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TAS Country : February 23rd 2012
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 24, 2012 www.crt.com.au There s always better value at CRT. We The Winning Edge XAVIER30570-0212_LHP1 Advertisement CRT retailers have The Winning Edge Delegates at the 2012 CRT National Conference in Adelaide were left in no doubt that when it comes to meeting the needs of rural and regional Australia, CRT's Local Blokes really do have The Winning Edge. The CRT Conference is the premier event on the CRT calendar and over 900 CRT retailers, agricultural suppliers and Ruralco staff attended the three day event at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The Winning Edge Conference highlighted the CRT group's achievements over the past twelve months and showcased an outstanding range of products and services from Australia's leading agricultural supply companies. As a member of Ruralco, a leading Australian owned agribusinesses, CRT's offering to their clients is extensive. Ruralco's national business network specialises in fertiliser, seed, wool, livestock, real estate, risk management, water, grain, finance and insurance, all of which are available to CRT retailers and their customers. An exceptional line-up of guest speakers and entertainers including Dr Tim Cooper AM, Bernard Salt, Sam Kekovich, Tommy Dean, Lee Kernaghan, Darryl Braithwaite, Ross Wilson, James Reyne and Kenny Graham informed and entertained delegates whilst MCs Julia Morris and Shelley Craft ensured a lively and entertaining program. Service to local communities a Ruralco/CRT priority Ruralco's Managing Director, John Maher, told delegates it was the 'can do' attitude of the Ruralco Executive, staff, members and joint venture partners that had contributed to the group's success in 2011. "We have continued to focus on executing a clear strategy whilst maintaining the necessary financial disciplines that are crucial in today's business environment and which I think will be particularly important in the year ahead," said Mr Maher. "That 'can do' attitude and the professional way we service the local communities in which we collectively operate, drives our success." "The flip side to this is that it is crucial, that as a company we contribute and give back to the local communities within which we operate." "It is particularly gratifying to see the passion of individuals within our group and Ruralco as a collective providing assistance to a diverse range of charities and associations at local, state and national level." Mr Maher thanked all those involved with the very successful Ride for Rural Kids charity bike ride through central west Queensland last year which raised over $108,000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities . Special thanks went to the cycling team, participating CRT members and country music star, Lee Kernaghan, who lent his support to the week-long event and contributed to its success. Mr Maher also congratulated Rob and Annabelle Raff, CRT's Local Blokes in Pittsworth, who were awarded the Pittsworth Community Group/Event of the Year Award from the Toowoomba Regional Council in recognition of their fundraising activities in support of the Ride. Recent flooding in northern New South Wales and Queensland highlighted the challenges faced by many in rural and regional Australia. "Our thoughts and best wishes are with everyone that has suffered loss and devastation due to recent events." "Ruralco will lend any assistance it can to help our members and their communities as they come to grips with the devastation and heartache that has occurred," said Mr Maher. Ruralco builds on strong foundations In his opening address at the CRT Conference, Ruralco Chairman, Richard England, said the year was a good one with turnover exceeding $1 billion for the firstt i me. "Our Net Profit After Tax for the year was $15.0m, an increase of 24.3% over the previous year. This enabled us to increase our dividend to shareholders by 12.5% to 18 cents per share fully franked," said Mr England. Mr England also highlighted growth across a number of divisions including 22.7% growth in Rural Merchandising and Fertiliser. Buoyant livestock and wool markets assisted activity growth by 24.1% , Grain Marketing profit was up 70.3% and Financial Services was up 6.0% compared with last year. "2011 was characterised by strategic acquisitions and divestments." Mr England was delighted to announce that Ruralco had recently entered into a partnership with the Agritech/Westech Group and their stores in Horsham, Nhill and Kaniva in Victoria. The acquisition this year of a business in York, Western Australia and another in Caboolture, Queensland, gives Ruralco 503 points of representation across Australia. "Our growth since the merger has been impressive and we now have the geographic coverage to well and truly match, if not exceed, that of our major competitors." Mr England thanked recently retired Ruralco Board Director, John Edwards, for his contribution to the growth of the group and his passion for Ruralco. Mr Edwards served on the Roberts and Ruralco boards for a combined period spanning 28 years. "Ruralco is inextricably linked with the communities who are once again suffering through the devastating floods in Queensland and northern New South Wales." Whilst trading has been interrupted for some businesses, Mr England said it was still too early to reliably assess whether the net financial impact of these natural disasters on the 2012 full year results is material or not. Mr England said Ruralco would keep the market fully informed as clearer information came to hand. Richard England, Chairman, Ruralco Holdings Limited. John Maher (right) presented Malcolm Coutts, CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities (left), with a cheque to support the organisation's work. Lee Kernaghan joined them for the presentation. Dr Tim Cooper. Bernard Salt. Sam Kekovich.
February 16th 2012
March 8th 2012