I am pleased to provide an overview of our consolidated business results for the fiscal year from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 as follows.
During the fiscal year under review, the market of interchangeable lens cameras contracted due to a significant sales plunge of SLR cameras, chiefly of entry-level models despite strength shown in full-frame mirrorless models. Accordingly, the interchangeable lens market also contracted. The compact digital camera market continued to slide. As a whole, the digital camera market is experiencing harsh circumstances. However, the market for surveillance cameras, automotive cameras and other products for industrial use continued to expand.
Under these circumstances, net sales for the fiscal year under review achieved 63.285 billion yen, up 2.4% compared to the previous year, reflecting sales surges in the mainstay Photographic Products Business and in the Commercial/ Industrial-use Optics Business.
Among the income-related figures , the gross margin ratio rose by 2.9 percentage points and the gross margin surged significantly as a result of cost-cutting efforts and the strong sales of interchangeable lenses under the Tamron brand. This occurred despite the negative impact of the stronger yen against the euro and other foreign exchange factors and soaring sales, general and administrative expenses due to the strengthening of research and development activities. This resulted in operating income of 6,982 million yen, up 28.7% year-on-year, ordinary income of 7,403 million yen, up 26.0% year-on-year, and profit attributable to owners of parent of 5,330 million yen, up 23.1% year-on-year. The Group therefore achieved a sales and profit increase for the third consecutive fiscal year and the highest profit in its history.
The total dividends for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019 were 68 yen per share, the highest in the Group’s history, consisting of a 25-yen interim dividend and a 43-yen year-end dividend, which is up 8 yen from the preceding year. We will endeavor to distribute our profits according to our business results and to continuously offer steady dividends to shareholders.