Message from the CEO
To our shareholders and investors
Taking the helm from former President & CEO Junichiro Ikeda, I will begin steering the management of the MOL Group.
As we start the fiscal year (FY) 2021 with a new regime, I would like to reflect upon how we have changed in the last two decades. In the 10 years in the 2000s, our group expanded its business and achieved significant growth thanks to the successful merger between former Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and Navix Line in 1999, and by catching the wave of rapid growth in emerging countries led by China. In the 2010s, however, we suffered from the market’s downturn and deterioration in earnings contrasting to the robust growth during the previous decade. Under such conditions, we conducted business’ structural reforms and shifted towards an emphasis on stable profits. And now standing at the dawn of the 2020s, it is time for us to pursue a new growth. In an era when people’s values change with an increasing environmental awareness, rapid advances in the IT technology, and more factors, to lead the MOL Group’s growth strategies that can impact the next decade is an enormous responsibility and a great reward at the same time. I will develop strategies carefully while always looking 10 years ahead and take decisive actions.
Looking back at FY2020, it was in many ways the turning point for changes. At the beginning of the fiscal year, we made a quite conservative market outlook due to the global spread of COVID-19 infection. However, backed by the skyrocketing tanker market in early spring and the robust containership business in the latter half of the fiscal year, we are now anticipating strong financial results. Yet, we must be aware that the extreme positive impact was in fact the result of great stress on the logistics system in the face of the COVID-19 shock. Therefore, we must think of what will happen after this phenomenon is gone.
For the next 10 years starting from FY2021, drastic changes are expected to continue, coming at us more quickly than ever. Environmental awareness has been growing, and signs of various value shifts are seen. Facing such circumstances, we established the new MOL Group Corporate Mission and MOL Group Vision effective April 1. The new Group Corporate Mission “From the blue oceans, we sustain people’s lives and ensure a prosperous future” indicates the group’s raison d'être in a simple way. The new Group Vision is “We will develop a variety of social infrastructure businesses in addition to traditional shipping businesses, and will meet the evolving social needs including environmental conservation, with innovative technology and services. MOL group aims to be a strong and resilient corporate group that provides new value to all stakeholders and grows globally.” This expresses the group’s vision in specific and comprehensive terms, and matches “the vision from 10 years from now” stated in our management plan, Rolling Plan 2021 (RP2021). We will also revise the MOL Group Values MOL CHART to MOL CHARTS by adding an “S” for “Safety.” This reflects our commitment to pursuing the world’s highest level of safety by incorporating increased safety awareness following the WAKASHIO incident last year in Republic of Mauritius. The MOL team, who shares the values of MOL CHARTS and who believes in the Group Corporate Mission, will act upon the strategies stated in RP2021 and sustainability issues to achieve the MOL Group Vision. That is how we aim to increase our corporate value.
In establishing RP2021, we considered changes in the business environment that will occur in the next decade and repeatedly discussed company-wide themes, namely environmental strategy and regional strategy as the horizontal axis, and growth strategy for each business segment as the vertical axis. As for the environmental strategy, based on accelerating changes around the world, we will review the “MOL Group Environmental Vision 2.0,” which was announced in June of last year, and update it as “Environmental Vision 2.1.” In version 2.1, we will advance the target of achieving Net Zero GHG emissions through our group business to year 2050. At the same time, we will make the MOL Group’s own long-term roadmap to reduce emissions, and accelerate our actions toward fulfillment of the roadmap. Meanwhile, we see demand for LNG rising as a low-carbon energy resource until the arrival of the fully decarbonized era. We will not only address demands for transport and so on, but also move ahead with programs such as shifting our fleet to LNG-fueled vessels, introduction of alternative vessel fuels, and investment in renewable energy businesses. The regional strategy is an important aspect of our overall business strategies. We will pursue expansion of business in Asia, the top-priority region where we expect significant economic growth, especially in India and China. While increasing profits by honing our current businesses and improving customer satisfaction, we will boldly challenge new businesses by identifying potential targets. Even as we move aggressively to seize new opportunities, it is critical to ensure optimal allocation of management resources. We will continue to appropriately oversee our business portfolio and investment selection. We will also maintain our stance of boosting organizational strength to enhance management resources from inside of the company. As we foster collaboration across existing organizations and group companies, the importance of cooperation, not only in the Head Office, but also across affiliates and overseas subsidiaries, will become more important in further improving our productivity.
Lastly, I would like to touch on the grounding and oil spill that occurred off Mauritius last year. The incident made us think deeply about our social responsibility as a corporation. Fulfilling our social responsibility in my understanding means satisfying the expectations of all stakeholders involved in our businesses, including shareholders, investors, customers, business partners, employees, and communities. With that in mind, we will work on improving safety standards (the very foundation of our business) and compliance of course, but additionally we will operate our business in a way that broadly addresses the concerns of our wide range of stakeholders.
We would appreciate your continued understanding and support as we strive to realize our ambitions.
April 1, 2021