Orders for the October to December quarter of 2014 were expected to be at a similar level to those in the July to September quarter-what was the reason for the upturn in orders?
Memory investment has continued to be active since about the middle of 2014; consequently, investment in DRAM for the October to December quarter was greater than predicted.
What is the order guidance for the January to March quarter of 2015, including the trends by individual applications?
We expect orders for SPE to remain at generally the same level as in the October to December quarter of 2014. There will not be major changes in orders by individual application, while the composition ratio of orders for memory will remain high.
Sales in the October to December quarter were lower than in the July to September quarter; however, gross profit and operating income margins improved. What are the reasons for this?
The higher gross profit margin is attributable to improvements in both plant operating rates and the marginal profit ratio. The improvement in the operating margin is due to a higher gross profit margin, as well as the fact that SG&A expenses, such as business combination related expenses, were lower than in the July to September quarter.
What do you expect the next technology inflection point to be?
We expect to see the adoption of 14/16nm FinFET in logic devices, and mass production of next-generation 3D-NAND products in memory. The use of metal materials is also increasing. We will continue focusing on the development of deposition systems and etch systems, with the aim of increasing our future market share in these fields.
With regard to the business combination with Applied Materials, Inc., various countries require time to review the merger in light of their respective antitrust laws—have you considered selling parts of your business or other ways to conclude the merger as soon as possible?
We are unable to provide details or answer questions about ongoing discussions with the regulators.
What are the implications of the news release of January 26, entitled “Notice about MOFCOM merger review”?
We announced that we will be able to continue discussions with the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of the People's Republic of China in coordination with the remaining reviews in other jurisdictions.