Business and Other Risks
Listed below are the principal risks that we believe could affect the Leopalace21 Group's business performance and financial position. However, this list is not all-inclusive and does not cover all the risks that could affect Group businesses. All forward-looking statements included herein reflect the judgment of the Leopalace21 Group management as of the end of the consolidated fiscal term under review.
1. Revenue-related Risk
Leopalace21 apartments are primarily utilized by single persons, and corporate contracts typically involve short-term leases of apartments for use as company dormitories by workers travelling on company business. As a result, changes in the performance of the overall economy and corporate business results could affect employment rates or the demand for business trips, and this could negatively impact occupancy rates at the Company's apartments.
In addition, we have included in our forecasts all contracted orders for apartment construction, however the possibility that the client may not be able to obtain the necessary financing or loans from a financial institution is an important risk factor. Changes in the willingness of financial institutions to provide credit, changes in the assessed value of real estate to be used as collateral, and fluctuations in interest rates could affect Company revenues and adversely affect the Company's business results.
2. Cost of Sales
Based on the Company's apartment construction contract, the Company concludes a master lease agreement with apartment owners to lease back the constructed apartment for a period of time and at a rent level that are both fixed at the time the contract is concluded. Therefore, fluctuations in the amount of rental income received from tenants during the contract period could adversely affect the Company's profitability.
3. Risks Associated with Tangible Fixed Assets and Real Estate Held for Resale
Impairment losses or appraisal losses due to declines in the current market value of marketable securities, property for sale, fixed assets, or other assets could adversely affect the Company's business performance as well as its financial position. Moreover, with regard to the Company's hotel and resort related businesses, there will be a continuing need for regular investments in facility replacement and renewal. As a result, changes in depreciation expenses could have an effect on the Company's business performance.
4. Loan Losses, and Reserve for Bad Debt
The Company conducts financing activities, and carries on its books a balance for operating loans receivable comprising apartment construction loans and real estate equity loans. The Company also may guarantee the housing loans and membership fee loans offered to its customers by financial institutions. Apartment and other loans where repayment has become doubtful are accounted for separately as doubtful receivables (tangible), and a reserve is made for bad debt in each such case; however, our business results could be affected if amounts of uncollectible debt should increase, or if we should be obliged to honor claims pertaining to these loan guarantees.
5. Reserve for Apartment Vacancy Loss
In order to prepare for a risk of losses due to an increase in apartment vacancies, Leopalace21 has established a "Reserve for apartment vacancy loss" reserve fund equal to the amount of loss that may be expected to be incurred during a reasonably estimable period. The amount of this reserve is based on the rent levels set for individual leased units, the number of households, and occupancy rate forecasts calculated for each apartment building. Should any of these figures fall below the estimated values it could become necessary to increase the amount of the reserve, and this could adversely affect the results of the Company's leasing business.
6. Leasehold Deposits and Guarantee Deposits
Leopalace21 has long-term deposits from property owners held as an advance for apartment repair and renovation. These consist mainly of deposits received from property owners as a portion of future repair and renovation expenses, following the dissolution of Leopalace21 Owners Mutual Insurance Association. Leopalace21 makes a concerted effort as a leasing business operator to ensure the soundness of the apartment maintenance structure, through which properties fully leased from the owner are operated and maintained. However, an unexpected, large-scale repair or renovation could have an impact on Leopalace21's financial position.
Leopalace21 also has deposits for Leopalace Resort memberships related to the Guam resort business, most of which date to the opening of the resort complex in July 1993. The Leopalace21 Group works to increase member usage by improving facilities and member services, but should there be an unexpected number of requests for reimbursement of these deposits, this could have an impact on Leopalace21's financial position.
7. Financial Covenants
Financial covenants have been set on the numerous loan agreements that Leopalace21 has concluded with financial institutions. Accordingly, should consolidated or non-consolidated net assets, consolidated or non-consolidated interest-bearing debt, non-consolidated operating income violate the conditions of a financial covenant, there is a possibility that the Company, at the behest of the financial institution, could forfeit the benefit of the term for corporate bonds or other borrowings, which could have an impact on the Company's operating performance.
8. Information Leaks
The Leopalace21 Group holds a great deal of information, including personal information obtained through the consent of, or as a result of non-disclosure agreements with client companies. To control information security, the Company has drawn up the required information security guidelines, and set up a Compliance Committee to thoroughly educate our executive officers and employees about information security issues. Nevertheless, in the unlikely event that a leak of information of some type should occur, there is a possibility that the Group's reputation could be damaged, and that business performance might be affected.
9. Other Risks
The Group is aware that it incurs a variety of risks in the course of promoting its businesses, and it attempts to prevent, distribute or avoid risk whenever possible. Nevertheless, the Group's business performance and financial position may be affected by changes in economic conditions, the real estate market, the financial and stock markets, legal regulations, natural disasters, and a variety of other factors.