Convenience store chain Seven-Eleven Japan Co said today (Thursday) that its quarterly profit rose 9.3% on aggressive store openings and an improved gross profit margin, but it kept its full-year forecast unchanged, the Reuters news agency reported.

Despite shrinking same-store sales, Seven-Eleven Japan earned a group net profit of 26.41bn yen (US$235.4m) for the three months to May, up from 24.16bn yen a year earlier.

Seven-Eleven Japan, 50.6% owned by Ito-Yokado Co, is battling a slowdown in the Japanese convenience store market with new store openings, and its earnings are also being helped by a healthy performance at its U.S. 7-Eleven subsidiary, Reuters said.

The company, which has nearly 10,900 outlets in Japan, maintained its net profit forecast at 106.50bn yen for the year to February, and is poised for its 26th consecutive year of profit growth.

Sales at its stores open more than a year showed a setback with a 1.7% decline, falling short of its target for the current business year of equalling the previous year's figure.