UK food group Associated British Foods has posted a 10% rise in annual profit and said it was on the lookout for acquisition targets.

ABF reported pre-tax profits of £473m (US$792.9m) for the year to 13 September, at the high end of analysts' forecasts, which ranged from £461m to £475m, reported Reuters.

ABF, whose brands include Ovaltine, Twinings tea, Kingsmill bread and Ryvita crispbread, said part of the reason it wanted to make acquisitions was that it was earning a low return on its £1.24bn cash pile because of low UK interest rates.

"We can grow organically, but to reach the full potential for this business we need to do acquisitions and we are confident that there will be acquisitions," chief executive Peter Jackson was quoted by Reuters as saying.  

ABF said that the Ambrosia dessert brand, sold this week by Unilever to Premier Foods, would not have fitted into its own business.