First-quarter profits have jumped at probiotics group Yakult on the back of higher sales at home and abroad.

The Japanese firm yesterday (30 July) booked an 85% leap in operating income to JPY5.38bn (US$54.8m) for the three months to the end of June.

An increase in sales in Japan and in overseas markets, notably in Asia, Oceania and the Americas, boosted profits. Net sales were up 5.7% at JPY82.16bn.

Net income more than tripled from JPY1.01bn to JPY3.78bn. Last year’s first quarter included higher foreign exchange losses and steeper “extraordinary” losses.