Agribusiness Ruralco Holdings says it has made several acquisitions in key regional locations to broaden its geographic reach.

The company also said on Wednesday that continued dry conditions in some parts of Australia had hurt the sales of rural supplies.

Ruralco said it would merge its existing joint venture at Forbes in central NSW, Wesfal, with Central West Agriculture, which has locations in the cropping and grazing markets of Peak Hill and Parkes.

Ruralco also said it had acquired the Moree Independent Rural business in north-western NSW, which would provide a platform for securing market share in one of the largest markets for rural inputs in Australia.

Ruralco also completed the acquisition of Euroa-based livestock and real estate business Newmarket Livestock in Victoria.

"The completion of further growth initiatives and acquisitions will enable us to continue to grow our operation in a measured way through the investment in high-calibre businesses and people where it complements our existing network," Ruralco managing director John Maher said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ruralco chairman Robert England told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Hobart that the company would only pursue a transaction in relation to Elders Rural Services if it were "clearly value-accretive to Ruralco shareholders".

Ruralco acquired a 12.04 per cent stake in agribusiness and automotive parts supplier Elders during 2012.

Since Ruralco acquired the stake, Elders has said it would sell its automotive operations, continue the sale of forestry assets, and sell Elders Rural Services.

Mr England said dry conditions across eastern and southern Australia during the first quarter of Ruralco's fiscal year had affected sales of rural supplies, and livestock profitability.

Revenue was under pressure from sharp falls in livestock prices.

"We expect that trading conditions will continue to be challenging throughout 2013," Mr England said.

"Ruralco continues to be well positioned to benefit across its business activities and will capture the upside of any turnaround in underlying market and seasonal conditions."

Shares in Ruralco were 11 cents higher at $3.46 at 1517 AEDT on Wednesday.

 

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