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Nissho Iwai Corporation Establishes 'Nissho Iwai Housing Material Co., Ltd. 'to Pursue Effective Lumber Sales Organization Establishment

Feb. 23, 2002

TOKYO(February 23, 2002)--Three Nissho Iwai wholly-owned affiliates, TORIN CO., LTD., NI HOUSING MATERIAL CO., LTD. and NICHIWA CORP. will integrate their businesses and be established as Nissho Iwai Housing Material Co., Ltd. as of April 1, 2002.

Each of the three companies has been carrying out business focusing on wholesaling of wood and lumber products. The upcoming integration will enable the establishment of an effective lumber and housing material sales organization covering the whole country. As is apparent from the decrease in the number of home constructions, the situation for the domestic lumber and housing material industry has changed drastically. The main objective of this integration is to reinforce competitiveness in response to such change. 

Nissho Iwai Housing Material will aim at reform from a wood-driven profit structure to a profit structure with an increased handling ratio of high value-added products, which are directly linked to precut factories and housing manufacturers, by pursuing 'selection of and concentration on' their business contents, and by abolishing the production division. Furthermore, Nissho Iwai Housing Material will reduce its workforce, carry out organization restructuring and amortize nonperforming assets in order to become a stronger company, impervious to the current severe economic circumstances. 

Among trading companies, Nissho Iwai boasts the highest handling volume of import lumber, including American and Russian wood, lumber products and housing materials. From this integration onward, Nissho Iwai, which covers the upstream, will be thoroughly liaised with Nissho Iwai Housing Material, which will cover the downstream through nationwide bases, and existing local lumber wholesaling businesses will be retained. The entire group will continuously strengthen stable and competitive product offerings to existing customers, which total over 1,000 companies throughout Japan. The function of distribution to leading precut factories and major housing manufacturers will also be reinforced, and development import of new lumber products from overseas will be aggressively promoted. Nissho Iwai is also considering a partial transfer of the Nissho Iwai lumber import division to Nissho Iwai Housing Material. 

Nissho Iwai Housing Material will establish a sales organization and cost system that are community-based and in conformity with demand scale/structure. Targeted sales for the first year (fiscal 2002) are 22 billion yen (ordinary profit: 200 million yen), and those for 3 years hence (fiscal 2005) will be 25 billion yen (ordinary profit: 500 million yen). 

Nissho Iwai, which is currently executing the 'Medium-Term Management Plan 2002', has been carrying out the integration and abolition of certain affiliated companies. The subject integration will be carried out as part of such movement. 

Nissho Iwai Housing Materials Co., Ltd.
Head office: 2-5-8 Imabashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Capital: 490 million yen
Representative: Noriyuki Mita
Gross assets: 13 billion yen
No. of employees: 80 

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