OSAKA -- Shares in Japanese air conditioner maker Daikin Industries, a world leader in the sector, hit a year-to-date high on Wednesday amid a heat wave in Europe that the company thinks will help offset slower sales in China.
Daikin rose 0.72% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, bucking the Nikkei Stock Average's 0.53% decline.
Europe is baking under summer temperatures that reached an all-time high of 45.9 C in France last month. Daikin's European sales have improved from a slow start in Italy and Spain during the spring, the company said.
The company forecasts a 17% sales gain in its European air conditioner business during the year ending next March, compensating for weakness in China.
Osaka-based Daikin also makes etching gas used in semiconductor production -- one of the products now subject to Japanese restrictions on exports to South Korea. Though this exposes the company to the risk of falling sales, the group's chemical business makes up a small share of operating profit at just over 10%.
The company forecasts a 3% rise in operating profit to 285 billion yen ($2.64 billion) for the current fiscal year, but said it will work toward a target of 295 billion yen.
"High-growth Daikin has an easy time attracting investment," said Tsubasa Sasaki, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities.