In 1907, a Viennese industrialist, Karl Varhaneck, built a fish-processing factory in Postira on the island of Brač. It was comprised of two buildings covering an area of 2,184 square meters. By 1911, production in the factory reached a level of 426,300 pieces of canned fish per year. That might look very modest compared to today’s multimillion level of production, but given the conditions and available technology of that time, this was a significant level of production. Factory operations were suspended during the World War II, but started up again in 1948.
In 1957, the company began to form its own fishing fleet, buying the ships Jadran and Zora. It continued in 1961 with the purchase of two more ships, the Palamida and the Balkun. The first significant renovation of the production plant was carried out in 1983 with the installation of a new production line with a capacity of to process 3,000 tons of fish and producing 18 million cans. Two years later, the company acquired a large refrigerator with the capacity of 800 tons with a tunnel for deep-freezing 40 tons of fish per day and a production plant for fishmeal. In 1993, Sardina changed from a public enterprise to a joint-stock company, Sardina d.d. It was bought by the Swiss company Ambeco AG of Lucerne three years later. In that same year, the company started farming fish in Maslinova Bay on the island of Brač with a capacity of 10 tons, 50 times less than production today.
In 2006 the company was privatised and registered as a limited liability company – Sardina d.o.o.