Overseas sales have driven rising first-quarter profits at Japanese conglomerate Ajinomoto, the company said today (31 July).

Ajinomoto, a diversified manufacturer producing food, seasonings and pharmaceuticals, recorded a 37.3% leap in operating income to JPY14.1bn (US$118.3m).

The rise in profits came after rising sales in overseas markets and despite a slump in domestic earnings due rising raw material costs.

Ajinomoto saw its overseas profits soar by over 70% to JPY4.6bn thanks to the growth in sales of flavour seasonings, the company said.

Group net sales rose over 8% to JPY298.8bn for the three months to 31 March, Ajinomoto added.