I sincerely hope that this interim report finds our shareholders prospering and in good health.
The Japanese economy in which the KONAMI Group operates continues to experience long-term recovery, withimprovements in corporate earnings and employment.Personal consumption is still weak, however. Meanwhile,uncertainty persists in regard to politics and policies in Europe and the United States, despite economies maintaining a steady pace in terms of recovery.
In the entertainment market, game content continues to diversify along with functional enhancement of various devices, including mobile devices and home video game consoles. As for the game industry, we are keeping an eye on eSports, which brings the competitiveness of sports to gaming, as part of efforts to produce content that offers customers new ways to enjoy themselves.
Due to a partial revision to the law, restrictions on entrance times for minors have been relaxed and the number of customers bringing their families to arcades in shopping centers has increased. In addition, efforts aimed at industry-wide market revitalization have led to the cultivation of new users and resulted in signs of recovery in the amusement market.
The gaming business is enjoying the ongoing growth of the gaming market amid the development and opening of new casino facilities as well as of integrated resorts (IR) that house casinos across the globe. At the same time, the gaming business is expected to benefit from an increased range of opportunities resulting from factors such as the legalization of slot machines that contain a skill element, which helps address the issue of young people trending away from playing slots.
In connection with the health and fitness industry, there is a growing trend toward health consciousness throughout society, especially among senior citizens and women, who year after year have shown an increasing tendency to focus their leisure activities on improving health and physical strength. Reflecting this growing interest in health consciousness, we are also seeing an increasing preference for sports. In addition to the aging of society, there has been a steady increase in customers engaging in activities to improve their personal appearance and a diversification of related needs and products.
Under such circumstances, the Group has responded to customer needs in an appropriate manner. We will continue to strive for unity as a group, responding quickly to global changes and fulfilling shareholder expectations.
Moving forward, we would like to ask for the continued support of all our shareholders.
Representative Director, President