| Haruo Matsuno, president and CEO of Advantest Corporation (TSE: 6857, NYSE: ATE), recently delivered a New Year's address to employees and stakeholders, outlining the company's major goals for 2012:
Looking back, 2011 was a tumultuous year. It began with the Arab Spring, then the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in March, and in the summer the European debt crisis worsened and the Thai floods occurred. The year was a stampede of adversity.
Amid this, world economic growth slowed and semiconductor market growth was small, despite a healthy initial forecast. The semiconductor tester market grew more severe, shrinking over the previous year it appears.
Even with this situation, however, we improved earnings. The severity in the tester market is forecast continue in 2012, but we will grow by further capturing market share and entering new businesses.
"1000 Days" Last Phase
The 1000 Days program, which began in July 2009, has unearthed a lot of buried treasure in improving efficiency and lowering costs, with over 1,500 themes submitted. There are less than 90 days remaining and the goal line for 1000 Days is before us, but like an old Chinese proverb says "When traveling 100 li the first 90 is only halfway," ("li" is an old Chinese distance measure), the last part is the most important. We will not let up until the very end and achieve our goals fully.
New Companywide Program "ACT 2014"
We set these mid-term management targets with an eye toward further growth: Revenue of 250 billion yen, Over 20% operating margin, and Over 50% total market share of semiconductor test systems and test handlers. We aim to reach these three targets by fiscal year 2014.
We are working to complete the Verigy integration and then integrate our cultures via Advantest Cultural Transformation. We call this new companywide program "ACT 2014," melding the word "Act" with the first letters of Advantest Cultural Transformation (i.e. A C T).
Sparking Innovation in All Areas
To reach out new targets above and maximize synergies from the Verigy integration, we will spark innovation in all areas. We will meet customers' needs precisely via innovative products that harness both companies' technology, high-value-added services, a new business model that utilizes cloud computing, flexible productions processes and a global marketing and organizational structure.
Off the Established Path
In order to see large growth going forward, we need to take our core competency - measurement technology - into other fields beyond testers. We will utilize new measurement technology and bring innovative solutions to market, including SEMs, EB lithography devices, RF measurement devices, MEMS switches, terahertz analysis systems, and healthcare products.
With this in mind, I announce this year's slogan as
"Make Something Happen."