Health Care Business Sector
With changes in the external environment such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there are even stronger societal needs for health and well-being.
While responding swiftly to these changes, we aim to actively provide products and services that contribute to improved quality of life (QOL).
Fiscal 2019 Business Overview
Sales by product
Sales by region
Trends in net sales and operating income (¥ bn)
*FY2020 forecasts on an IFRS basis.
Fiscal 2025 target
Operating income of ¥45 bn + new businesses
We expect the growth investments to gradually start contributing to earnings. In addition to strengthening existing businesses and expanding overseas, we are enhancing our ability to provide healthcare solutions by expanding our lineup of new products, as well as bolstering and furthering the creation of new businesses.
- To meet diversifying needs as a global leader in the vision care materials field, we will continue working to expand and strengthen our business platform by stepping up operations in peripheral businesses.
- In nonwovens, we will continue expanding and strengthening business by developing high-performance products and pursuing global development.
- In dental materials, we will continue working to strengthen our growth platform by better meeting local needs and tapping into digitalization and other new markets.
- In vision care materials, we will continue considering growth investments, including production capacity expansion to accommodate growth in customer needs.
- In nonwovens, we will expand production capacity for high-performance nonwovens with an eye to the burgeoning Asian market. We will also continue considering investments in growing industrial filters and other applications.
- In the dental materials field, we will continue to actively provide digital workflow solutions by focusing investments in markets that are taking off, including 3D printers and ink.
A world leader in ophthalmic lens materials
The Mitsui Chemicals Group develops plastic ophthalmic lens materials, ranging from low refractive to high refractive indices. In particular, our MR™ brand of high refractive index lens material is rated highly as a lens brand of its own that underpins the superb quality of the world’s top brand lenses.
In addition, our US affiliates SDC Technologies and FSI Coating Technologies have respectively developed and now globally distribute high-quality abrasion-resistant coatings and high-quality anti-fog coatings.
Through our innovative lens materials, coating materials, and new technologies, we strive to deliver the best Quality of View (QOV*) to all people who need eyewear.
*Quality of View is a scale for measuring a person’s quality of life and level of satisfaction regarding their eyes, such as optimization of vision, vision comfort, eye health management, and disease prevention.
|Specific light wavelength control technology that cuts harmful UV light and some high-energy visible light|
|Specific light wavelength control technology that improves contrast|
|Photochromic technology that protects the eyes from glare by adjusting the color depending on the amount of ultraviolet light|
TOPICS - TouchFocus™ next-generation eyewear that makes life more pleasant with just one touch
Since launching in 2018, TouchFocus™ eyewear has consistently been featured in a variety of media outlets for its innovative lens functionality, and is offered at 70 stores nationwide, including partner department stores and retailers, with favorable sales. Last year, we expanded the product lineup to satisfy customer needs, adding color lenses and photochromic lenses, as well as frame designs for women and frames with spring hinges that prioritize comfort. We began selling in the two major markets of China and the US in fiscal 2020, with a consolidated sales target of 30,000 units by 2023.
High-performance nonwovens for hygiene materials boasting excellent softness and stretchability
In East and Southeast Asia, the use of disposable diapers has become more widespread and high-quality, high-performance premium disposable diapers are growing in popularity. In addition to such basic features as being leakproof, breathable, and unlikely to cause diaper rash, consumers now demand a higher level of functionality, including comfort and a snug fit. The Mitsui Chemicals Group has applied its technology to satisfy these consumer needs by developing highly acclaimed nonwoven fabric that demonstrates excellent softness and stretchability. We further boosted our supply capacity in fiscal 2018 mainly by installing new equipment for high-performance nonwovens at two sites in Japan, raising production to 15kt per year at Nagoya Works and 6kt at Sunrex Industry Co., Ltd. We are fully leveraging our three Asian production bases in Japan, Thailand, and China to ensure a reliable supply of high-performance nonwovens to meet growing demand. Moreover, we are stepping up efforts to expand this business into new domains, for example medical applications, in a bid to maintain and expand our top-level share of the Asian market for high-performance nonwovens.
Value chain and market structure
Application of nonwoven fabric in super premium disposable diapers
AIRYFA™—new high-strength soft nonwoven
Our new product AIRYFA™ is a high-performance nonwoven that is gentle on the skin, providing both softness and strength. By capitalizing on our proprietary polyolefin spinning technology to produce a hollow and thin fiber structure, this textile is characterized by a superior level of softness and even texture. We have thus been able to develop a nonwoven fabric that offers both softness and strength, a feat conventional technology was hitherto unable to achieve. After bringing the production site in China online in February 2019, we now have a tripolar Asian supply framework in place spanning Japan, Thailand, and China.
TOPICS - Expanding meltblown nonwovens business for industrial materials
In the nonwovens business, we supply nonwovens not only for hygiene materials, but also high-quality nonwovens for industrial materials, including for car seats (product name: TAFNEL™), masks (product name: SYNTEX™), and agricultural sheets (product name: SYNTEX™). To accommodate growth in industrial-use nonwovens driven by robust demand in the semiconductor market, we have expanded production facilities for meltblown nonwovens, increasing our production capacity by 50 percent.
Our nano brand of microfiber meltblown nonwovens (peak fiber diameter of several hundred nanometers) has much finer fiber diameters than spunbonded nonwoven fabrics, and are being developed for applications such as filters used in the semiconductor manufacturing process. To deftly respond to demand such as for 5G applications up ahead, we aim to further strengthen and expand our nonwovens business.
Accelerating our contribution to digitalization in dental care
Dental materials are increasingly being made out of plastics, rather than metal. By bringing to bear our development capabilities in materials, we aim to contribute to improving quality of life in the field of dental care with innovative products and services needed by dental surgeons and laboratories alike.
Digitalization in dental care is advancing, driven by the use of 3D printers. Having a lineup of inks that can be used in various applications is particularly important for the effective use of 3D printers.
We have thus far accumulated assets in this business through acquisitions and investments—we gained a global business platform from Kulzer and acquired digital technology platforms from DENTCA and B9Creations. In addition, through bolstering our business and capital tie-up with Shofu Inc., we will continue to (1) expand our presence in the Japan and Asian markets, (2) respond to digitalization, and (3) speed up development of new products that utilize the technologies of both companies.
We intend to bring together all of these capabilities within the Group in an effort to expand our global dental materials business.