Hain Celestial, the US-based natural and organics group, is looking to beef up its presence in the UK through acquisitions, the head of its business in the country said today (5 February).

The company behind brands including the Linda McCartney meat-free range and Earth's Best baby food has held initial discussions with potential takeover targets.

David Arrow, managing director of Hain Celestial's UK operations, declined to identify the company's targets but said the business was "keen" to add to its operations in the country.

"We are looking at branded businesses that will help us build critical mass," Arrow told just-food. "At this juncture, it's very early days and [the talks] may or may not come to fruition."

Yesterday, Hain Celestial posted a 20% rise in second-quarter net sales to $276.2m for the three months to 31 December. Net income was up 10%, reaching $14.2m.

Arrow said he was "pleased" with the company's performance in the UK, particularly with the Linda McCartney range, which it relaunched last year after buying the brand in 2006.

He added that Hain Celestial would look at upping the presence of dairy-free beverage Rice Dream in the UK and also boost the profile of the brand in Europe.