What is your order outlook for October-December 2012?
We expect orders to rise compared with the previous quarter, mainly on growing equipment demand from logic and foundry customers. The increase is not expected to be large, however.
Please explain your forecast for recovery in the SPE market from next spring.
Our outlook for recovery from around next spring is not an entirely confident forecast. Smartphones, tablet PCs, and ultrabooks are examples of semiconductor-based products which have grown widely popular among consumers, but demand for these products is strongly related to macroeconomic trends. Replacement demand among companies and consumer demand are affected by macroeconomic trends. Looking at recent global economic trends, we foresee demand for such products to recover after the start of 2013, and equipment demand to recover from around next spring.
Your plan is to reduce fixed costs by ¥16 billion compared with the previous fiscal year. What is the first half and second half breakdown for expense reduction? Also, is there room for additional reduction?
The first-half and second-half reduction amounts are expected to be around the same. We have already factored in our major expense reductions, and there is limited room for additional cuts.
Is there any chance you will reconsider your planned acquisition of Oerlikon Solar due to the extremely severe solar panel market environment?
The current market environment is extremely severe, but we made the decision to acquire the company from the perspective of medium- to long term growth. We plan to expand in the energy field, primarily mega solar systems, and not in the field of home roof systems. Thin-film silicon solar modules have proven to be the optimal technology for large-scale solar power generation because of the cell characteristics (such as superiority in actual energy generation in regions with abundant sunlight ) and the cost advantages. Additionally, we will be able to combine Oerlikon Solar's technologies with our accumulated SPE technologies to develop the most competitive equipment possible. We are also collaborating with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, materials manufacturers and others to accelerate product development.