Canada’s largest cheese processor, Saputo, has reported a 21% rise in its third-quarter profit and said it is looking for US acquisitions.

Montreal-based Saputo reported earnings of C$42.5m (US$27.9m) for the quarter to 31 December, compared to $35.1m in the year-ago period.

The company’s sales fell to $855.3m from $857.3m in the same quarter of the previous year.

Saputo said that a ruling by the World Trade Organisation last December requires Canadian dairy processors to export their products at prices that are not competitive, reported Reuters.

The company also said it was actively searching for possible acquisition targets in the US and planned to expand its presence in the Quebec and Ontario milk markets.