The sale of non-alcoholic drinks rose 5% in Bulgaria in the three quarters since January 2003 to some 706m litres, the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) said.

The Association said sales were now on target to exceed 900m litres if trends continued.

The increase is apparently due primarily to a rise in bottled water sales, which were up 8%. Bottled mineral water sales it is estimated will account for 36% of the overall soft drinks sales in 2003.

Natural juice sales rose by 14%.