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Message from the CEO

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President Junichiro Ikeda

To our shareholders and Investors

Fiscal 2016 was a year of tremendous upheaval in the global political and economic environment, and in the marine shipping industry as well. There were major changes such as Brexit and the U.S. presidential election. We also saw heightened concerns about the persistence of “slow trade”—a phenomenon where global trade grows more slowly than the world economy. The shipping market is showing signs of bottoming out, but stagnant demand and a persistent oversupply of vessels has kept the pace of recovery slow. Notably, a major overseas shipping company went bankrupt, and industry realignment and consolidation have been proceeding at an accelerated pace. In response, Japan’s three major shipping lines, including MOL, have decided to integrate their containership businesses into a single business venture. In addition, MOL has executed Business Structural Reforms targeting mainly the dry bulker division. Both moves reflect our strong determination to stay on top of changes in the environment and boldly reshape our business structure.

Meanwhile, MOL has been undertaking initiatives in growth fields over the past few years. Fiscal 2016 saw these initiatives gradually come to fruition. Notably, in the LNG carriers and offshore businesses, MOL accumulated a strong track record by, for example, launching the world’s first Very Large Ethane Carrier and joining projects involving subsea support vessels and a self-elevating platform vessel to install offshore wind power facilities, in addition to steadily delivering LNG carriers built in China.

MOL started fiscal 2017 by drawing up the new management plan, “Rolling Plan 2017.” It articulates the strategies that we must execute over the next three years to realize our vision for the MOL Group ten years from now (2027)*. It will also deepen the Three Innovations we have been pursuing to date, namely reforms of the Business Portfolio, Business Model and Business Domain. Our customers’ needs are becoming increasingly diverse and sophisticated, and we will need to offer more than just price competitiveness to satisfy them. Differentiation will be absolutely essential. We must set the MOL Group apart by offering solutions that other companies cannot match. Marine technical skills, as well as the environment, ICT and technology development, will be key priorities. For this, we will strategically allocate management resources to carefully selected business fields and projects that have a clear competitive edge.

* Vision for the MOL Group ten years from now (2027)

  • The MOL Group will provide stress-free services that are truly convenient for customers worldwide, with the aim of serving customers as a solid and reliable partner at all times.
  • The Group will develop the environment and emission-free businesses into one of its future core operations.
  • The Group will strategically allocate resources to carefully selected businesses that have a clear competitive edge. The goal is to make the MOL Group a collection of businesses boasting the highest competitiveness in their respective fields.

The outlook for the business environment surrounding the marine transport industry remains uncertain, with emerging signs of protectionism giving cause for concern. Undaunted, MOL will execute each strategy of the new management plan based on the cost competitiveness of its fleet created through the Business Structural Reforms, with a view to steadily enhancing its business performance.

MOL has been navigating the oceans for over 130 years. During this time, MOL has grown into the world’s largest full-line marine transport group by anticipating the needs of its customers and the demands of the future, while overcoming various challenges along the way.  Today, the MOL Group has one of the world’s largest fleets of tanker and car carriers, in addition to its dry bulkers, containerships and LNG carriers and ferries, coastal shipping, and other businesses. We will make our fields of expertise in each division even stronger. By doing so, we will demonstrate the collective capabilities of a strong and resilient MOL Group, as laid out in our Long-Term Vision, as we make every effort to prove ourselves worthy of the trust of our stakeholders.

We look forward to your continued understanding and support as we endeavor to realize our ambitions.

April 28, 2017

Junichiro Ikeda
President, Chief Executive Officer
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.

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