The Chilean soft drinks industry has reported the highest quarter-on-quarter sales increase for six years, according to the national producers' association, Anber.

Sales in the third quarter of 2003 rose 7.2% to 376m litres, compared to the same period of 2002.

The impressive sales growth in the third quarter builds on the 5.4% growth recorded in the second quarter and reflects the industry's strong recovery, after a poor start to 2003.

The soft drinks industry has experienced overall sales growth of 3.5% to date this year, and is aiming to achieve 3.5-4.5% growth by year-end. This would be equivalent to total consumption of 1,600m litres and overall sales of US$800m.