products, established over our 85-year history. We hold 60% of the market in Japan, 40% in the US and 25% in China, according to our own survey.

Jul. 04.2018

Q

Tell us about the overseas bases.

A

Let me frame that with our four product g roups. For our core products, namely manual and electric chain hoists and lever hoists, the Yamanashi Plant is in full charge, from parts production to assembly of final products. We have production bases abroad as well, making wire-rope hoists in China, crane systems in Thailand, South Korea and Finland, and chain slings and other accessories in the US, Italy and Australia.

Jul. 04.2018

Q

To which industries do your users mainly belong? Which industries will drive Kito growth in the future?

A

Kito products provide solutions to the un iversal and never-ending human need to lift, transfer and hold heavy loads. They are used in a multitude of industries. Our user base is expanding from heavy industry related to infrastructure to entertainment and clean energy, which are recent additions. So Kito operations are not driven by any specific group of industries, and will continue growing by catering to a broad range of industrial needs.