Both Air Water Inc. and Iwatani Corporation have released financial results for the first three quarters of fiscal year 2017, having carved out diverse results after following different industry trends.
For Air Water, net income reached ¥23bn ($212m), down by 0.4% comparatively. However, the Japanese major saw a clear recovery movement in sales of its industrial gases after improved cost reductions created a 7.4% increase in operating profit and a 5.5% increase in ordinary profit.
Its sales of industrial gases also took a remarkable upward swing for onsite gas for blast furnaces. In this segment, sales climbed by 3.9% and ordinary profit soared by 17.7%.
Air Water’s air separation gases, including oxygen, nitrogen and argon, also performed better compared to the same period of the previous year. Sales in its medical business saw a 1.9% improvement overall but a 4.9% drop in ordinary profit. In addition, the company achieved an increase in sales of medical oxygen despite a reduction in the construction of hospital facilities.
As a result, Air Water has not altered its outlook for the entire fiscal year, projecting to reach sales of ¥700bn ($6.5bn), operating income of ¥42.5bn ($392m) and ordinary profit of ¥42bn ($387m).
On the other hand, figures revealed in Iwatani’s latest nine-month financials showed that sales for industrial gases remained flat.
Despite an overall improvement in sales and gross profit with a 0.7% increase in operating income, a 7.7% increase in ordinary profit and 22% increase in net income, sales in Iwatani’s industrial gases and machinery business declined by 1.3%. Operating income also reduced by 15.5%.
Essentially, sales of industrial gases remained flat at ¥67.6bn ($623m). The company signified that the drop of helium sales price and increased investment in liquefied helium containers resulted in lower profitability.
Sales for its air separation gases and liquefied hydrogen remained strong but equipment and facilities fell both domestically in Japan and overseas.
Iwatani’s outlook for the entire fiscal year has therefore adjusted for a sales decline of 2.6% to ¥600bn ($5.5bn), an increase of 2.5% in operating income to ¥21bn ($194m), a 1.9% increase in ordinary profit to ¥22bn ($203m) and a 5.1% increase in net income to ¥13bn ($120m), comparatively.
The Gas Review, issue no. 431