The Croatian food and drinks group, Podravka, has reported a 42% increase in sales at its mineral water and fruit juice subsidiary, Studenac, for the first half of 2002. The company posted sales revenues of €5.6m from soft drinks in the first half of 2001.

Over the past 18 months, Podravka has invested some €10.8m in expanding production capacity at Studenac. The company has around a 20.8% share of the Croatian mineral water and fruit juice market, making it the second most powerful company in the sector after Jamnica.

Podravka dismissed speculation linking Coca-Cola with a bid for Studenac. It said that the two companies were in talks over Studenac some eighteen months ago but no negotiations were currently taking place.