Review of Operations

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  1. Ceramic components for semiconductor manufacturing equipment. Production was accelerated by the completion of a mass production facility in October 1996.

  2. P.T. NGK Ceramics Indonesia completed the construction of its plant, and commenced operations in July1997.

  3. Due to the growing demand of home-use water purifiers, NGK has enjoyed favorable sales growth of its ceramic membrane filters.

  4. Ultrathin-Wall Honeycomb Ceramics with substrate walls of only 0.05 millimeter thick. Thinning the walls improved the product's performance of exhaust gas purification and miniaturized its size.

  5. NGK WALL®, a porcelain enameled steel panel, can be finished in any style to match urban design. (NADYA PARK-- Nagoya, Japan /November 1996)

  6. NGK's diesel particulate filter (DPF) is an essential automotive component for envIRonmental protection. The Yokohama City Transportation Bureau has already employed NGK's DPF in some of its city buses and theIRexcellent performance has been noticed by other municipal transportation bureaus.

Ceramic Products Business

Sales in our ceramic products business rose 15.6% over the previous term to Y59,632 million (US$480.9 million). Sales of our mainstay honeycomb ceramics for exhaust emission controls increased steadily, principally in the U.S. and European markets, with the depreciation of the yen providing a strong tail wind for exports from Japan. Sales growth was boosted by the ongoing recovery in domestic demand for industrial apparatus and industrial heating systems. Large-lot orders for porcelain-enameled architectural products and expanded marketing of ceramic membrane filters also contributed to the strong performance. Ceramic membrane filters are used mainly in pharmaceutical and food manufacturing processes.
Plant construction was completed in June 1997 at P.T. NGK Ceramics Indonesia, which was established in

April 1996 as our Southeast Asian production base for honeycomb ceramics. This is our fourth production base for honeycomb ceramics, complementing our existing facilities in Japan, the United States and Europe. Shipments are scheduled to begin in early 1998.
In December 1996, we reached agreement with The Siam Refractory Industry Co., Ltd. to form a joint venture, Siam NGK Technocera Co., Ltd. in Thailand to manufacture refractories for the production of electronics-related ceramics.
In response to strong demand, NGK expanded its mass production facilities of ceramic susceptors for semiconductor manufacturing equipment in October 1996. Our ceramic susceptors provide superior heat and corrosion resistance and are playing an important role in increasing the integration density of semiconductors.
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