TOKYO—JSR Corp. plans to focus on its faster growing semiconductor materials and life sciences businesses, while its synthetic rubber unit is set for "structural reform."
Details of the strategic changes will be unveiled at a management policy briefing on March 26, the Japanese group said when releasing its third-quarter results on Jan. 25. The synthetic rubber unit includes general-purpose and specialty rubbers.
Under the new medium- to long-term plan, JSR aims to establish "a business structure and management system with sustainability and resilience."
This best will be achieved through growth businesses such as semiconductor materials and life sciences, JSR said.
Meanwhile, JSR is considering structural reform "from a fundamental and unsanctioned perspective," of its synthetic rubber business, which supplies synthetic rubber, resins and specialty chemicals.
However, the group cautioned that changes to the rubber business required careful consideration due to the "many stakeholders involved and complexities around the positioning of industrial facilities."
Last April, JSR signaled a major restructuring to improve earnings within the synthetic rubber segment, which contributes more than 40 percent of total group sales.
JSR said the unit had been impacted by "dramatic changes" in the business environment, including supply/demand balance shifts caused by new capacities in China.
The segment reported an operating loss of $17 million, on 11 percent lower sales at $1.7 billion, for the year ended March 31, 2020.
For the first nine months of this fiscal year, the unit reported an operating loss of $121 million on 27 percent lower sales of $948 million in sales. Sales volumes for the period fell 18 percent to just under 380,000 metric tons.
The business unit's portfolio includes styrene-butadiene rubbers (ESBR and SSBR), polybutadiene rubber, polyisoprene, nitrile rubber, butyl rubber, ethylene-propylene rubber and thermoplastics elastomers.