Kuraray Group has been boldly transforming its business structure and steadily expanding its operations. This is illustrated by the two accompanying graphs, which cover from 1986 to latest fiscal year. The first graph tracks trends in the Group's net sales and operating income and the second shows the net sales composition ratio.
More specifically, as it moved forward to streamline its fiber and textile-related business amid an operating environment that had become increasingly severe, the Kuraray Group leveraged its proprietary technologies to achieve growth in its chemicals-related business.
The result of these efforts was that the proportion of Group net sales accounted for by fiber and textile products fell from around 70% circa 1988 to around 30% by 2006. In contrast, over the same period the amount accounted for by chemical product sales increased from 30% to 70% as the Group strengthened its business portfolio. Then, in October 2007, the industry category under which Kuraray shares are classified on the Tokyo stock exchanges switched from "Textiles" to "Chemicals," reflecting the Group's actual operations as a provider of specialty chemicals.
Over the course of its history, Kuraray has utilized strengths related to its proprietary technologies to introduce to the world new and unique products. In 1950, Kuraray became the first company to bring a PVA fiber based on domestic technology—that is KURALON—to market. This was followed by the commercialization of a stream of proprietary products, including poval resin, the base resin for KURALON; poval film, which is indispensible for LCD devices; EVAL, a gas barrier resin of the highest order; an array of products developed with the world's only synthesis method for isoprene chemicals; and, notably, GENESTAR heat-resistant polyamide resin, which was commercialized in 1999. In 2011, Kuraray commercially launched KURARITY, an acrylic thermoplastic elastomer.
*The figures in the graphs for fiscal 2014 have been adjusted to reflect the 12 months from Janurary to December for the Company and its consolidated domestic and overseas subsidiaries.