Danone has announced that, subject to government approval, it has increased its 40% stake in Indonesia's Aqua Group to a majority shareholding of 74%.

Danone acquired its original 40% stake in Aqua in 1998 and has since seen Aqua Group sales volumes grow 50% (2000) to 1.8 billion litres with net sales amounting to Eur91m ($81.9m) for the same period.

In a company statement Danone said that it has registered a very strong development in the region over the last few years, with a 30% yearly average sales growth since 1996. And at the end of 2000, Asia Pacific accounted for 12% of the total Danone Group net sales and 39% of its employees (33,570 people, were located in this region).

The Aqua Group provides a national network with its 12 factories and 43 distribution depots. By volume, the Danone Group says, Aqua is the largest packaged water brand in Asia.