The past year was characterized by reasonable growth. While trends within the various sectors of the consumer product division were mixed, net sales increased an average of 5 percent, following a relatively strong economy and increased consumer demand. Under the circumstances, the division's operating income increased approximately 2 percent, despite manufacturing cost pressures related to rising energy and commodity prices. The average operating income of the consumer product industry decreased as much as 1 percent during the past year.
The consumer product division continued to focus on working capital by increasing the average working capital ratio, along with a slight increase in inventory turnover and a slight decrease in accounts receivable turnover. We will continue the effort to realize higher efficiency and financial stability of the division. It is projected that the division's sales continue to grow an average of 3 to 5 percent per annum along with an estimated 2 percent increase in net income in the next five years.