I would like to begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to all of Kajima’s shareholders and investors. Thank you for your unwavering support.
Although concerns continue to heighten about the outlook for the global economy and the impact of certain trade and commerce issues is being felt in some sectors in Japan, overall we expect the Japanese economy to maintain a steady growth trajectory, with robust corporate earnings and favorable employment and income environments helping to boost capital investment and improve personal consumption. Domestically the construction market remains strong, buoyed by sustained, robust demand for construction.
Against this backdrop, we have been working to boost the competitiveness of our domestic construction business, striving to improve the earning potential of the Kajima Group as a whole, and engaging in measures and investment to respond to changes in the mid- to long-term management environment, all based on the Kajima Group Medium-Term Business Plan (FY2018-2020).
We outperformed our targets for fiscal 2018, the first year of the plan, making a decisive first step toward fulfilling the overall plan. The strong results enabled us to boost shareholder returns by providing an increased dividend and acquiring treasury stock, which also helped to improve our capital efficiency.
In fiscal 2019, the second year of the plan, we are examining the state of progress on various measures and engaging in follow-up adding further measures as needed. We will continue to steadily engage in measures and investment in line with the plan, aiming to achieve our management targets and realize sustainable growth.
We ask for your continued understanding and support as we pursue these objectives.