21 Nov 2012

Ruralco not yet decided on bid for Elders rural services

5:59 am on 21 November 2012

Ruralco Holdings says it does not yet know whether it will bid for Elders' rural services business.

Chairman Richard England on Tuesday said Ruralco was monitoring the situation but had not yet made a decision.

"If Ruralco did participate, we would be disciplined and would not pursue any acquisition unless it was value-accretive for Ruralco shareholders," Mr England said in a statement on Tuesday.

AAP reports Ruralco holds a stake of about 12% in Elders. In September, the company approached Elders to discuss a possible merger between the two businesses, but no formal proposal was put on the table.

Elders began a sale process for its rural services business in late October, saying it wanted to sell it to accelerate returns to shareholders.

Ruralco on Tuesday reported a net profit of $A13.8 million for the year ended 30 September, down 7.5% on the prior year amid falling commodity prices and variable seasonable conditions in cropping regions.

Despite the fall in overall group profit, the company said its rural supplies, grain marketing and water and environment businesses all generated greater revenue and profits during the fiscal year.

AAP reports shares in Ruralco were two cents higher at $A3.16 at 1048 AEDT on Tuesday.