Updated June 30, 2023
In FY2018, Advantest formulated a 10-year mid- to long-term management policy (FY2018-FY2027), its "Grand Design," which defines the commitments and strategies needed for Advantest to continue to be a company that embodies its corporate purpose & mission of "Enabling Leading-edge Technologies." Since then, Advantest has strived to enhance its corporate value under the policy.
In FY2021, the Grand Design was updated in response to the improvement of our business performance and changes in the Advantest's environment, because the first mid-term management plan (FY2018–FY2020) (MTP1) had been successfully completed, and three years had passed since the formulation of the Grand Design. At the same time, Advantest formulated its second mid-term management plan (FY2021-FY2023) (MTP2), which was announced in May 2021, to ensure achievement of the Grand Design's goals. The entire company is working as one to achieve these targets.
1. Grand Design (10 years) (FY2018–FY2027)
< Vision Statement >
Adding Customer Value in an Evolving Semiconductor Value Chain
< Strategy >
Advantest is expanding its business domains beyond the development and sales of semiconductor volume production test systems to also include adjacent markets such as semiconductor design / evaluation processes and product / system level test processes, which are performed before and after semiconductor volume production processes, with the aim of expanding and growing corporate value.
To achieve the above, Advantest will engage with five strategic issues: reinforce core businesses, invest strategically; seek operational excellence; explore value to reach a higher level; pioneer new business fields; and further promote ESG initiatives.
We originally set annual sales of ¥300 billion to ¥400 billion as the ultimate goal of the Grand Design, and then in FY2021, revised the Long-Term Management Goal to "the early achievement of annual sales of ¥400 billion" thanks to the favorable progress of its business performance spurred by the progress of digital revolution and market share expansion. However, we achieved the goal in FY2021, ahead of the originally intended FY2027, amid the sustained expansion of the semiconductor tester market, etc.
Changes in the business environment and society which have provided us with a lot of growth opportunities since the time of the development of the Grand Design are expected to continue, such as the expansion in demand for semiconductors in the medium to long term. Advantest will continue to further promote the above five growth strategies aiming at enhancing our corporate value under such circumstances.
2. Outline of Second Mid-Term Management Plan (MTP2, FY2021-FY2023)
< Targeted management metrics >
Under MTP2, Advantest will promote efforts to strengthen its business for further growth, expand growth investment as well as shareholder returns, and strive to increase corporate value. Given this framework, the management metrics that are emphasized in MTP2 are sales, operating margin, net income, return on equity attributable to owners of the parent (ROE), and earnings per share (EPS). Advantest has been endeavoring to grow all these numbers. In order to evaluate the progress of the plan from a mid/long-term perspective, the Company uses three-year averages so as to level the impact of single-year performance fluctuations.
Regarding the management metrics of MTP2, in May 2021, the Company initially announced the outlook of financial metrics calculated based on the medium-term forecast of market trends. However, in FY2021 as the first year of MTP2, the markets of semiconductors and related products remained brisk beyond the assumption in the development of MTP2, and our business expansion measures also evolved steadily. In July 2022, the Company revised the targeted management metrics of MTP2 as follows, taking into account the solid progress of the plan; the comprehensive consideration of the forecast of our business environment until FY2023 including a stronger downward resilience in the semiconductor test equipment market driven by the diversification of semiconductor applications, higher difficulty levels for testing high-end semiconductors, and strong motivation of major chip makers to invest in advanced technologies, and based on the assumption that the downturn of global economy since 2022 will remain within the range of normal economic slowdown.
|FY2021-FY2023 average||FY2021-FY2022 average performance*3|
|Published in May 2021*1||Published in July 2022*2|
|Return on Equity (ROE)||20% or more||30-35%||34.9%|
|Earnings per share (EPS)||¥320-370||¥510-630||¥573|
< Cost / Profit Structure >
To create corporate value over the long-term in a sustainable manner, Advantest will further strengthen its R&D investments, secure needed human resources and enhance human resource development, and reinforce its parts procurement capabilities, which are foundational to increasing added value and maintaining sustainable competitiveness.
It must be borne in mind that factors such as prolonged shortages of components such as semiconductors, geopolitical risks, ongoing inflation, and falling consumption all contribute to considerable uncertainty regarding the future of the global economy and Advantest's business environment. Advantest will strive to achieve the above targets by flexibly responding to changes in the external environment, such as implementing cost controls as necessary.
< Capital Policy >
Advantest’s capital policy under MTP2 prioritizes business investments for growth while flexibly utilizing liabilities (debt) from a balance sheet management perspective that considers both capital efficiency and cost of capital. Advantest’s policy is to maintain financial soundness and establish an appropriate capital structure to strengthen the foundations of its business and create sustainable corporate value. As a measure of financial soundness, Advantest seeks a shareholders' equity ratio of 50% or more, and sets ROE as an indicator of capital efficiency.
< Growth Investments & Shareholder Returns Outlook >
Advantest’s capital allocation policy aims to use the cumulative operating cash flow of ¥280 -360 billion expected during the MTP2 period as a primary source of funds, and allocate it appropriately to growth investments and shareholder returns after periodic reviews of cash on hand levels. Regarding resource allocation for growth investment, we will increase capital investment related to R&D and production, in response to expectations for long-term semiconductor market expansion and further semiconductor performance gains. The company currently expects to spend a cumulative total of ¥70 billion on capital investments and ¥100 billion on strategic investments such as M&A over the MTP2 period.
Regarding shareholder returns, Advantest will maintain its existing returns policy, assuming that its business environment remains stable during the MTP2 period. Specifically, Advantest will maintain stable dividends with a minimum semi-annual dividend of ¥50 per share and a minimum annual dividend of ¥100 per share, while simultaneously aiming for a total annual return ratio* of 50% or more. Advantest will also seek to enhance shareholder returns and improve capital efficiency through dividends and share repurchases.
Note: Total return ratio: (Dividend + share repurchase) / consolidated net income
< Progress >
Advantest is working on MTP2 as the three years to strengthen the foundation for the greater growth of Advantest in the semiconductor market, which is expected to expand further in the medium to long term. In the period from FY2021 to FY2022, Advantest steadily implemented following initiatives, along with the five strategic issues raised in the Grand Design under the medium- to long-term perspective.
Initiatives on strategic issues and their progress
|1. Reinforce Core Businesses, Invest Strategically||
|2. Seek Operational Excellence||
|3. Explore Value to Reach a Higher Level||
|4. Pioneer New Business Fields||
|5. Enhance ESG initiatives||
In FY2023, as the final year of MTP2, Advantest will work toward the achievement of MTP2 targets, positioning FY2023 as the year to promote the stronger and more resilient business foundations.