UK cereal maker Weetabix has reported higher pre-tax profit for its financial year 2002/03, partly due to the success of its new Alpen cereal bars.

The privately-owned company posted pre-tax profits of £50.6m (US$88.1m) for the year to 2 August, a rise of 14% compared to the previous year, reported the Financial Times.

Turnover was £382.7m, up 6% from the previous year.

In November, US private equity group Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst agreed to buy Weetabix for £642m in cash. Weetabix shareholders are to meet on 6 January to vote on the takeover bid.