The Japanese industrial gas conglomerate, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation has publicised its first quarter fiscal results for 2012.

An analysis of the results reveals a slight overall decline in sales, operating and net income. TNSC summarised the situation, blaming appreciated yen as well as economic damage experienced in the wake of the Japanese Earthquake during March 2011.

The corporation remarked, “During the first quarter of the fiscal year under review, China and other emerging markets maintained high growth rates despite the slowness of economic recovery in the United States and the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.”

“Meanwhile, in Japan, there were signs of resurgent domestic consumer demand,$quot; added TNSC. $quot;However, the highly appreciated yen combined with direct economic damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 and subsequent fears of power shortages, cast a shadow over economic prospects.”

First quarter sales on a consolidated basis declined 0.6% year-on-year to ¥116,268m, meanwhile operating income declined still further, by 17.9% to ¥7,637m, while ordinary income dropped 13.8% to ¥8,086m. Net income for the quarter fell 36.8% year-on-year to ¥3,325m.

Sales of oxygen, nitrogen and argon were all down year-on-year. According to TNSC this was largely due to effects of the earthquake disaster on core customer industries in Japan; steel and chemicals. Despite this, the group reported increased sales of cutting and welding equipment, although sales of ASU’s were described as ‘down significantly’ due to a drop-off in major construction projects.

Encouragingly, overseas sales rose over the yearly period thanks to gains from mergers and acquisitions in the prior year in North America. Consequently, this sector saw a 2.9% increase on Industrial Gases Business sales to ¥72,521m and operating income dropped 11.8% to ¥5,235m.