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Ritchie Bros. Breaks Record as Florida Auctions End

Tue March 11, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers conducted the largest auction in its 50-year history, selling almost 6,200 lots over five days for total gross auction proceeds in excess of $190 million. The company sold more than $51 million of trucks and heavy equipment on day three of the auction: the most equipment ever sold at a Ritchie Bros. auction in one day. Ritchie Bros. conducted the unreserved public auction at its permanent auction site in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 19 to 23. The auction surpassed the company's previous largest auction – a $172 million auction conducted at the same site in February 2007.

More than 6,000 people from 71 countries, including all 50 U.S. states and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories, registered to bid in the auction either on site or online. Almost $159 million of equipment (representing 83 percent of the total gross auction proceeds) was sold to buyers from outside the state of Florida, including more than $68 million of equipment (36 percent of the total) that was sold to out-of-country bidders.

The auction also set new company Internet bidding records. More than 2,000 of the registered bidders participated online using the Ritchie Bros. real-time Internet bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live, purchasing close to $30 million worth of equipment. Internet bidders were winner or runner up on 30 percent of the lots available online.

"We're continuing to see strong demand for equipment in many sectors and geographic markets around the world, and that was reflected in the international presence at the auction, as well as the results we achieved and the records we broke," said Peter Blake, Ritchie Bros. CEO. "The participation of bidders from around the world, both on site and online, helped our local consignors overcome the current economic conditions in the U.S. and achieve global fair market value for their equipment. Our February Orlando auction is by far the world's largest industrial auction, but we deliver this global marketplace to our customers at over 180 industrial auctions around the world each year."

Gary Seybold, Ritchie Bros. regional manager, said, "The auction was a great success. We saw stronger prices than we did during the fourth quarter of 2007, with especially good returns on motor graders, highway paving equipment and cranes. We had on-site bidders from as far away as Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, with active bidding from all over the world via the Internet."

The auction featured equipment from more than 550 consignors, including Jacksonville, Fla.-based Ring Power Corp., one of the largest Caterpillar equipment dealers in the southeastern United States. Frank Fowler, Ring Power's vice president of used equipment, has consigned more than $270 million of equipment at Ritchie Bros. auctions over the past 20 years, including more than 140 items in this auction. Ring Power has historically been the primary consignor at Ritchie Bros.' February Orlando auctions.

"Ritchie Bros.' February Orlando auction is the premier auction of the year; it sets the stage for what's to come," Fowler said. "The combination of Ring Power and Ritchie Bros. creates excitement and attracts people from all over the world. The demand from the international bidders was even more important to us this year, with the economy in the United States being the way it is. Our returns from this auction were significantly better than we expected."

Among the equipment sold in the five-day auction: more than 70 cranes, 340 hydraulic excavators, 290 wheel loaders, 180 articulated dump trucks, 350 crawler tractors, 130 loader backhoes, 30 pavers, 140 drum rollers, 130 truck tractors, 230 boom lifts, 90 scissor lifts, 290 telescopic forklifts and 180 forklifts.

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