Ritchie Bros. completes final auctions of 2013

Over $3.8 billion of equipment sold through Ritchie Bros. auctions in 2013, including a record $1.1 billion during the Company's fourth quarter

All dollar amounts are presented in U.S. dollars unless otherwise indicated.

VANCOUVER, Dec. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated (NYSE and TSX: RBA), the world's largest industrial auctioneer, sold approximately $3.8 billion of equipment at 356 unreserved auctions around the world in 2013. This represents a 3% decrease in gross auction proceeds (GAP) compared to the record GAP the Company generated last year. During the fourth quarter of 2013, the Company achieved gross auction proceeds of $1.1 billion, a record for the fourth quarter and an increase of 10% compared to the same quarter of 2012.

Ritchie Bros. conducted its final unreserved auctions of 2013 yesterday, in: Chehalis, Washington; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and, St. Louis, Missouri. The Company plans to release its full audited financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for 2013 on March 4, 2014.

Summary Comments:
"We achieved some notable milestones during 2013," said Peter Blake, CEO of Ritchie Bros. "In Canada, our most established market, we continued to grow and again surpassed gross auction proceeds of over $1 billion.  We also held our first auctions in both China and Finland, and reached a new record for online bidders and buyers. In fact, our online bidders purchased more than $1.4 billion of equipment in 2013, or approximately 37% of our total sales. We're pleased that our customers are finding convenience through our online bidding option, and comfort in the ability to test and inspect the equipment being sold in our yards before each auction. More than 43,000 consigners trusted us to sell their equipment at our industrial auctions during the year, and over 425,000 potential buyers registered to bid on items."

Mr. Blake continued, "This was an important year for our business. We had a focused strategy to grow our sales force and improve the performance of our underwritten (or 'at risk') business. On both counts, we have made great progress. During 2013 we grew our sales force to the largest it's ever been, and we continued to invest in new technology tools for our sales team that will provide better insight into our customer base, enhance our service levels and improve sales productivity. As well, the much improved performance of our underwritten business allowed us to achieve record quarterly auction revenue rates during 2013. We also successfully launched EquipmentOne.com, a new online non-auction service offering that has allowed us to reach new customers and broaden the solutions we offer equipment owners."

"Having made important investments in our auction platform over the last several years, our worldwide network of 44 sites is now extremely well equipped to handle expanding auction volumes. Our focus going forward is on driving growth in gross auction proceeds to deliver the earnings leverage that exists in our model."

Ritchie Bros. increased its quarterly cash dividend in August 2013, and paid out total dividends during the year of $53.9 million, compared to $50.0 million in 2012.

Industrial Auction Metrics:

  Year ended Dec. 31, 2013 Year ended Dec. 31, 2012
Number of industrial auctions 245 221
Bidder registrations 425,000 389,500
Buyers 104,550 99,250
Consignments 43,550 42,100
Lots 301,000 287,000

Average Industrial Auction:

  Year ended Dec. 31, 2013 Year ended Dec. 31, 2012
Gross auction proceeds (GAP)       $14.3 million       $16.5 million
Registered bidders 1,740 1,760
Consignors 180 190
Lots 1,230 1,300

Online auction bidding
Ritchie Bros. attracted record online bidder registrations and sold approximately $1.4 billion of equipment, trucks and other assets to online bidders in 2013, an 8% increase over 2012 and the highest amount ever sold online by the Company in one year.

Auction site network expansion
During 2013 Ritchie Bros. opened three new auction sites. On March 19, 2013, the Company opened a new permanent auction site in Geelong (Melbourne), Victoria, Australia. This is the second permanent auction site in Australia, complementing Ritchie Bros. existing site in Brisbane. On April 18, 2013, the Company opened a regional auction site in Beijing, China - Ritchie Bros.' first auction site in China. On October 11, 2013, the Company opened a regional auction site in Manchester (Hooksett), New Hampshire, US. This site was opened to replace the Company's prior site in Hartford, Connecticut, as the Manchester location is more accessible and convenient for customers.

First auction in China
Ritchie Bros. held its first ever unreserved auction in China on April 18, 2013, and its second unreserved auction there on November 21, 2013. Ritchie Bros. auctions in China are the culmination of many years working with Chinese authorities and equipment owners to establish a convenient and transparent channel for used equipment transactions in China, and the export of equipment from China through the Tianzhu Free Trade Zone.

Six-day auction in Orlando, Florida breaks online sales record
Ritchie Bros. held its largest auction of the year in Orlando, Florida on February 18 - 23, 2013. This six-day auction broke the Company record for total online sales at one auction, as online buyers generated more than $53 million in GAP, or 31% of the $176 million of total GAP generated at the auction.

Over CA$1 billion in sales achieved for second consecutive year in Canada
For the second consecutive year, Ritchie Bros. sold more than CA$1 billion of equipment and trucks in its Canadian auctions. The milestone was achieved at the Ritchie Bros.' unreserved public auction in Edmonton, AB on December 12 - 13, 2013. Other 2013 highlights from Ritchie Bros. Canadian auctions include:

  • The six auctions at Ritchie Bros. Edmonton, AB site surpassed CA$425 million, a record for annual sales at the site

  • A record level of online buyers at the Edmonton, AB auction on April 24 - 26, 2013, where more than CA$36 million of equipment was purchased by online bidders

  • The largest agricultural auction in Ritchie Bros. history was held in Saskatoon, SK on December 3, 2013, where more than CA$43 million of agricultural equipment was sold

Ritchie Bros. Financial Services finances over CA$100 million in 2013
Ritchie Bros. Financial Services (RBFS) provided over CA$100 million of financing to equipment buyers during 2013, a record for the business.  This represents a 122% increase in activity over the prior year and continued growth since its inception in July 2011. RBFS works with select lending partners to find financing solutions for customers purchasing equipment, including loans and lease-to-own programs.  RBFS does not utilize Company capital in its financing activities.

Launch of Ritchie Bros. EquipmentOne
Ritchie Bros. commercially launched Ritchie Bros. EquipmentOne on April 8, 2013. Complementary to the Company's flagship unreserved auction business, Ritchie Bros. EquipmentOne (www.EquipmentOne.com) is a safe and secure online marketplace for the private sale of equipment and materials where buyers and sellers can negotiate, complete and settle their transactions. This new solution provides equipment owners with the ability to control the selling price and the process during the sale of their items, and allows the Company to reach new customers whose needs differ from those attracted to Ritchie Bros.' auction services.

Website statistics
The Ritchie Bros. website (www.rbauction.com), which is a gateway to the Company's online bidding system and showcases upcoming auctions and equipment to be sold, attracted more than 6.3 million unique visitors in 2013, a 12% increase compared to last year. The website was viewed over 14.7 million times during 2013, an increase of 15% compared to the prior year.

Upcoming auctions
There are currently 77 unreserved auctions on the 2014 Ritchie Bros. auction calendar at www.rbauction.com, which begins with a two-day auction in Houston, Texas on February 5 & 6, to be followed by auctions in:

  • Phoenix, Arizona on February 12, 2014
  • Tipton, California on February 14, 2014
  • Orlando, Florida (a six-day auction) on February 17 - 22, 2014

About Ritchie Bros.

Established in 1958, Ritchie Bros. (NYSE and TSX: RBA) is the world's largest seller of used equipment for the construction, transportation, agriculture, material handling, energy, mining, forestry, marine and other industries. Ritchie Bros. TM solutions make it easy for the world's builders to buy and sell equipment with confidence, including live unreserved public auctions with on-site and online bidding (rbauction.com), the EquipmentOneTM secure online marketplace (EquipmentOne.com), a professional corporate asset management program, and a range of value-added services, including equipment financing for customers through Ritchie Bros. Financial Services (rbauctionfinance.com). Ritchie Bros. has operations in more than 25 countries, including 44 auction sites worldwide. Learn more at RitchieBros.com.

Non-GAAP measures
Gross auction proceeds (GAP) represents 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 Consolidated Income Statements, 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.

Forward looking statements
This press release may contain forward-looking information. Such forward looking information involves material assumptions, risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the control of Ritchie Bros. Such assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, factors influencing the supply of and demand for used equipment, fluctuations in market conditions and values of used equipment, seasonal and periodic variations in operating results, actions of competitors, the success of the Company's new initiatives, economic and other conditions in local, regional and global markets, and other risks and uncertainties as detailed from time to time in the Company's securities filings. Ritchie Bros.' actual achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, this forward-looking information and, accordingly, no assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking information will transpire or occur. Any forward-looking information is made as at the date of this press release and Ritchie Bros. does not undertake any obligation to update publicly or to revise any of the included forward-looking information, except as may be required by applicable securities laws. 


Image with caption: "More than 301,000 equipment items were sold by Ritchie Bros. in 2013 (CNW Group/Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131220_C6086_PHOTO_EN_35205.jpg

Image with caption: "In 2013, Ritchie Bros. sold equipment for more than 43,000 sellers, and registered more than 425,000 potential buyers. (CNW Group/Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131220_C6086_PHOTO_EN_35206.jpg

Image with caption: "Ritchie Bros. held its first ever unreserved auction in China on April 18, 2013. (CNW Group/Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131220_C6086_PHOTO_EN_35207.jpg

SOURCE: Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers

For further information:

Jamie Kokoska
Investor Relations Manager
Phone: 1.778.331.5219
Email: jkokoska@rbauction.com


Kim Schulz
Manager, Corporate Communications and Events
Phone: 1.604.788.5379
Email: kschulz@rbauction.com

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