TOKYO -- Sanwa Holdings will raise its dividend payout ratio this fiscal year as it seeks to return more cash to shareholders.
The Tokyo-based shutter manufacturer plans to pay a dividend of 20 yen (16 cents) per share for the year ending March 31, an increase of 4 yen from fiscal 2014. The amount translates to a payout ratio of 33%, based on its initial earnings forecast. Sanwa aims to pay out even more so that the ratio reaches 35% or higher this fiscal year. Fiscal 2014's ratio was 30%.
The company is expected to mark two straight fiscal years of record net profit in fiscal 2015 thanks to rising demand in the U.S. for shutters for houses and commercial buildings.
In addition to strong earnings, a lighter debt load has encouraged Sanwa to "alter our dividend policy," according to Chief Executive Officer Toshitaka Takayama.
Interest-bearing liabilities are expected to shrink to 72.1 billion yen at the end of this fiscal year, down from 88.4 billion yen a year earlier.