McDonald's Japan has today (Monday) reported first quarter net profit more than tripled, according to the Reuters news agency.

The rise was due to strong sales at new and existing restaurants.

McDonald's Holdings Co. Ltd. (Japan), which is almost 50% owned by US fast-food giant McDonald's Corp, posted  a group net profit of 1.92 billion yen ($18.26m) for the January-March period, up 243% from 560 million yen a year earlier, on an 8.8% rise in sales to 82.14bn yen.

For the year to December, McDonald's Japan kept its net profit forecast at 5.17bn yen, above a consensus analyst projection of 5.14bn yen in a poll of five analysts by Reuters Estimates.

McDonald's Japan last month introduced a new and simplified menu to attract more customers, and revealed a plan to double capital investment this year to renovate outlets.