2021 New Year’s Address from President Yoshida (abridged)

2021/01/04 Topics

A Golden Opportunity to Leap into a New Growth Phase

Happy New Year.

Last year, we had to do business amidst the unprecedented difficulties accompanying the Covid-19 pandemic, but thanks to the daily ingenuity and hard work of Advantest Group employees, we were able to provide uninterrupted products, services, and support to customers around the world. In addition, due to intensifying friction between the United States and China, there was concern that demand would decline significantly in summer, but supply chain reconstruction moved quickly, while the worldwide Covid-19 response accelerated the digital transformation (DX) that has stimulated new demand for semiconductors. We believe we have successfully responded to these business opportunities.

Currently, our business environment is improving daily, and market forecasts for 2021 predict positive year-on-growth in the global economy, the semiconductor market, and the semiconductor test equipment market.

As people's lifestyles change drastically due to restrictions intended to contain Covid-19, demand for semiconductors is expanding further. I believe the tester market has entered a medium- to long-term cycle of higher growth, due to greater semiconductor performance, complexity, and reliability, and that this offers an opportunity for Advantest to leap into a new growth phase. Although we face various uncertainties such as short-term volatility, fierce market competition, and external risks including infectious diseases, geopolitical problems, and natural disasters, the world is changing dramatically, and this gives Advantest, which has always promised to deliver "safety, security, and comfort," a golden opportunity. With this background, I would like to briefly share my thoughts about what Advantest will do this year in order to become a "100-year company”, and to enhance our competitiveness and sustainability.

1. New mid-term management plan

Our current mid-term management plan will end in March of this year. We are certain to achieve the base scenario, and with the rollout of DX and the tailwind of full-scale commercialization of 5G, our new mid-term management plan will set even higher goals. We need to clarify what each department and each person should do to achieve our next goals, and steadily implement our plans.

2. Further inculcation of The Advantest Way

I believe we were able to achieve good results despite the pandemic because all employees have united behind our “INTEGRITY” core values. From this year, we will start implementing Phase 2 workshops to further inculcate The Advantest Way. We will support the growth of our employees so that each person can improve their abilities and exhibit even better teamwork, and at the same time, we will work to improve the leadership of managers. Furthermore, we will strengthen and promote corporate governance, compliance, environmental management, health & productivity management, and other important topics, in accord with “Ethical standards” and “ESG for sustainability” of The Advantest Way.

3. Evolution into a workflow solutions provider

In July of last year, Advantest formed a business alliance with PDF Solutions Inc., and in December we announced our jointly developed platform "Advantest Cloud Solutions™". Semiconductor production will continue to be disaggregated, and the structure of semiconductors will become more sophisticated and complex year by year. Therefore, we plan to build workflow solutions that utilize the data generated in each process, from design to manufacturing to system level test, transforming Advantest into a solutions company that transcends the boundary between hardware and software. This transformation will not happen overnight, but it is important for all employees to be aware of this goal.

4. Creation of successful new businesses

Advantest's newly developed nanoSCOUTER™ will be put on the market swiftly to take advantage of the opportunity created by Covid-19. So far, we have posted small successes in the medical measurement field, but have not yet managed to ramp up a successful business. We will focus on commercializing the nanoSCOUTER™ to start with.

With the above in mind, I look forward to achieving the goals of our current mid-term management plan and setting new sales and profit records in FY2021. This year's Japanese zodiac animal is the ox, but I would like all employees to model their working style on an active and aggressive bull, not a placid bovine, in 2021!

About Advantest Corporation

Advantest (TSE: 6857) is the leading manufacturer of automatic test and measurement equipment used in the design and production of semiconductors for applications including 5G communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, smart medical devices and more.  Its leading-edge systems and products are integrated into the most advanced semiconductor production lines in the world.  The company also conducts R&D to address emerging testing challenges and applications, produces multi-vision metrology scanning electron microscopes essential to photomask manufacturing, and offers groundbreaking 3D imaging and analysis tools.  Founded in Tokyo in 1954, Advantest is a global company with facilities around the world and an international commitment to sustainable practices and social responsibility.  More information is available at www.advantest.com.

Note: All information supplied in this release is correct at the time of publication, but may be subject to change.