Q1. When was EPS established?
A1. EPS was established in May 1991.
Q2. Where can I find an overview of your company?
A2. By clicking on the Company Profile link button, you can download a PDF format file containing our company overview.
Q3. Can you tell me what your company does in simple terms?
A3. The core of our operations is focused upon the CRO and SMO businesses. We also provide other services including pre-clinical study, staffing service, and pharmaceutical and medical information system development. Furthermore we are expanding the geographical operating territory of our CRO and software development businesses from Japan to include China, South East Asia, and the Oceania regions as well.
What is a CRO?
CRO is an acronym for the term "Contract Research Organization" and represents the institutions and other groups involved with the business of clinical study. CROs are contracted by pharmaceutical companies to provide third-party objective clinical study in the pharmaceutical development process to raise the efficacy and quality of drugs being developed. This trend to outsource clinical study has accelerated since the fortification of the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) regulations in 1997, which require stricter levels of scientific and ethical methods for clinical study. Furthermore along with the advance of various biotechnologies, the pharmaceutical companies are facing increased demands to develop new drugs at an even quicker pace. At the same time they are also confronted with the problem of how to deal with the extraordinary amount of time and money required for clinical study in the new drug development process. Consequently pharmaceutical companies are able to effectively increase both the speed and quality of the drugs produced by using the services of CROs.
With these market trends in mind, EPS has established a structure which can provide a full range of services from pre- clinical study to post-marketing study. Furthermore we are the industry leader with the greatest number of long-term and large-scale studies in the areas of cancer and circulatory diseases, which are among the top three causes of death in Japan. Moreover, we have developed a strong reputation for high quality data management because of our involvement in software development relating to the pre- clinical study stages prior to entering the CRO business.
What is an SMO?
SMO is an acronym for the term "Site Management Organization" and represents the organizations providing support services to the institutions conducting clinical study. In the EPS Group, our consolidated subsidiary EP-Mint Co., Ltd. is responsible for the SMO business operations. Since the implementation of the fortified GCP regulations, both smaller and larger medical institutions must bear heavier burdens in their clinical study operations. Because of their ability to greatly reduce this burden, SMO businesses are expected to grow in the years to come.
Q4. I would like to know about your corporate strategy and vision.
A4. Please refer to the Top Message section of our site. Q5. On what market are your shares listed, and what is your stock code?
A5. We are listed on the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on July 2004, and listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange on September 2006. Our stock code is 4282.
Q6. What is your policy with regard to dividends and returns to investors?
A6. After our listing on the JASDAQ Stock Market in July 2001, we established a target dividend payout ratio of 10%. And through deliberate efforts to increase returns to our shareholders, our actual dividend payout ratio rose to 14.8% in FY9/03, 19.7% in FY9/04, and 27.0% in FY9/05. Furthermore we will endeavor to maintain as high a level of returns as possible to our shareholders in the future.
Q7. When do you hold your general shareholders' meeting?
A7. Our general shareholders' meeting is held in late December. Please refer to our Annual IR Calendar.
Q8. When are your financial results announced and where can I find them in your site?
A8. Our 1st quarter earnings results are announced in February, interim results in May, 3rd quarter results in August, and full year results in November. Please refer to our Annual IR Calendar. Also you can view our past earnings results in our "Business Reports" or by clicking the Financial Highlights link.
Q9. Where can I find information about your share price?
A9. Please click on the http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=4282:JP link (Bloomberg share price function).
Q10. How do you respond to inquiries from institutional investors from overseas?
A10. We usually respond to inquiries from overseas institutional investors via telephone, telephone conferencing systems, or in one-on-one meetings with investors who are able to visit our offices. We can also arrange for interpreters and we also have English speaking staff who can be present in investor meetings.