Japanese soy sauce and seasoning maker Kikkoman posted an increase in first-quarter revenue as the company said the global economy continued to recover “moderately”.

Sales for the Tokyo-listed firm rose 8% to JPY107bn (US$972m) in the three months through June from a year earlier, it said an earnings statement yesterday (2 August). Exports grew amid a pick up in growth worldwide, while there were signs of an improvement in consumer spending, it said. However, Kikkoman noted evidence of weakness in the European economy.

Operating income, or EBIT, climbed 15% to JPY9.7bn.

Net profit dropped to JPY6.2bn year-on-year from JPY11.2bn, which appears to have been related to a tax outflow of JPY3.2bn, compared to an inflow of JPY2.7bn in the three months to June 2016.

The business segments of soy sauce, food products and beverages such as soy milk, all posted an increase in revenues, while the liquor and wine division witnessed a decline.

Going forward, the company is targeting full-year sales growth of 2.9% to JPY414bn, and a 5% increase in operating income to JPY34.5bn. The predicted next income per share stands at JPY111.