Innocent is looking to raise up to £35m to hasten its expansion into Europe despite the current economic turmoil engulfing the lending markets.

According to the Financial Times, the smoothie maker plans to counter falling sales in the UK by expanding its continental operations and entering new markets such as Spain and Italy.

With the debt markets effectively closed, Innocent hopes to raise the capital by selling a minority stake in the business.

Innocent co-founder Adam Balon told the Financial Times its businesses in markets such as France, Denmark and Switzerland “could be much bigger”. He added: “The world’s [economy is] not going to be terrible forever. We want to keep going.”

The news comes with Innocent set to report total sales for the year of around £105m – down from £113m for the previous 12 months.