Top Interview (2/7)
Previous Fiscal Year Results
-Please give us an overview of the results from last year (the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021).
With regard to our performance in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, at the beginning of the term we saw a slowdown in economic activity as a result of the spread of COVID-19. With the goal of keeping everyone inside and outside of the company informed as early as possible, in May 2020 we made a downward revision to our earnings forecasts. However, the economy gradually recovered in the second half of the year, and the unexpectedly severe restrictions on our business activities meant a reduction in our selling, general and administrative expenses, including travel and business trip costs. Our sales figures were largely in accordance with the adjusted figures from last May, but we were able to adjust our profit projections upward.
While we did experience a reduction in both revenues and profits due to the pandemic, it may be helpful to look at it on a region-by-region basis. In the domestic market, shipments for railway cars and public sector demand (such as in the disaster reduction and prevention market) increased. Meanwhile, in the overseas markets, we saw record performance in Vietnam, as well as strong performance in Hong Kong and Taiwan, where they kept the spread of infection under control.
We also identified various needs arising out of this pandemic, and we were able to promptly transform this into products that we were able to commercialize.
One example is our “partition-mounted conversation assistance systems,” which make it easier to engage in conversation while wearing masks and talking through an anti-viral partition screen. Since the start of the pandemic, sales and production members joined the project in the Research and Development Division. The development members made prototypes, and the sales members verified them on customer visits, providing feedback on the issues that came up and allowing the development team to make improvements. By repeating these actions over and over again, we were able to commercialize the product in a very short time.
Apart from that, we have also begun provision of a “congestion status distribution solution,” which prevent crowding and close proximity before they happen by detecting congestion at facilities and stores and comfortably conveying messages while protecting users’ privacy.
I really feel like these are the embodiment, in product form, of the whole team development and the drive of all employees toward sales that I have been promoting since I took up my current post.
TOA has, by proposing and providing solutions that utilize our unique sound and video technology, managed to launch a great many new products that have led our customers to recognize the “value of sound.” I feel like this has become an opportunity for TOA to know, by a much wider range of people than our traditional customer base, as a specialist manufacturer of sound.