Japanese probiotic company Yakult Honsha Co. reportedly plans to increase Chinese production capacity for its Yakult lactic acid drink by 40%.

According to a report in Japanese publication Nikkei, the company has lined up a JPY4bn (US$40m) investment to expand production at its facilities in Guangzhou and Shanghai.

The company also reportedly plans to open a new plant in Tianjin in 2011.

Yakult also will broaden its Chinese sales territory to the country's interior. It currently only has a presence in five coastal provinces and three major cities.