Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers reports continued strong earnings in the second quarter and increases dividend



    VANCOUVER, Aug. 7 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated (NYSE
and TSX: RBA) announces net earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2009 of
$58.7 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, and adjusted net earnings of $58.1
million, or $0.55 per diluted share. This compares to adjusted net earnings of
$53.2 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, for the first half of 2008.
Adjusted net earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined below.
Financial statement net earnings for the first half of 2008 were $62.3
million, or $0.59 per diluted share. The Company conducted 92 industrial
auctions in 10 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and
Australia during the first half of 2009, and set seven regional gross auction
proceeds records. The Company also opened three auction facilities in the
first half of 2009 as it continued its global auction site expansion program.
All dollar amounts in this release are presented in United States dollars.

    Quarterly dividend

    The Company's Board of Directors is also announcing the declaration of a
quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per common share payable on September 11,
2009 to shareholders of record on August 21, 2009, representing an 11%
increase over the Company's previous quarterly dividend.

    Gross auction proceeds and auction revenues

    Gross auction proceeds for the six months ended June 30, 2009 were $1.91
billion, 2% lower than the first half of 2008. Auction revenues were $204.1
million for the six months ended June 30, 2009, a 4% increase compared to the
first half of 2008. Gross auction proceeds and auction revenues in local
currency, being mainly the US, Canadian and Australian dollar and the Euro,
increased 6% and 14%, respectively, compared to the first half of 2008. The
Company's auction revenue rate (auction revenues as a percentage of gross
auction proceeds) was 10.70% in the first half of 2009, compared to 10.14% in
the first half of 2008.
    The Company achieved gross auction proceeds of $1.11 billion in the
second quarter of 2009, representing a 5% decrease compared to the second
quarter of 2008. Auction revenues were $120.5 million for the three months
ended June 30, 2009, compared to $115.8 million for the second quarter of
2008, an increase of 4%. The Company's auction revenue rate was 10.86% for the
second quarter of 2009, higher than the auction revenue rate of 9.95% in the
second quarter of 2008 mainly due to the superior performance of its
underwritten business.

    Net earnings

    Net earnings for the three months ended June 30, 2009 were $38.8 million,
or $0.37 per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the three months
ended June 30, 2008 of $45.9 million, or $0.43 per diluted share. Adjusted net
earnings for the three months ended June 30, 2009 were $38.8 million, or $0.37
per diluted share, which represented a 2% increase over the adjusted net
earnings for the three months ended June 30, 2008 of $37.9 million, or $0.36
per diluted share.

    Numbers of bidders, buyers and sellers

    The Company had over 177,000 bidder registrations at its unreserved
industrial auctions in the first half of 2009, of which almost 51,000 were
successful buyers. In the first half of 2008, the Company had almost 140,000
bidder registrations, of which over 41,000 were buyers.
    Ritchie Bros. worked with a large number of truck, equipment and other
asset sellers in the first half of 2009, selling over 148,000 lots on behalf
of over 18,000 consignors. In the first half of 2008, Ritchie Bros. sold close
to 123,000 lots for over 18,000 consignors.

    Average Ritchie Bros. auction

    The Company's auctions varied in size over the 12 months ended June 30,
2009, but the average Ritchie Bros. industrial auction attracted almost 1,700
bidders who competed for over 1,400 lots consigned by 185 consignors. For the
12 months ended June 30, 2008, the average industrial auction attracted over
1,400 bidders, who competed for over 1,400 lots consigned by 193 consigners.
The average gross auction proceeds per industrial auction for the 12 months
ended June 30, 2009 was approximately $17.6 million (12 months ended June 30,
2008 - $17.8 million).

    Online bidding statistics

    Ritchie Bros. sold almost $425 million of trucks, equipment, and other
assets to online bidders during the first half of 2009, representing a 15%
increase compared to the first half of 2008 (first half of 2008 - almost $370
million). More than 115,000 customers from almost 190 countries have now
registered and received approval to bid online at Ritchie Bros. auctions (June
30, 2008 - more than 89,000 customers from almost 180 countries). Internet
bidders represented approximately 30% of the total registered bidders at
Ritchie Bros. industrial auctions for the six month period ended June 30,
2009, and they were the buyer or runner up bidder on 34% of the lots offered
online at these auctions (first half of 2008 - 29%). Since launching its
real-time online bidding service in 2002, the Company has now sold almost $2.7
billion worth of trucks, equipment, and other assets to online bidders (June
30, 2008 - $2.1 billion).

    Summary comments

    "Our commitment to executing our long-term growth strategy resulted in
another strong billion-dollar quarter for Ritchie Bros.," said Peter Blake,
Ritchie Bros.' CEO. "We've achieved record year-to-date auction revenues and
reduced general and administrative expenses, resulting in a 12% increase in
earnings from operations for the first six months of the year. These results
are a testament to the hard work and commitment of our employees worldwide, as
well as the strength of our business model, which emphasizes long-term stable
growth and expansion, wise use of company resources and the importance of
delivering value and exceptional service to buyers and sellers of equipment."
    Mr. Blake continued: "We've seen two noticeable worldwide trends
recently: there's more used equipment coming to market and more people are
turning to our fair, transparent unreserved public auctions to meet their
equipment needs. We're selling more lots, attracting more bidders and
continuing to conduct record-breaking auctions in what many people would
describe as a challenging market. Buyers and sellers of used equipment are
turning to Ritchie Bros. in increasing numbers, and the investments we've made
in developing our salesforce and expanding our global network of auction sites
have enabled us to handle and benefit from that growth. We're pleased with our
progress and believe we are on track to meet our goals for 2009."
    The Company defines adjusted net earnings as financial statement net
earnings excluding the after-tax effects of excess property sales and
significant foreign exchange gains or losses resulting from financing
activities that are not expected to recur, and has provided a reconciliation
below. Adjusted net earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure that does not
have a standardized meaning, and is therefore unlikely to be comparable to
similar measures presented by other companies. The Company believes that
comparing adjusted net earnings as defined above for different financial
periods provides more useful information about the growth or decline of its
net earnings for the relevant financial period and identifies the impact of
items which the Company does not consider to be part of its normal operating
results.
    Gross auction proceeds represent the total proceeds from all items sold
at Ritchie Bros. auctions. The Company's definition of gross auction proceeds
may differ from those used by other participants in its industry. Gross
auction proceeds is an important measure the Company uses in comparing and
assessing its operating performance. It is not a measure of the Company's
financial performance, liquidity or revenue and is not presented in its
consolidated financial statements. The Company believes that auction revenues,
which is the most directly comparable measure in its Statements of Operations,
and certain other line items, are best understood by considering their
relationship to gross auction proceeds. Auction revenues represent the
revenues earned by Ritchie Bros. in the course of conducting its auctions, and
consist primarily of commissions earned on consigned equipment and net profit
on the sale of equipment purchased by the Company and sold in the same manner
as consigned equipment.

    About Ritchie Bros.

    Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the
world's largest industrial auctioneer, selling more equipment to on-site and
online bidders than any other company in the world. The Company has over 110
locations in more than 25 countries, including 39 auction sites worldwide.
Ritchie Bros. sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of used
and unused industrial assets, including equipment, trucks and other assets
utilized in the construction, transportation, agricultural, material handling,
mining, forestry, petroleum and marine industries. The Company maintains a web
site at www.rbauction.com and sponsors an equipment wiki at
www.RitchieWiki.com.

    Earnings Conference Call

    Ritchie Bros. is hosting a conference call to discuss its 2009 first half
financial results at 8:00am Pacific Time (11:00am Eastern Time) on August 7,
2009. To access a live broadcast of the conference call, please go to the
Ritchie Bros. website http://www.rbauction.com, click on 'About Ritchie Bros.'
then click on 'Investor Information'. Please go to the website at least
fifteen minutes early to download and install any necessary audio software. A
replay will be available on the website shortly after the call.

    Forward-looking Statements

    The discussion in this press release relating to future events or
operating periods contains forward-looking statements (as defined in Section
21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) that involve risks and
uncertainties, including, in particular, statements regarding anticipated
results for future periods; growth and demand for our services during
challenging economic times; development of our sales force; operating
leverage; and auction site network expansion. These risks and uncertainties
include: the numerous factors that influence the supply of and demand for used
equipment; fluctuations in the market values of used equipment; seasonal and
periodic variations in operating results; actions of competitors; the success
of the Company's online bidding initiatives; economic and other conditions in
local, regional and global markets; ongoing access to capital; our ability to
attract and retain key employees, develop additional auction sites and
successfully execute our strategic initiatives; and other risks and
uncertainties as detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC and Canadian
securities filings, including the Company's Management's Discussion and
Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for the year ended
December 31, 2008 and for the six months ended June 30, 2009, available on the
SEC, SEDAR and Company's websites. Actual results may differ materially from
those forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake any
obligation to update the information contained herein, which speaks only as of
this date.

    
    Consolidated Statements of Operations         Six months      Six months
    (Amounts in table and related              ended June 30,  ended June 30,
    footnotes are in USD thousands,                     2009            2008
    except share and per share amounts)           (unaudited)     (unaudited)
                                              -------------------------------

    Gross auction proceeds                      $  1,907,622    $  1,945,515
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                -------------   -------------

    Auction revenues                            $    204,134    $    197,216
    Direct expenses                                   24,966          26,496
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                     179,168         170,720
    Expenses
      Depreciation and amortization                   14,596          11,587
      General and administrative(1)                   81,202          84,927
                                                -------------   -------------

    Earnings from operations                          83,370          74,206

    Other income (expense)

      Interest expense                                  (226)           (514)
      Interest income                                  1,220           2,346
      Foreign exchange gain(1)(2)                        530           2,445
      Gain (loss) on disposition of
       capital assets(3)                                 (97)          7,310
      Other income                                       698             677
                                                -------------   -------------

    Earnings before income taxes                      85,495          86,470

    Income taxes                                      26,769          24,144
                                                -------------   -------------

    Net earnings(2)(3)                          $     58,726    $     62,326
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                -------------   -------------

    Net earnings per share                      $       0.56    $       0.60
    Net earnings per share - diluted            $       0.56    $       0.59

    Weighted average shares outstanding          104,981,514     104,635,006
    Diluted weighted average shares outstanding  105,590,921     105,730,812

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net earnings in accordance with
     Canadian GAAP                              $     58,726    $     62,326
    Less: after-tax foreign exchange impact of
     financing transactions(2)                          (664)         (1,799)
    Less: after-tax gain on sale of property(3)            -          (7,295)
                                                -------------   -------------
    Adjusted net earnings                       $     58,062    $     53,232
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                -------------   -------------

    Adjusted net earnings per share             $       0.55    $       0.51
    Adjusted net earnings per share - diluted   $       0.55    $       0.50


    (1) Figures have been reclassified to conform with presentation adopted
        at December 31, 2008.
    (2) Net earnings for the first half of 2009 included a foreign exchange
        gain of $759 ($664 after tax, or $0.01 per diluted share) on U.S.
        dollar denominated bank debt held by a subsidiary that has the
        Canadian dollar as its functional currency. The equivalent amount in
        the first half of 2008 was a foreign exchange loss of $781 ($668
        after tax, or $0.01 per diluted share). The bank debt was assigned in
        January 2009 to a U.S. dollar denominated subsidiary to eliminate
        this foreign exchange exposure. In addition, the foreign exchange
        gain recorded in the first half of 2008 included the reclassification
        to net earnings of foreign currency translation gains of $2,769
        ($2,467 after tax, or $0.02 per diluted share). These gains were
        previously recorded in the cumulative translation adjustment account
        and were reclassified in the first half of 2008 as a result of the
        settlement of a number of foreign currency denominated intercompany
        loans that had been considered long-term in nature. No long-term
        intercompany loans were settled in the first half of 2009 that
        resulted in a significant foreign exchange adjustment. The Company
        has highlighted these amounts because it does not expect such foreign
        exchange gains or losses relating to financial transactions to recur
        in future periods.
    (3) Net earnings for the first half of 2008 included total gains of
        $8,304 ($7,295 after tax) recorded on the sale of excess property.
        The Company highlighted this amount because it does not consider this
        gain to be part of the normal course of its operations.



    Consolidated Statements of Operations       Three months    Three months
    (Amounts in table and related              ended June 30,  ended June 30,
    footnotes are in USD thousands,                     2009            2008
    except share and per share amounts)           (unaudited)     (unaudited)
                                              -------------------------------

    Gross auction proceeds                      $  1,109,331    $  1,163,546
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                -------------   -------------

    Auction revenues                            $    120,459    $    115,822
    Direct expenses                                   16,113          16,381
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                     104,346          99,441

    Expenses
      Depreciation and amortization                    7,607           5,983
      General and administrative(1)                   41,384          42,778
                                                -------------   -------------

    Earnings from operations                          55,355          50,680

    Other income (expense)
      Interest expense                                   (64)           (144)
      Interest income                                    601           1,061
      Foreign exchange gain (loss)(1)(2)                (167)          1,887
      Gain (loss) on disposition of
       capital assets(3)                                 (52)          7,217
      Other income                                       400             434
                                                -------------   -------------

    Earnings before income taxes                      56,073          61,135

    Income taxes                                      17,226          15,216
                                                -------------   -------------

    Net earnings(2)(3)                          $     38,847    $     45,919
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                -------------   -------------

    Net earnings per share                      $       0.37    $       0.44
    Net earnings per share - diluted            $       0.37    $       0.43

    Weighted average shares outstanding          105,066,310     104,714,893
    Diluted weighted average shares outstanding  106,034,620     105,772,717

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Net earnings in accordance with
     Canadian GAAP                              $     38,847    $     45,919
    Less: after-tax foreign exchange impact of
     financing transactions(2)                             -            (682)
    Less: after-tax gain on sale of property(3)            -          (7,295)
                                                -------------   -------------
    Adjusted net earnings                       $     38,847    $     37,942
                                                -------------   -------------
                                                -------------   -------------

    Adjusted net earnings per share             $       0.37    $       0.36
    Adjusted net earnings per share - diluted   $       0.37    $       0.36


    (1) Figures have been reclassified to conform with presentation adopted
        at December 31, 2008.
    (2) Net earnings for the second quarter of 2008 included a foreign
        exchange gain of $205 ($175 after tax, or less than $0.01 per diluted
        share). The bank debt was assigned in January 2009 to a U.S. dollar
        denominated subsidiary to eliminate this foreign exchange exposure.
        In addition, the foreign exchange gain recorded in the second quarter
        of 2008 included the reclassification to net earnings of foreign
        currency translation gains of $680 ($507 after tax, or less than
        $0.01 per diluted share). These gains were previously recorded in the
        cumulative translation adjustment account and were reclassified in
        the second quarter of 2008 as a result of the settlement of a number
        of foreign currency denominated intercompany loans that had been
        considered long-term in nature. No long-term intercompany loans were
        settled in the second quarter of 2009 that resulted in a significant
        foreign exchange adjustment. The Company has highlighted these
        amounts because it does not expect such foreign exchange gains or
        losses relating to financial transactions to recur in future periods.
    (3) Net earnings for the second quarter of 2008 included total gains of
        $8,304 ($7,295 after tax) recorded on the sale of excess property.
        The Company highlighted this amount because it does not consider this
        gain to be part of the normal course of its operations.



                                                     June 30,    December 31,
                                                        2009            2008
    Selected Balance Sheet Data (USD thousands)   (unaudited)
                                              -------------------------------

    Current assets                              $    405,482    $    193,940
    Current liabilities                              331,649         146,831
                                                -------------   -------------
    Working capital                             $     73,833    $     47,109

    Total assets                                     979,954         689,488
    Long-term debt                                   120,637          67,411
    Total shareholders' equity                       514,863         465,162



                                                  Six months      Six months
                                               ended June 30,  ended June 30,
    Selected Operating Data (unaudited)                 2009            2008
                                              -------------------------------
    Auction revenues as percentage of
     gross auction proceeds                            10.70%          10.14%
    Number of consignments at industrial auctions     18,045          18,786
    Number of bidders at industrial auctions         177,012         139,864
    Number of buyers at industrial auctions           50,817          41,248
    Number of permanent auction sites                     31              30
    Number of regional auction units                       8               8
    

    %SEDAR: 00010198E




For further information:

For further information: Jeremy Black, Vice President, Business
Development Corporate Secretary, Phone: (604) 273-7564, Fax: (604) 273-2405,
Email: ir@rbauction.com


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