Tokyo – JSR Corp. is to focus on its faster growing semiconductor materials and life sciences businesses, while its elastomers unit, which includes general-purpose and speciality rubbers in its portfolio, is set for ‘structural reform’.
Details of the strategic changes will be unveiled at a management policy briefing on 26 March, the Japanese group said in a third-quarter results announcement.
Under the new medium- to long-term plan, JSR aims to establish “a business structure and management system with sustainability and resilience," said the 25 Jan statement.
This, the Tokyo -based group expects, will best be achieved through growth businesses such as semiconductor materials and life sciences.
Meanwhile, JSR is considering structural reform “from a fundamental and unsanctioned perspective,” of its elastomers business.
The unit supplies styrene-butadiene rubbers (ESBR and SSBR), polybutadiene rubber, polyisoprene, nitrile rubber, butyl rubber, ethylene-propylene rubber and thermoplastics elastomers.
However, the group cautioned that changes to the rubber business required careful consideration due to the "many stakeholders involved and complexities around the positioning of industrial facilities.”
Last April, JSR signalled a major restructuring to improve earnings within the synthetic rubber segment, which contributes more than 40% of total group sales.
JSR said the unit had been impacted by “dramatic changes” in the business environment, including supply/demand balance shifts caused by new capacities in China.
For the year ended 31 March 2020, the elastomers unit reported an operating loss of Yen1.8 billion (€15.4 million), on sales down 11% year-on-year to Yen178.8 billion.
The business remained in red over the first three quarters – to 31 Dec – of JSR’s current fiscal year, despite market recovery in the final three months of last year.
For the first nine months of 2020, the elastomers unit reported an operating loss of Yen12.7 billion on sales 27% lower at Yen99.3 billion.
Sales volumes for the period fell 18% year-on-year to just under 380 kilotonnes, JSR also reported.