Vision Inc. has two main businesses: Global WiFi, in which it rents out mobile WiFi routers, and Information and Communications Service, in which it provides telecommunications services and sells office equipment. Global WiFi accounted for 44% of sales and -9% of operating profit in FY12/20 (65% and 75% in FY12/19), and Information and Communications Service accounted for 53% of sales and 147% of operating profit in FY12/20 (33% and 31% in FY12/19). From its launch in 2012 through FY12/19, Global WiFi’s share of sales and operating profit had been growing, but in FY12/20 it was hit by the COVID-19’s impact on outbound and inbound demand, which were reduced to essentially zero.
In the Global WiFi business, Vision rents out mobile WiFi routers* to both outbound (Japanese travelers going overseas) and inbound (people visiting Japan) travelers. The company procures mobile network access directly from telecommunications companies in Japan and abroad, enabling it to offer high-quality internet services at low prices. In FY12/20, 65.5% of rental customers (overseas contracts) were individuals (roughly 63% in FY12/19), and 34.5% were companies (roughly 37%). 46% (45% in FY12/19) were new customers and 54% (55%) were repeat customers. In FY12/20, the company rented out approximately 960,000 routers (2,830,000 in FY12/19). 640,000, or roughly two-thirds, were for use in Japan (590,000, or 21% in FY12/19).
*Wireless LAN (WiFi) routers enable direct connection to mobile networks on the go via smartphones, tablets, laptops, or game consoles.
In the Information and Communications Service business, the company mainly targets new businesses (startups). It arranges telephone lines and other information and communication services, and sells office equipment. Main sources of revenue: equipment sales, commissions from telecommunications companies, and revenue from office equipment maintenance. The company initially provides equipment at low prices, aiming to grow revenue per customer by expanding the number of services provided in line with customers’ growth. Under this business model, most revenues are recurring monthly revenues (monthly fee revenue on the company’s proprietary digital technology services is also growing). The company’s marketing activities focus on customers who have demonstrated interest by reaching out to the company, and leverage customer referrals from other divisions, as well as web marketing, call centers, and a Customer Loyalty Team (CLT; supporting existing customers). Marketing can be seen as effective: for example, sales of copiers per salesperson were roughly four times the industry average.
Vision celebrated its 25th anniversary in June 2020. There are now 400,000 companies using its services (as of May 31, 2020) and an aggregate 15mn individual customers using its WiFi router rental service (as of August 2020).
In FY12/20, sales were JPY16.7bn (-39.0% YoY), operating profit was JPY104mn (-96.9% YoY), recurring profit was JPY228mn (-93.2% YoY), and net loss attributable to owners of the parent was JPY1.2bn (net income of JPY2.2bn in FY12/19). Results were in line with the revised forecast announced on November 9, 2020. While the Global WiFi business was hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Information and Communications Service business generally did well, and maintained operating profitability even amid the pandemic (the company effectively diversified its risks).
The company’s FY12/21 forecast (revised on August 10, 2021) calls for sales of JPY17.5bn (+4.9% YoY), operating profit of JPY1.0bn (+869.2% YoY), recurring profit of JPY1.0bn (+351.0% YoY), and net income attributable to owners of the parent of JPY685mn (net loss of JPY1.2bn in FY12/20). The company had previously withdrawn its full-year forecast and said it was "undetermined" as it was difficult to properly and rationally calculate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but released the forecast on August 10, 2021, based on available information and projections. The forecast for the Global WiFi business reflects efforts to tap into solid domestic demand and projected growth in contract numbers for Global WiFi for Biz, a permanent internal mobile WiFi router for corporate customers. The company forecast released on February 15, 2021 assumed that overseas traveler numbers in Q4 would recover to 25% of Q4 2019 numbers*. The forecast excludes temporary contract work provided during the pandemic from Q4 onward due to uncertainty about its continuity. The forecast for the Information and Communications Service business reflects current strength and growth in in-house services (monthly subscription). The forecast also incorporates the launch of Vision Denki (drags of JPY26mn on sales and JPY166mn on operating profit).
*When the company announced its Q3 results on November 9, 2021, it left its full-year forecast unchanged while revising its forecast for the timing of demand recovery in the Global WiFi business as follows.
Although cumulative Q3 FY12/21 profits exceeded the company's full-year forecast, the forecast remains unchanged from the revision announced on August 10, 2021. When calculating the full-year forecast, the company expected to see a partial recovery in demand from Q4 in its Global WiFi business. As of November 9, 2021, however, the company revised this forecast, pushing back the timeline for recovery by about six months. Meanwhile, Vision continues to capitalize on domestic WiFi demand and other factors to steadily increase its earnings. There are no significant changes in the Information and Communications Service business.
Although the company does not release a medium-term plan, it has been expanding its operations with the Global WiFi business serving as a growth driver and the Information and Communications Service business acting as a stable source of growth, based on its stance of achieving sustained high profit growth while making investments. The company is aiming to expand earnings by leveraging its experience and expertise (customer acquisition through the combination of web marketing, sales, and its Customer Loyalty Team, along with inter-business synergies and recurring-revenue business model) while investing proactively. In the two existing businesses—Global WiFi business and Information and Communications Service business—Vision will endeavor to further improve productivity by utilizing online business negotiations and other means. Additionally, the company will further strengthen up-selling and cross-selling, and brush up the profit structure while strengthening and expanding its in-house proprietary services. The company also aims to develop a third business pillar by leveraging its customer base, sales channels, and business structure.
Shared Research believes that Vision has three strengths: a niche market focus, an efficient marketing model using web marketing, and direct network access from major telecom carriers that allows it to provide high-quality internet service at low prices. Weaknesses: little technological differentiation, limited time to prove itself to clients, and relationships with telecom carriers in the Information and Communications Service business. (See Strengths and Weaknesses section for details.)
|Gross profit margin||56.5%||55.5%||55.3%||58.1%||57.9%||58.8%||57.4%||52.8%|
|Operating profit margin||0.1%||2.8%||6.4%||8.7%||10.2%||11.6%||12.2%||0.6%||5.8%|
|Recurring profit margin||0.8%||4.4%||0.3%||3.2%||6.5%||8.7%||10.2%||11.6%||12.3%||1.4%||5.9%|
|Net income attributable to owners of the parent||1||-216||75||275||585||814||1,209||1,529||2,226||-1,184||685|
|Per-share data (split-adjusted; JPY)|
|Shares issued (year-end; '000)||33,858.0||35,427.0||35,427.0||35,427.0||48,712.2||48,712.2||48,834.0||48,834.0||49,027.2||49,027.8|
|Dividend per share||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Book value per share||43.63||43.02||22.28||26.81||66.68||75.05||175.40||200.95||226.80||185.79|
|Balance sheet (JPYmn)|
|Cash and cash equivalents||-||-||1,328||1,546||5,774||6,242||6,256||7,563||8,485||6,650|
|Total current assets||-||-||2,835||2,777||7,404||8,130||8,995||10,455||11,792||8,872|
|Tangible fixed assets||-||-||70||229||282||481||859||1,072||1,200||343|
|Investments and other assets||-||-||458||626||516||901||1,038||1,541||1,515||1,901|
|Total current liabilities||-||-||1,879||1,904||2,019||2,600||2,895||3,749||4,222||2,508|
|Total fixed liabilities||-||-||225||113||13||23||2||0||46||36|
|Total net assets||1,477||1,524||1,579||1,899||6,496||7,312||8,586||9,803||10,905||8,769|
|Total interest-bearing debt||-||-||541||413||40||60||25||2||78||46|
|Statement of cash flows (JPYmn)|
|Cash flows from operating activities||-||-||317||553||799||1,493||1,617||2,889||3,550||-396|
|Cash flows from investing activities||-||-||83||-312||-629||-473||-1,416||-1,458||-1,436||-375|
|Cash flows from financing activities||-||-||26||-128||3,667||-38||-8||-312||-1,165||-1,036|
|Performance by segment||FY12/13||FY12/14||FY12/15||FY12/16||FY12/17||FY12/18||FY12/19||FY12/20|
|Information and Communications Service||7,312||6,411||6,440||6,948||7,104||7,774||8,955||8,797|
|Information and Communications Service||-12.3%||0.5%||7.9%||2.2%||9.4%||15.2%||-1.8%|
|% of total||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%|
|Information and Communications Service||79.4%||62.9%||51.6%||46.8%||40.5%||36.2%||32.8%||52.8%|
|Information and Communications Service||566||724||904||1,025||1,173||1,219||1,363||1,520|
|Information and Communications Service||27.9%||24.8%||13.4%||14.4%||3.9%||11.9%||11.5%|
|Operating profit (excl. adjustments)||0.1%||2.8%||6.4%||8.7%||10.2%||11.6%||12.2%||0.6%|
|Information and Communications Service||7.7%||11.3%||14.0%||14.7%||16.5%||15.7%||15.2%||17.3%|
|% of OP (incl. adjustments)||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%||100.0%|
|Information and Communications Service||151.3%||79.4%||60.8%||48.5%||44.0%||35.4%||31.0%||146.6%|
|Global WiFi usage||FY12/13||FY12/14||FY12/15||FY12/16||FY12/17||FY12/18||FY12/19||FY12/20|
|Overseas business (excl. domestic use)||10,520||17,734||43,669||66,556||62,615||64,744||70,000||10,000|
On January 27, 2022, Vision Inc. resolved to expand its shareholder benefit program.
For details of additional shareholder benefits, see company press release.
Currently, shareholders receive vouchers for the company's Global WiFi service (rental service for mobile WiFi routers that provide internet access in Japan and overseas).
After the change, shareholders will receive vouchers for the company's Global WiFi service and accommodation vouchers for glamping and hot spring facilities that the company operates.
Timing of change
Shareholders with more than 100 shares registered or recorded in the company's shareholders' register on December 31, 2021 are eligible for the new shareholder benefits (scheduled issue date: March 2022).
On January 11, 2022, Vision Inc. announced the latest developments in Vision Glamping Resort & Spa, its proprietary, fully private glamping service business.
The first Vision Glamping Resort & Spa facility is Koshikano Onsen (Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture), a Japanese-style hot spring inn renowned for its spring quality that recently came under the umbrella of the Vision group. The company plans to renovate the inn, which is a glamping facility with all guest rooms equipped with an open-air hot spring bath, the first in its kind in Japan, and open the facility in February 2022 or later. It expects to hold a grand opening of the facility as an expanded, large glamping site in April 2022.
As the second project in its glamping business, the company plans to open a new glamping facility in Yamanakako, Yamanashi Prefecture, a prime location with a view of Mt. Fuji in summer 2022.
Main features Vision Glamping Resort & Spa
On November 29, 2021, Vision Inc. announced the opening of Shinjuku PCR Center Higashiguchi.
The company opened the Shinjuku PCR Center Higashiguchi on November 29, 2021 to provide PCR testing services until September 30, 2022.
Opened in collaboration with Idogojusantsugi Clinic, the PCR center is the first of the company's efforts to provide various services related to PCR testing, an essential part of social infrastructure services for during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background to the launch of the service
Vision has many customers in its Global WiFi business and Information and Communications Service business for corporate clients, as well as in its travel-related services. Through utilizing its extensive customer base and expertise in providing services and operating stores as well as in back-office operations including product shipping, the company intends to provide PCR testing services with enhanced convenience.
Idogojusantsugi Clinic specializes in infection prevention, and based on its track record of conducting numerous PCR tests, has diagnosed and treated COVID-19 patients during the pandemic. Through the collaboration with the company, the clinic will be able to provide reliable and accurate test results to even more people. The two parties will build a framework for quick and affordable testing and results notification with the aim of establishing a highly convenient service fit to be social infrastructure for during and after the pandemic.
On November 17, 2021, Vision Inc. announced its plan to acquire all shares in Koshikano Onsen K.K. to make the latter a wholly owned subsidiary.
Vision has been making various preparations toward the launch of a glamping business in 1H FY12/22. The company has positioned the glamping business to become its third main driver of growth following the Information and Communications Service and Global WiFi businesses.
Koshikano Onsen is a Japanese-style inn located in Hayato-cho, Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture with baths sourced from an artesian hot spring known to have Bihada-no-Yu (hot spring for beautiful skin) water quality. The inn provides this quality hot spring water to all guest rooms and also has a glamping facility.
For its glamping business, the company is preparing facilities where visitors can feel one with nature, one of the appeals of camping, in a dome-shaped tent designed to put much importance on privacy. Vision has deemed that Koshikano Onsen has the potential to drive growth of its glamping business as the hot spring inn is equipped with the kind of facility the company is envisioning, and hence has decided to acquire its shares. The share acquisition is scheduled to take place on January 1, 2022.
|Gross profit margin||58.7%||57.2%||58.8%||54.9%||54.3%||43.1%||57.6%||55.5%||55.3%||49.5%||48.7%||-|
|Operating profit margin||15.1%||11.0%||16.8%||5.2%||8.1%||-||2.1%||1.3%||7.3%||7.8%||7.6%||-|
|Recurring profit margin||15.2%||10.7%||17.6%||5.1%||8.3%||-||2.9%||1.7%||8.0%||7.8%||7.6%||-|
|Net income attributable to owners of the parent||669||406||911||240||116||-1,468||126||42||232||224||246||-|
|Cumulative||Q1||Q1–Q2||Q1–Q3||Q1–Q4||Q1||Q1–Q2||Q1–Q3||Q1–Q4||Q1||Q1–Q2||Q1–Q3||Q1–Q4||% of Est.||FY Est.|
|Gross profit margin||58.7%||57.9%||58.3%||57.4%||54.3%||50.1%||52.1%||52.8%||55.3%||52.1%||50.9%||-|
|Operating profit margin||15.1%||13.1%||14.5%||12.2%||8.1%||-||0.4%||0.6%||7.3%||7.6%||7.6%||-||5.8%|
|Recurring profit margin||15.2%||12.9%||14.7%||12.3%||8.3%||0.7%||1.3%||1.4%||8.0%||7.9%||7.8%||-||5.9%|
|Net income attributable to owners of the parent||669||1,075||1,987||2,226||116||-1,352||-1,226||-1,184||232||456||702||-||102.5%||685|
|Information and Communications Service||2,302||2,207||2,330||2,116||2,515||2,004||2,145||2,133||2,358||2,297||2,069|
|Information and Communications Service||482||350||342||189||517||300||368||336||410||368||247|
|Operating profit margin||15.1%||11.0%||16.8%||5.2%||8.1%||-||2.1%||1.3%||7.3%||7.8%||7.6%|
|Information and Communications Service||20.9%||15.9%||14.7%||8.9%||20.6%||15.0%||17.1%||15.7%||17.4%||16.0%||11.9%|
|Cumulative||Q1||Q1–Q2||Q1–Q3||Q1–Q4||Q1||Q1–Q2||Q1–Q3||Q1–Q4||Q1||Q1–Q2||Q1–Q3||Q1–Q4||% of Est.||FY Est.|
|Information and Communications Service||2,302||4,509||6,839||8,955||2,515||4,518||6,664||8,797||2,358||4,655||6,724||75.7%||8,882|
|Information and Communications Service||482||832||1,175||1,363||517||817||1,185||1,520||410||778||1,024||82.5%||1,242|
|Operating profit margin||15.1%||13.1%||14.5%||12.2%||8.1%||-||0.4%||0.6%||7.3%||7.6%||7.6%|
|Information and Communications Service||20.9%||18.5%||17.2%||15.2%||20.6%||18.1%||17.8%||17.3%||17.4%||16.7%||15.2%||-||14.0%|
Progress in cumulative Q3 FY12/21 against the full-year FY12/21 forecast (out August 10, 2021) was 76.7% for sales (versus 78.7% in cumulative Q3 FY12/20 against full-year FY12/20 results), 100.6% for
operating profit (56.0%), 101.4% for recurring profit (73.6%), and 102.5% for net income attributable to owners of the parent (net loss in cumulative Q3 FY12/20).
Although each of the profit line items in cumulative Q3 exceeded full-year forecasts, the company maintained the revised full-year projections announced on August 10, 2021. When calculating the full-year forecast, Vision expected to see a partial recovery in demand from Q4 FY12/21 in its Global WiFi business. The company revised the forecast as of November 9, 2021, pushing back the timeline for recovery by about six months. Meanwhile, the company continued to capture domestic WiFi demand and take other steps to steadily increase its earnings throughout cumulative Q3 FY12/21. It made no significant revisions to the Information and Communications Service business forecast.
Subtracting cumulative Q3 FY12/21 results from the full-year forecast and looking at standalone results in Q4, Vision expects to post a loss in all profit items. The company points out the need to take into account the revisions made to its forecast assumptions (i.e., delay in the timing of demand recovery for the Global WiFi business) and investments in Q4 that the company makes every year for growth in the following fiscal year, but says there are no extraordinary factors putting a drag on profits. The forecast also factors in the impact of Vision Denki, the new direct-retail electric power service it launched in August 2021. The company will incur a JPY26mn drop in sales under the transition from one-off brokerage commissions to a recurring revenue model, and a JPY166mn drop in operating profit. (See the FY12/21 company forecast section for details.)
Sales in cumulative Q3 FY12/21 were JPY13.4bn (+2.2% YoY). By segment, sales were JPY6.5bn in the Global WiFI business (+9.9% YoY) and JPY6.7bn (+0.9% YoY) in the Information and Communications Service business (external sales).
Sales in the Global WiFi business were up 9.9% YoY. The company met a wide range of users' needs in Japan and received contract-based app confirmation work, which is part of border control measures carried out by airport quarantine stations. This fed into the YoY sales growth, offsetting the drop in sales due to the near total absence of
overseas travelers in 1H FY12/21 compared to the year-earlier contributions (until Q1 FY12/20) of sales from both outbound and inbound travelers.
Sales in the Information and Communication Service business (external sales) grew 0.9% YoY. The decrease in sales due to a lower average commission fee (brokerage commissions) caused by the sharp rise in electricity retail prices (in January 2021) was offset by an increase in the number of orders for goods for sale such as mobile communications equipment and office automation equipment.
Operating profit in cumulative Q3 FY12/21 was JPY1.0bn (+JPY955mn, or +1,641.8% YoY). By segment, operating profit was JPY749mn (loss of JPY48mn in cumulative Q3 FY12/20) in the Global WiFi business and JPY1.0bn (-13.5% YoY) in the Information and Communications Service business.
The gross profit margin declined 1.2pp YoY to 50.9%, the SG&A ratio fell 8.3pp YoY to 43.3%, and the operating profit margin improved 7.2% YoY to 7.6%. The cost of sales grew due to increased personnel costs (recorded as cost of sales) associated with the app confirmation work, which is part of quarantine measures. Meanwhile, overseas communication costs (on pay-as-you-go contracts with charges based on communication usage), depreciation of rental assets (WiFi routers), and outsourcing costs continued to decrease. The SG&A ratio improved due to the divestment of the ProDrivers business, which resulted in a decline in staff size and a decrease in the number of new graduates hired (13 in 2021 versus 49 in 2020), and the expiry of temporary staff contracts (for shipping and airport counter staff) accompanying the steep fall in rental numbers. Further downward impact on SG&A expenses stemmed from a decline in website advertising expenses that accompanied changes in demand, and other cost-cutting measures.
Recurring profit in cumulative Q3 FY12/21 was JPY1.0bn (+521.0% YoY). Subsidies received declined from JPY106mn in cumulative Q3 FY12/20 to JPY4mn. The company booked JPY24mn in forex gains (JPY8mn in cumulative Q3 FY12/20). Interest expenses fell from JPY5mn in cumulative Q3 FY12/20 to zero, and fees paid declined from JPY9mn in cumulative Q3 FY12/20 to JPY4mn. Net income attributable to owners of the parent was JPY702mn (net loss of JPY1.2bn in cumulative Q3 FY12/20).
Sales in cumulative Q3 FY12/21 were JPY6.5bn (+9.9% YoY), and segment profit was JPY749mn (segment loss of JPY48mn in cumulative Q3 FY12/20).
By quarter, sales in Q3 (July–September 2021) were up 106.5% YoY to JPY2.6bn, the strongest quarterly performance since the disruption of COVID-19 starting in Q2 FY12/20. Compared to Q2 FY12/21 (April–June 2021) as well, Q3 sales were up by 11.9%. Still, this was about 52% of the pre-pandemic Q3 FY12/19 level.
Demand for communications solutions continued amid the need for teleworking infrastructure during the pandemic. Vision worked to meet the needs of a variety of situations such as moving, business trips, and events. It expanded sales and promoted the
use of Global WiFi for Biz, a permanent internal mobile WiFi router for corporate customers that includes a domestic use option. It also started provision of the World eSIM
service, an eSIM service available in 120 countries around the world.
More users extended their rental periods in Q3, reflecting in part the need to deal with recurring states of emergency. Sales of Global Wifi for Biz to corporate customers were firm on the back of proposals that combined router use with remote working applications, with the volume of contracts in force and communications usage both increasing.
In addition, as part of border control measures at airport quarantine stations for entry into Japan, the company received contract-based app registration and confirmation work, with full implementation having begun in April 2021.
The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics held from late July to early September 2021 drove contact-monitoring app contracts from corporate customers other than the government.
Sales (external sales) in cumulative Q3 FY12/21 were JPY6.7bn (+0.9% YoY), and segment profit was JPY1.0bn (-13.5% YoY). Sales growth was driven by hardware such as mobile communication devices and office automation equipment. Mobile communication devices accounted for 25.6% of gross profit compared with 20.4% in cumulative Q3 FY12/20, while office automation equipment accounted for 28.6% of gross profit compared with 27.9% a year earlier. By leveraging multiple business lines (products and services) and multiple sales channels, the company responded flexibly to changes in the business environment.
By quarter, sales in Q3 (July–September 2021) were down 3.6% YoY to JPY2.1bn. Compared to Q2 FY12/21 (April–June 2021), Q3 sales were down by 10.0%. The sales decline reflects in part the company's focus on expanding sales of Vision Denki, the new direct-retail electric power service it launched in-house. Rather than recording one-off electric power brokerage fees (brokerage commissions), the company is shifting to a model that generates monthly recurring revenue. Another factor behind lower sales was downward pressure on electric power brokerage fees stemming from a sharp upturn in electricity wholesale prices.
In the Information and Communications Service business, Vision develops services that contribute to cost reduction and improvement in operational efficiency, and facilitate teleworking. These services are intended to respond to the era during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company expects demand for them to grow regardless of economic situations. The company is working to improve stability and profitability by increasing recurring revenues and implementing highly efficient sales strategies, centered on an upstream strategy targeting key customers (startups and venture firms) as well as cross-selling and up-selling according to the growth stage of its customers.
focused on sales of mobile communication devices that support remote
environments, as there is considerable demand for such devices. With an eye on the
future, the company worked to expand sales of its monthly in-house
service, which is expected to generate recurring revenue despite a temporary
increase in operating costs. It also focused on its new electricity service, Vision
Denki, for small and medium-sized companies and startups, which are the main customer demographic for this segment. These measures led to higher sales, while profit fell.
In Q3 FY12/21, sourcing of business phones, copiers, and other office automation equipment was affected by the semiconductor shortage. The company responded by spreading its purchasing across multiple manufacturers. The company also offset lower unit volumes by raising unit prices.
For details on previous quarterly and annual results, see the Historical financial statements section.
|(JPYmn)||1H||2H||FY||1H||2H||FY||1H Act.||2H Est.||FY Est.|
|Gross profit margin||57.9%||57.0%||57.4%||50.1%||56.5%||52.8%||52.1%|
|Operating profit margin||13.1%||11.4%||12.2%||-0.2%||1.7%||0.6%||7.6%||4.0%||5.8%|
|Recurring profit margin||12.9%||11.7%||12.3%||0.7%||2.3%||1.4%||7.9%||3.9%||5.9%|
The company's FY12/21 forecast (revised on August 10, 2021*) calls for sales of JPY17.5bn (+4.9% YoY), operating profit of JPY1.0bn (+869.2% YoY), recurring profit of JPY1.0bn (+351.0% YoY), and net income attributable to owners of the parent of JPY685mn (net loss of JPY1.2bn in FY12/20). The company has factored impact from the launch of Vision Denki into its FY12/21 forecast (drags of JPY26mn on sales and JPY166mn on operating profit; more details below).
When the company announced its Q3 results on November 9, 2021, it left its full-year forecast unchanged while revising its forecast for the timing of demand recovery in the Global WiFi business as follows.
Although cumulative Q3 FY12/21 profits exceeded the company's full-year forecast for FY12/21, the forecast remains unchanged from the revision announced on August 10, 2021. When calculating the full-year forecast, the company expected to see a partial recovery in demand from Q4 in its Global WiFi business. As of November 9, 2021, however, the company revised this forecast, pushing back the timeline for recovery by about six months. Meanwhile, Vision continued to capitalize on domestic WiFi demand and other factors to steadily increase earnings. There are no significant changes in the Information and Communications Service business.
*FY12/21 full-year forecast (out August 10, 2021)
Sales: JPY17.5bn (previously undetermined)
Operating profit: JPY1.0bn (previously undetermined)
Recurring profit: JPY1.0bn (previously undetermined)
Net income attributable to owners of the parent: JPY685mn (previously undetermined)
Reasons for the revision
The company had previously withdrawn its full-year FY12/21 forecast and said it was "undetermined" as it was difficult to properly and rationally calculate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but released the forecast on August 10, 2021, based on available information and projections.
The forecast for the Global WiFi business reflects efforts to tap into solid domestic demand and projected growth in contract numbers for Global WiFi for Biz, a permanent internal WiFi routers for corporate customers. The company forecast released on February 15, 2021 assumed that overseas traveler numbers in Q4 would recover to 25% of Q4 2019 numbers. The forecast excludes temporary contract work provided during the pandemic from Q4 onward due to uncertainty about its continuity. The forecast for the Information and Communications Service business reflects current strength and growth in in-house services (monthly subscription). The forecast also incorporates the launch of Vision Denki (drags of JPY26mn on sales and JPY166mn on operating profit).
The company will focus on the WiFi rental business and Information and Communications Service business in Japan in line with the new normal era, and expand sales of in-house services (monthly fee) and various maintenance services for communication products.
The company believes that the following factors must be thoroughly analyzed.
Negative impact on profit: COVID-19-related impact and sustainable growth initiatives
Positive impact on profit: upward revision to the company’s forecast for 1H FY12/21
Impact of increasing availability and effect of vaccines against the spread of COVID-19 (and its variants)
Impact of state of emergency declarations and extensions on corporate activities
Possible YoY recovery of 25% in inbound and outbound travel starting in Q4 (assumed when the company formulated its full-year forecast for FY12/21, which was released on February 25, 2021). The company has excluded anticipated Q4 impact from temporary contract work due to uncertainty about its continuity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Efforts aimed at achieving sustainable growth through changes to the company’s earnings model
Enhancement of recurring revenue sources and the company’s monthly subscription services
The company aims to increase productivity. Specifically, the company will adapt to the spread of online operations (the post- COVID-19 “new normal”) and provide products and services that are appropriate in terms of both its customers and current needs. At the same time, it will strengthen its up-selling and cross-selling efforts through the construction and enhancement of a sales system that involves online negotiations. Furthermore, Vision will strengthen and expand its services.
The company will establish a three-pillar business structure by promptly developing a third business to complement its Information and Communications Service and Global WiFi businesses. This third business will need to adapt to conditions prevalent both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic (the “new normal”) and must provide services that incorporate customer feedback while taking advantage of the company’s sales channels, business structure, and customer base. Furthermore, the company will ensure that this business contributes to regional revitalization.
The company plans to enter the luxury camping (“glamping”) business and make it commercially viable by the end of 2H FY12/22. Through this business, the company will provide enjoyable all-weather private spaces equipped with air-conditioning, private toilets, and open-air baths. Total investment will be about JPY1.2bn. As of end-1H FY12/21, the company had identified a sufficient number of land plots it could potentially purchase for this business but had not acquired any yet. Heading into this business, Vision will primarily invest in dome tents, land, construction, electrical equipment, and various equipment and fixtures. The company plans to launch its glamping business in 1H FY12/22 and indicates that participation in this business will have nearly no impact on its financial results in FY12/21. Vision made the decision to enter the glamping business partly because its president, Kenichi Sano, is well-versed in glamping due to his family’s activities within the hotel business* and partly because it believes that this business will synergize with existing businesses. In November 2021, Vision announced that it would acquire all shares of Koshikano Onsen K.K., making it a wholly owned subsidiary (scheduled for January 1, 2022).
Customers of the company’s Global WiFi business are characterized by their love for travel. The company is capable of securing sales channels for its glamping business thanks to its various means of attracting customers (such as partner travel agencies [both online and conventional], airport counter stores, and websites). Vision believes that its glamping business will be compatible with customer bases and sales channels associated with its existing businesses. Furthermore, the company does not anticipate any major competition. Glamping sites are not as large as hotels equipped with several hundred rooms per building, and the company believes that it can attract enough customers to make the business viable.
In August 2021, the company launched its Vision Denki service. When providing this service, the company functions as an electricity retailer and provides low-voltage power services with its own tariff plans primarily to corporations and individual proprietors.
The company estimates that sales and operating profit generated through Vision Denki in FY12/21 will be JPY26mn and JPY166mn lower, respectively, than the levels they would have reached if the company had acquired an equivalent number of contracts through its subscription agency model (These estimates have been factored into the FY12/21 forecast the company released on August 10, 2021.). Until the company can accumulate more Vision Denki contracts, earnings generated through Vision Denki will be lower than those generated through its subscription agency model. In contrast with the existing subscription agency earnings model (earnings = number of contracts × average agency fee income per contract), under the in-house service earnings model (earnings = contracts in force × income from end-user electricity fees - electricity costs) to which it is currently transitioning, the company will function as an electricity retailer and provides electricity. Under the in-house service earnings model, the company will record earnings on a monthly basis, rather than on a non-recurring basis.
Included below are the company’s projections concerning fiscal year-end contracts in force, sales, annual recurring revenue (monthly recurring revenue at the end of each accounting period × 12), and profit associated with the new Vision Denki electricity service. Projections assume that the service will begin generating monthly profit in February 2023 and be fully in the black from January 2024.
Fiscal year-end contracts in force: 1,841 in FY12/21; 9,717 in FY12/22; 20,473 in FY12/23; 32,516 in FY12/24; and 43,543 in FY12/25
Sales: JPY63mn in FY12/21; JPY1.2bn in FY12/22; JPY3.0bn in FY12/23; JPY5.3bn in FY12/24; and JPY7.6bn in FY03/25
ARR (annual recurring revenue; below, “gross profit”): JPY85mn in FY12/21; JPY451mn in FY12/22; JPY977mn in FY12/23; JPY1.6bn in FY12/24; and JPY2.1bn in FY12/25
Profit (loss): -JPY144mn in FY12/21; -JPY179mn in FY12/22; JPY19mn in FY12/23; JPY420mn in FY03/24; and JPY949mn in FY12/25
In December 2021, the company made adval Corp. a subsidiary through a share delivery scheme (for which treasury shares were used, so no new share issuance was involved). adval offers more than 200 rental conference rooms and remote work spaces nationwide B2B under a monthly flat-rate service. Both companies will seek to leverage their customer bases, products and services, business relationships, and expertise to boost sales, improve purchasing efficiency, and reduce costs.
In the Global WiFi business, Vision's revised forecast calls for sales of JPY8.3bn (+14.3% YoY) and operating profit of JPY803mn (operating loss of JPY91mn in FY12/20). The company had previously projected sales of JPY5.8bn (-20.1% YoY) and operating profit of JPY77mn (operating loss of JPY91mn in FY12/20).
Starting in January 2021, the company expects the number of overseas visitors to Japan and the number of Japanese travelling abroad to be similar to that from March 2020 onward, with demand from Q4 (October 2021 onward) to recover to 25% of that from October 2019 onward. The company is forecasting teleworking demand conservatively due to uncertainties about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business activities.
In the Information and Communications Service business, the company's revised forecast calls for sales of JPY8.882bn (+0.9% YoY) and operating profit of JPY1.2bn (-18.2% YoY). The company had previously forecast sales of JPY8.927bn (+1.5% YoY) and operating profit of JPY1.4bn (-8.1% YoY).
The company expects that the number of new startup companies starting operations will either be flat or down YoY, and that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of sales visits will be minimal due to the use of online sales tools.
Vision’s Global WiFi service allows multiple users to connect to a single WiFi router, whereas with global data roaming services provided by mobile network operators (MNOs), connection is often limited to only the subscriber's own mobile communication device (i.e., WiFi tethering by multiple users is seldom supported). With Vision’s service, paying daily fees in the JPY600–1,000 range, three travelers sharing a router would pay around JPY200–330 apiece. Furthermore, the service uses the same communication lines as local users, enabling higher-speed communications.
Previously, when Softbank Corp. launched its free voice and data service in the US, none of the negative effects anticipated by the stock market ever emerged. NTT Docomo’s new “ahamo” plan offers 20 gigabytes (GB) a month. Limits on connection speeds kick in on overseas roaming after 15 days, and subscribers who use up all of their 20-GB monthly data can purchase additional 1GB at a time. Vision says that while it will keep its eye on developments with ahamo, it does not consider it much of a threat, given the focus of its own service on mainly corporate users, its communication quality, and its uses in various settings.
Vision does not release a medium-term business plan. The company looks to achieve substantial profit expansion while continuing to invest in future growth. To this end, it had positioned the Global WiFi business as the growth driver and the Information and Communications Service business as a source of stable growth (details discussed below). The company’s current medium-term strategy hit a temporary roadblock in 2020 as the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic hit its Global WiFi business in particular. It also ended up liquidating the chauffeured car sharing service, which it had been incubating as a new business. Against this backdrop, the company focused on renting WiFi routers in Japan to capitalize on growing teleworking demand. It also worked to reduce procurement costs of mobile network access, and achieved operating profitability in its Global WiFi business in December 2020. In FY12/21, the company plans to achieve full-year operating profitability (segment operating profit was JPY118mn in Q1 and JPY381mn in Q2). Meanwhile, its Information and Communications Service business provides a steady revenue and profit source.
In its two existing business segments (Global Wifi and Information and Communications Service), the company says it will work to further raise productivity by leveraging such tools as online business negotiations to enhance up-selling and cross-selling. It aims to improve stability and profitability by tuning up its earnings structure and working to enhance and expand its in-house services (details discussed below). In addition, it plans to leverage its customer base, sales channels, and business framework to cultivate a third pillar of business to complement its two existing segments. The company’s customer base consists of startup businesses in the growth phase, corporate customers with international B2B transactions, central and local government entities, schools, and individual frequent traveler customers. Vision intends to adapt to the changing environment in the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, cultivating new services to meet its customers’ needs. The company also says it will contribute to regional revitalization.
The exercise conditions for the share subscription rights (paid-in stock options) offered to its directors (excluding external directors), employees, and subsidiary employees (163 people in total) on December 29, 2017, show the company is committed to sustaining strong profit growth. Owing to its failure to meet some of those conditions*, it partially extinguished those subscription rights on March 29, 2021 (see comments in the box below), but this was due to the force majeure circumstances posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The conditions are as follows.
Exercise of 30% of the rights: If operating profit exceeds JPY2.1bn in FY12/18 and JPY2.6bn in FY12/19. (Note: The company reported operating profit of JPY2.5bn in FY12/18 and operating profit of JPY3.3bn for FY12/19, fulfilling the conditions for exercise of 30% of the rights).
Exercise of 30% of the rights: If operating profit exceeds JPY3.1bn in FY12/20. (Note: FY12/20 operating profit was JPY104mn)
Exercise of 100% of the rights: If operating profit exceeds JPY3.6bn in any of the financial years from FY12/18 to FY12/21. (Note: The initial FY12/21 company forecast is operating profit of JPY407mn)
Note: Irrespective of the above, if the operating profit for any fiscal year from the FY12/18 to FY12/21 falls below JPY1.6bn, the share subscription rights holder may not exercise these share subscription rights thereafter, except for the share subscription rights that have already become exercisable pursuant to the above.
*In order to enhance cohesion, motivation and morale for the purpose of increasing the company’s earnings and enterprise value over the long term, Vision has resolved to issue share subscription rights as stock options to directors and employees of the company, and employees of the company’s subsidiaries at the Board of Directors meeting to be held on November 13, 2017.
The total number of the company’s common stock that will increase when all options are exercised is equivalent to 8.3% of outstanding shares. The announcement stated that it will be possible to exercise 30% of the stock options if FY12/18 operating profit exceeds JPY2.1bn and FY12/19 operating profit exceeds JPY2.6bn, or if FY12/20 operating profit exceeds JPY3.1bn: It will also be possible to exercise 100% of all stock options if operating profit exceeds JPY3.6bn in any financial year from FY12/18 to FY12/21.
Since there are exercise conditions that prevent the exercise of all stock options in the event that Vision does not achieve operating profit of JPY3.6bn, which is regarded as a high level in light of past earnings, the company views achieving the target as a commitment to enhancing enterprise and shareholder value. The company believes that the dilution impact on shares will be reasonable.
Exercise period of share subscription rights: April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2025
Amount to be paid in upon exercise of share subscription rights: JPY863
Number of share subscription rights issued: 13,340 units (4,002,000 shares)
Number of share subscription rights as of March 29, 2021 (prior to extinguishment): 13,325 units (3,997,500 shares)
Number of share subscription rights after extinguishment: 3,987 units (1,196,100 shares)
Vision plans to expand into business fields it can pursue independently, increasing its ratio of in-house services. In-house development is expected to accelerate its business and facilitate price control. Services the company is already operating will be used and improved internally, and provided as services to customers.
For example, we understand Vision is actively pursuing external sales of its expertise in sales force automation (SFA), which was developed in-house and is presently used for its own sales. Having also built up in-house expertise and completed optimization of its RPA currently deployed for in-house call centers, the company intends to provide such solutions to other companies and monetize them accordingly.
The cloud-based work attendance management system “VWS” and the business-oriented SNS “JANDI” are services that Vision developed in-house and that it now provides to its customers on a monthly-rate basis. The company employs an upstream strategy targeting key customers (startups and venture firms) as well as cross-selling and up-selling in line with the growth stage of its customers. Vision operates the “Vision Business Market” general corporate support site for startup companies, which introduces and provides services required when starting or opening a business, services required for office or store operations, services required for moving, and other support services. The company arranges, rents and sells copiers, telephone lines, communication terminals, WiFi routers, and other telecommunications services. It also develops proprietary apps for functions such as sales support, which the company simultaneously offers to its customer as in-house services. As such, the company accumulates recurring revenue-type earnings by developing original teleworking and DX services and providing them over the cloud on a monthly fee basis (see details below).
FY12/20 was a good year for orders for the company’s “Vision Crafts!” simple website production service. The service is powered by Vision’s copious experience in website development, having developed more than 100 sites a month. Vision Crafts! is a more economical alternative to hiring a standard website development service, which can run from JPY0.2mn to over JPY1mn including the cost of original site design (Source: LISKUL). The cost of service (not including tax) consists of an initial setup fee of JPY10,000, monthly fees of either JPY4,980 for the one-year plan or JPY3.980 for two-year plan, and a development support fee of JPY20,000. The service enables customers to easily build visually appealing websites, and the company says it has won the endorsement of customers in a wide range of industries including restaurants and retailing.
The following represents Vision’s basic perspectives before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company sees growth potential in the market where the Global WiFi business operates. Vision divided the segment into three areas, and plans to expand operations in stages. In addition, the company plans to offer media services (through a media service platform) providing information on various countries and creating more value for customers.
In the first growth stage the company aims to target the outbound market (travelers from Japan going abroad). The number of Japanese traveling abroad is roughly 17–19mn per annum and smartphone uptake is growing rapidly. In 2019, the number reached about 20.08mn (+5.9% YoY). Assuming a unit price of JPY7,000 per user puts the potential market size at roughly JPY140.6bn (JPY7,000 in unit price x 20.08mn users). In 2020, amid the COVID-19 crisis, the number of Japanese traveling abroad dropped to roughly 3.17mn (-84.2% YoY).
The target of the second growth stage is the inbound market (overseas visitors to Japan). In 2015, the number of travelers to Japan exceeded 19.7mn thanks to a series of measures by the government to encourage tourism (such as a relaxation of visa requirements and an expansion of the duty-free system). It reached a record 31.9mn (+2.2% YoY) in 2019. The government wants to increase the number of visitors to Japan to 40mn by 2020 and 60mn by 2030. Vision, which estimates that the size of the potential market is now roughly JPY220.0bn (JPY7,000 in unit price x 31.9mn), expects that the market will continue to expand.
The target of the third stage is the overseas market (travelers going from one overseas country to another). According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), on a global basis, the number of such travelers now exceeds 1.3bn travelers per annum. Assuming a unit price of JPY7,000 per user puts the potential market size at over JPY9tn (JPY7,000 X 1.4bn users). The company has overseas subsidiaries for developing the business and procuring network access in regions with strong travel demand including in popular tourist destinations such as South Korea, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK, Vietnam, Shanghai, France, and Italy. It also began operations in New Caledonia and the US (California) from 2016. Vision noted that presently Verizon Communications, Inc., a major US mobile carrier, has not rolled out overseas roaming services at a low flat-rate. Therefore, Vision believes that if customers become increasingly aware that they can use Vision’s flat-rate service overseas, it could see an uptick in user numbers.
The company said that going forward it wants to tap into demand in Asian markets and major cities in the US and Europe by expanding its network of subsidiaries and franchises at various locations overseas. Vision expects that gaining even a small portion of this market could substantially contribute to earnings.
While these markets are enormous, the company’s Global WiFi business only rented out 2,830,000 routers in FY12/19 (2,160,000 for customers traveling overseas; 590,000 for visitors to Japan; and 70,000 for those traveling from one foreign country to another). Thus, the company sees ample room for growth in each of these markets. Total number of rental contracts in FY12/20 came to 960,000 (300,000 for customers traveling overseas; 640,000 for users in Japan; and 10,000 for those traveling from one foreign country to another).
As part of an effort to expand into these markets (inbound, outbound, and overseas markets) and increase the number of end-users, in the Global WiFi business the company aims to strengthen ties with telcos in each country, increasing locations at airport counters where customers can rent Vision’s equipment to increase convenience and improve quality.
Specific measures that the company is implementing are as follows.
The company has “Smart Pickup” points where customers receive mobile WiFi routers from lockers installed at airports and other locations. Users can easily unlock the lockers by tapping their smartphones––registered on the web beforehand. This service is more cost-effective and efficient (no waiting time for customers) than the company’s conventional face-to-face services. The new service also allows the company to dedicate service counters to walk-in customers, along with other benefits.
According to Vision, Smart Pickup lockers at Haneda Airport counters can service a maximum of 184 pickups per day (as of end-December 2020, total 92 boxes with each box allowing for a morning and evening pickup; two rotations a day), with a pick up taking less than ten seconds. The company initially set up Smart Pickup points only at Haneda Airport but has since expanded to Narita Airport, Haneda Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport, Kansai International Airport, Itami Airport, Komatsu Airport, New Chitose Airport, Fukuoka Airport, Kitakyushu Airport, Kagoshima Airport, and Miyako Shimojishima Airport for a total of 11 airports and 36 pickup points (as of end-December 2020) and is looking to continue expanding the number of Smart Pickup points going forward.
Vision stated that Smart Pickup had resulted in shorter lines at staffed counters, and increased the number of walk-in contracts it processes by improving the utilization rate at counters. In light of the results, the company stated that it planned to install additional Smart Pickup lockers going forward.
Further, the company said that it was continuing to introduce “Smart Entry” (self-service kiosks that allow tourists wishing to rent WiFi routers to process applications and make payments themselves; services available in six languages). The kiosks are initially for renting NINJA WiFi® and are installed at counters in Haneda Airport, but going forward Vision plans to add GLOBAL WiFi® rentals and install additional terminals, with increased functions. In conjunction with Smart Pickup, the service enables Vision to utilize vending machines to further automate service counter services
Haneda Airport counter
Smart Pickup points (automated lockers for WiFi router pickup and return)
Smart Entry (self-service kiosks: multi-lingual/includes payment features)
Smart Pickup user guide 1
(unlock with you smartphone after preregistering)
Smart Pickup user guide 2
Smart Check (instant customer recognition counter: QR code reception counter)