We should like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your continued understanding of business operations of JR-West Group (the "Group").
The Group very seriously takes its responsibility for the train accident on the Fukuchiyama Line we caused on April 25, 2005 and the gravity of its consequences, and placing the safety of railway operations, its core business, as the highest priority issue, has continued to steadily implement various measures listed in the "JR-West Group Railway Safety Think-and-Act Plan 2022", which forms the core component of the "JR-West Group Medium-Term Management Plan 2022" (the "Medium-Term Management Plan 2022").
As a result of the ongoing spread of novel coronavirus infection, we do not expect a recovery in usage in the short term and the business environment surrounding the Group is in an unprecedentedly severe state from a financial perspective. Nonetheless, we regard the changes taking place in society as an opportunity to implement reforms, reconfirm the meaning of the JR West Group’s existence and unchanging values, and continue to enhance safety. We will also work to overcome these difficult times in order to sustain employment and our supply chain as well as leverage the opportunities presented by the upcoming Osaka/Kansai EXPO. Through such efforts, we will continue to grow hand in hand with local communities and contribute to building a sustainable society.
With consideration for these circumstances, we have revised the JR-West Group Medium-Term Management Plan 2022 in order to indicate the steps that we will take in order to restore our financial foundation, to implement reforms that address changes in society, and to follow a course toward safety and growth.
We have an unchanging determination to ensure that we will never again cause an accident such as that on the Fukuchiyama Line. We have reflected deeply on the accident and its consequences and take the lessons learned from the accident extremely seriously. As such, we will continue to position our three pillars of management — measures to have ourselves accepted as acting with sincerity by the victims of the train accident, measures to enhance safety, and furthering of reform — as top management priorities.
The Group will continue to work to reduce cash out by thoroughly reducing expenses and controlling capital expenditure, while maintaining our priority on securing railway safety and steadily implementing novel coronavirus infection countermeasures for customers and employees.
Moreover, medium to long term issues will include strengthening management. To that end, we will work to restore our cash generating capability through structural reforms and to restore our financial foundation through focused initiatives. Another medium to long term issue will be increasing future corporate value by enhancing our ability to address change in a future that is difficult to predict. By addressing these issues, we will continue to fulfill our role as an infrastructure company and provide value to society.
With regard to returns to shareholders, while we have incurred a loss due to the impact of novel coronavirus infection, in accordance with our policy which places importance on the provision of stable shareholder returns over the long term, we have decided to pay interim dividends of ¥50 per share in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. As for our full-year dividends for this period, we plan to pay ¥100 per share.
We cordially request our shareholders to understand the situation of the Group and afford continued support.
President and Representative Director