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New Year's Message

Representatives of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. today delivered new year's speeches to the employees of the company and its group companies.

Chairman, Representative Director, Haruyuki Niimi

2008 has been a dynamic year for the oil industry with a step-change in the domestic energy demand and confusions caused by the provisional tax abolition, along with the financial turmoil in the latter half of the year, but I am not pessimistic about the years to come. This is not the first time the Japanese companies face the tough business environment, and we know how to survive this tough moment.

For Showa Shell Sekiyu, the "three S's" I have mentioned last year will be more important issues this year. The first "S" is for "small company mind", so we do not become bureaucrats. The second "S" for "speed" and the last one for "simple", meaning that we must face many difficult issues with speed, and to do business more efficiently we need to keep our work simple. I believe we can strengthen our teamwork more than ever to deliver our strategy.

Vice Chairman, Representative Director, Shigeya Kato

2008 has been a year of decline, with a speed and magnitude that no one had ever expected. This decline trend will continue in the new year, and I suppose organisations and individuals stopped making new moves. But where there is no action, there will be no development.

In recession, weaknesses of a company can easily be unveiled. By making the effort to overcome these weaknesses, it is possible to see the ways to make a significant growth. We have implemented structural reformation with speed since 1996, and built a strong financial position to increase our cost competitiveness. I believe our potential to survive tough moment is the best in the industry.

My goal for this year is to draw out Showa Shell Sekiyu's all potential competencies. To this end, I aim to build a well disciplined and an open-minded corporate culture.

President, Representative Director, Jun Arai

The oil industry is facing a paradigm change and I do not believe that it is possible to maintain our strong position without taking actions. Domestic market for oil products had ripen and demand is declining. The downstream business is now under a situation it had never before experienced, and it must enhance the operational efficiency, while maintaining safe operations. As for our potential second core businesses, such as our next-generation solar power business and power generation business, we will continue to develop steadily and with speed.

2009 will be another challenging year. We aim to tackle the many challenges we may encounter to deliver our New Foundation strategy and to achieve sustainable development. Teamwork of our employees, affiliate companies and dealers, I believe, will be the most important key to achieve this goal, and I aim to take a leadership to support this teamwork. I hope that each and every one of you will take leadership at your work.

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