Danone Espana, the Spanish unit of French food group Danone, has posted an 18.9% rise in net operating profit to €156m (US$182.6m) for 2002.

The company generated turnover of €983m for 2002, an increase of 9.2% year-on-year, reported the Spanish News Digest. Danone Espana invested €11.5m in researching and developing new products in 2002. It also invested €133m in its milk processing plants in Aldaia, eastern Spain and Parets del Valles, northeastern Spain.

Danone Espana employs 1,800 people and operates five plants in Spain.