The Company regards the distribution of profi ts to shareholders, in the form of dividend payments, as a matter of the highest priority.
Since fiscal 2010, management has targeted a payout ratio of about 40% (consolidated basis). The Company's fundamental policy is one of stable, long-term distribution of dividends to shareholders in line with the growth of operations.
In line with performance during fiscal 2012, we decided to pay an annual dividend of ¥100 (US$1.08) per share, up ¥18 per share, higher than originally planned.
In fiscal 2013, we plan a further increase, of ¥2 per share, for an annual dividend payment of ¥102 per share and aim to additionally reward shareholders through earnings per share growth.
Retained earnings will be allocated to strengthening our financial standing, opening new stores, renovating existing stores, and making strategic investments in new business areas as we seek to reinforce management and bring about further improvements in earnings performance. To ensure a fl exible capital policy, we plan to retire stock to treasury from time to time as deemed necessary.