In line with structural reforms conducted in the fiscal year ended March 2004, operating income increased steadily until the fiscal year ended March 2009. In the fiscal year ended March 2010, the postponed release of major titles and the failure of some titles to meet sales targets overseas resulted in a temporary decline in income. In the fiscal year ended March 2011, we promoted profit structure reforms aimed at more efficient development investment. We promoted streamlined development by transitioning to in-house production and strengthened our digital download strategy in response to rapid changes in the market beginning in the fiscal year ended March 2013. As a result, operating income and operating margins underperformed until the fiscal year ended March 2014 while these reforms were implemented. However, in the fiscal year ended March 2015, the operating margin improved substantially to 16.5% due to the effect of improvements in the cost of sales ratio resulting from these reforms. In the fiscal year ended March 2016, although the cost to sales ratio temporarily worsened in the Amusement Equipments business, Consumer business growth caused operating income to increase, resulting in operating margins of 15.6%.
For the four fiscal years beginning in the fiscal year ended March 2005, net sales increased on the stability of popular titles in the Consumer business. In the fiscal years ended March 2010 and March 2012, net sales declined due to the postponed release of titles. However, the promotion of structural reforms in the Consumer business resulted in Capcom achieving net sales of 100 billion yen in the fiscal year ended March 2014 for the first time. Although net sales decreased significantly in the fiscal year ended March 2015 due to a decline in pachislo machine releases, net sales increased in the fiscal year ended March 2016 on the release of major titles in the Consumer business.
Capcom's capital investment is mainly used to (1) purchase development equipment, (2) expand business offices in Japan and overseas and 3) open new amusement arcades. From the fiscal year ended March 2007 to the fiscal year ended March 2009 and again in the fiscal year ended March 2013, capital investment was high due to development environment improvements in line with the transition to next generation game consoles in the Consumer area. In the fiscal years ended March 2015 and March 2016, capital investments increased substantially in line with an increase in development employees required to expand our title lineup and the construction of two new development buildings.
Performance was sluggish in the fiscal years ended in March 2010, 2013 and 2014, as (1) a complete overhaul to the Amusement Equipments' underperforming profit structure, (2) development structure revisions in line with enhanced digital downloads in the Consumer business and (3) strengthened Mobile Contents business management capabilities in line with development organization integration resulted in the recognition of special losses on restructuring and business restructuring expenses. From the fiscal year ended March 2015, income increased two years in a row due to the benefits realized from development organization reforms.
Capcom has its fundamental dividend policy of providing a continued and stable dividend to the shareholders. In accordance with its policy, an annual dividend of 20 yen per share was paid from the fiscal year ended March 1998 to that ended March 2006. Cash dividend per share for the fiscal year ended March 2007 to 2008 was raised to 30 yen thanks to its stable revenue base brought by its structural reform. Moreover we continued to incrementally increase dividend payments in line with earnings based on our policy of providing stable dividends aiming for a payout ratio of 30%; from the fiscal year ended March 2009, the annual dividend was increased to 35 yen and again up to 40 yen since the fiscal year ended March 2011.
At Capcom, we believe the generation of creative and original content is the source of corporate growth, thus 80% or more of our annual development investments are allocated to the Digital Contents business. Recently in the Consumer segment, development costs have been trending higher in line with increasingly high-performance hardware, but we have been able to control these increases by promoting development efficiency through increased employee utilization rates. Although costs have increased significantly since the fiscal year ended March 2008, we expect them to remain around 30 billion yen going forward.
Although net assets increased between the fiscal years ended March 2007 and March 2009, stable net income resulted in ROE of around 14%. In the fiscal years ended in March 2010, 2013 and 2014, this figure declined due to decreases in net income from the recognition of special losses on restructuring and business restructuring expenses. From the fiscal year ended March 2015, ROE once again improved on the elimination of special losses and improved profitability as we remain on track to meet our March 2017 goal of a three-year average of 8–10%.
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