Associated British Foods has reported higher profits for the year to 18 September and said it is well placed for future success.

The company, which makes Kingsmill bread and Ryvita crispbreads, reported profit before tax up 10% to £494m (US$917.1m). Adjusted operating profit before goodwill amortisation rose 12% to £478m. Group sales rose 5% to £5.17bn.

"These results again demonstrate our ability to deliver strong underlying profit growth from our businesses against a backdrop of adverse commodity pricing and currency movements. We are well placed for future success with our new yeast businesses giving us further growth opportunities," said CEO Peter Jackson.

The company, whose brands also include Ovaltine, Mazola and Silver Spoon, said important contributors to growth included the hot beverages business which showed good growth in several key markets. A strong improvement in the UK milling and baking business helped offset the impact of adverse conditions in some of the other grocery businesses. Unusually sharp vegetable oil price rises in the US resulted in loss of margin for ACH in the first half of the year. Competitor activity there and in the Australian bakery business was also particularly strong.

Looking ahead, the company said strong competitive conditions are a fact of life for its businesses.

"Success requires continued investment in maximising operational efficiency, in product development and in marketing. Enhanced programmes in all these areas are built into our plans for the current year," ABF said.