Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world’s largest auctioneer of industrial and construction equipment, posted net earnings for the year 2011 of $76.6 million compared with $65.7 million in 2010, a 13-percent increase. Auction revenues grew 11 percent to $396.1 million compared with $357.4 million for the same period in 2010.
The company conducted 228 unreserved industrial auctions in 13 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Central America and Australia during 2011.
Gross auction proceeds were $3.7 billion, a 13-percent year-over-year hike. Fourth-quarter gross auction proceeds jumped 30 percent year over year to $1 billion, while Q4 auction revenues totaled $113.4 million compared to $88.3 million in Q410, a 28-percent leap. Fourth-quarter net earnings increased nearly 100 percent to $26.8 million, compared with $13.5 million in the year-ago quarter.
“2011 was a successful year for Ritchie Bros. in the face of a challenging used equipment supply environment, and we achieved the targets that we set for the year,” said Peter Blake, Ritchie Bros. CEO. “During 2011 we accomplished a number of significant milestones, including the highest gross auction proceeds and auction revenues in the company’s history and the successful launch of our new services, thanks to the tremendous team we have in place. 2011 was characterized by the ongoing tight supply of good-quality late-model used equipment, which resulted in a strong pricing environment and intense competition for this equipment. Our consignors reacted to this competition by increasing their preference for guarantee and purchase deals, contributing to an increase in our at risk business to 36 percent of gross auction proceeds for 2011.
“We have begun 2012 with a number of very successful auctions, and the strong pricing and competitive environments we saw in 2011 have so far continued into 2012. We remain confident in our ability to grow our business in 2012 and believe we are well positioned to capitalize on improving used equipment transaction velocity, which is driven in part by recent increases in the production of new equipment.”
As previously announced, the company launched a range of value-added services on July 1, 2011, including equipment financing and powertrain service warranties in the U.S. and Canada, and insurance services in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
Ritchie Bros. sold more than $1.1 billion of equipment, trucks and other assets to online bidders during 2011, representing a 29-percent increase compared to $872 million in 2010 and a record for the company.