McDonald's of Peru recently announced that it will invest approximately US$4.3m in the construction of three new restaurants. So far this year, the chain increased its Peruvian presence by 32%. By the end of the year, there should be 15 McDonald's restaurants in operation in Peru. A similar level of investment and expansion is projected for 2001. At present, expansion is limited to covering niche markets in the capital of Lima, and the company has no concrete plans for opening restaurants in other cities.McDonald's Peruvian sales have risen in spite of what management describes as a difficult economic environment. During the first quarter of 2000, sales were up 40% relative to one year earlier and the rate of increase was slightly less for the second quarter. In order to bring down operating costs, management hopes to reduce dependence on imported products from 60% at present to 50% in 2001.