Despite a mixed set of results in Iwatani Corporation’s consolidated financial results for fiscal year ended 31st March 2017, the company has projected strong double-digit growth for the year ahead.

Overall, consolidated net sales in 2016 dropped to ¥588bn ($5.2bn) from ¥616bn ($5.4bn) the previous year, but gross profit rose by 4.9% to ¥161.5bn ($1.4bn).

Revenue in its Industrial Gases & Machinery business slightly rose by 1.2% to ¥166.3bn ($1.5bn) but operating income fell by 11.2% from ¥7.6bn ($67m) to ¥6.7bn ($59.1m).

Capital expenditure in this segment, which covers fixed assets, intangible assets and investments in securities, dropped from ¥12.9bn ($113.8m) to ¥9.3bn ($82m). Iwatani forecasts this to grow to ¥16bn ($141m) in fiscal year 2017.

Japanese yen

The Japanese outfit projects net sales to grow by 16.5% in fiscal year 2017. It also anticipates net sales in its Industrial Gases & Machinery to show double-digit improvement, with a 10% growth forecast for the next financial year.

If realised, Iwatani would generate ¥183bn ($1.6bn) in industrial gas sales. It also anticipates its operating income to grow by 21.1% from ¥6.7bn ($59.1m) to ¥8.2 ($72.3m).

James Barr, Senior Business Analyst at gasworld Business Intelligence, said Iwatani’s 2017 fiscal forecast is “an ambitious task.”

He explained, “Despite a recent return to growth in the Japanese economy, it is unlikely that Iwatani’s forecast will primarily stem from its domestic market. The company’s presence in China and some of the South East Asian markets will most likely be the drivers for growth over the next 12 months.”