Photo courtesy of Ritchie Bros. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated sold approximately $3.9 billion of equipment at 328 unreserved auctions around the world in 2012.
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated sold approximately $3.9 billion of equipment at 328 unreserved auctions around the world in 2012. This represents a 5 percent increase in gross auction proceeds over 2011 and the highest gross auction proceeds in company history. The company achieved gross auction proceeds of $1 billion in the fourth quarter alone. Ritchie Bros. attracted record online bidder registrations and sold approximately $1.3 billion of equipment, trucks and other assets to online bidders in 2012, an 18 percent increase over 2011 and the highest amount ever sold online by the company in one year.
Ritchie Bros. conducted its final unreserved auctions of 2012 (Dec. 20) in Los Angeles, Calif., and St. Louis, Mo. and plans to release its full audited annual financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for 2012 on Feb. 26, 2013.
Peter Blake, Ritchie Bros. CEO, commented: “Against the backdrop of market turbulence through the year, we are pleased with our 2012 results as we emerged well positioned to continue the growth of our core unreserved auction business and we are ready to begin a new path that will introduce a new customer base to our brand. In 2012, we saw the intense competition for quality low hour used equipment recently transition to a less competitive and more familiar environment for our business to grow over the long term. These changes in the evolving equipment market contributed to our performance in the year where we saw significant gains in our online presence and bidder portal, with over 5 million unique visitors to our 21 language website and $1.3 billion in annual online equipment sales. Our auctions in Canada recorded over $1 billion in gross auction proceeds for the year, an amazing feat from our network of 10 permanent auction sites within Canada.
“We are realizing benefits, from prior investments in capital and strategic initiatives, ranging from our continuing improvements in operating leverage to the expansion of our global auction site network with our new Donington Park, UK, yard and the opening of replacement sites in Chehalis, Wash. (replacing Olympia, Wash.) and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (replacing Statesville, N.C.).” “2013 is shaping up to be a great year of milestones, with the impending launch of our new online, non-auction marketplace as a result of our AssetNation acquisition. We also will be conducting our first unreserved auction in Beijing, China, as well as our upcoming six-day auction in Orlando, Florida, and grand opening auction in Geelong, Australia — all demonstrating the breadth in our mission statement to deliver compelling business solutions that enable the world’s builders to easily and confidently exchange equipment.”
The World’s Largest Heavy Equipment Auction
Ritchie Bros. held the world’s largest heavy equipment auction in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 13 to 18, 2012, and, in the process, broke multiple company records. New records were set for gross auction proceeds ($203 million), number of lots sold (more than 10,000), total number of registered bidders (8,670), number of sellers (830), online gross auction proceeds (more than $47 million) and number of online bidders (4,070).
New Canadian Sales Record?
The company achieved a historical milestone in its Canadian auctions in 2012. A new record was set at the Ritchie Bros.’ unreserved public auction in Edmonton, AB, on Dec. 13 to 14, 2012. Other 2012 highlights from Ritchie Bros. Canadian auctions include:
• Largest Canadian auction in Ritchie Bros. history: Edmonton, AB, on April 24 to 26, 2012 — $110+ million
• Largest Saskatchewan auction in Ritchie Bros. history: Saskatoon, SK, on Dec. 4, 2012 — $30+ million
• Largest Quebec auction in Ritchie Bros. history: Montreal, QC on Dec. 5 to 6, 2012 — $43+ million
First China Auction Announcement
On Nov. 28, 2012, Ritchie Bros. announced it will be holding its first unreserved public auction in China during the first half of 2013. The company will bring the certainty of unreserved auctions to Chinese equipment buyers and sellers now that the company’s wholly owned foreign enterprise application has been approved by the Chinese government.
Ritchie Bros. has formally leased land in the Tianzhu Free Trade Zone (Shunyi, Beijing) in preparation for this first unreserved public auction in China. Strategically located within minutes of Beijing Capital International Airport, the Tianzhu Free Trade Zone is connected to one of China’s largest roll-on, roll-off ports in Tianjin.
Other auction site records broken and milestones reached in 2012
Ritchie Bros. set a number of other records in 2012, including:
• Tipton, Calif. - $17 million: new regional record and most agricultural lots ever sold at a U.S. auction (Feb. 17)
• Brisbane, Australia — $54 million: the largest single-day auction in company history (March 20)
• Caorso, Italy — $17 million): the largest Italian auction in company history (March 8 & 9)
• London, Ontario — $3 million: new regional record (March 28)
• Polotitlan, Mexico — Nearly $19 million: the largest Mexican auction in company history as well as most bidders registered for a Mexican auction (March 28 & 29)
• Regina, Saskatchewan — $9 million: new regional record (March 29)
• Toronto, Ontario — $28 million: new regional record (Sept. 25 & 26)
• Raleigh-Durham, N.C. — $76 million: new regional record and first time selling more than 60 D11 crawler tractors in a single auction (September 26 & 27)
Auction Site Network Expansion?
Ritchie Bros. conducted grand opening auctions at four new or replacement permanent auction sites in 2012:
• Las Vegas, Nev.
• Donington Park, United Kingdom
• Chehalis, Wash. (replaced Olympia, Wash.)
• Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (replaced Statesville, N.C.)
Ritchie Bros. increased its quarterly cash dividend in 2012, and paid out total dividends during the year of approximately $50 million compared to $46 million in 2011.
Online Bidding Statistics
Ritchie Bros. sold more than $1.3 billion of equipment, trucks and other assets to online buyers in 2012, representing a 18 percent increase compared to $1.1 billion in 2011 and more than any other company in the world. Internet bidders comprised over 60 percent of the total bidder registrations at Ritchie Bros. industrial auctions in 2012.
Web Site Statistics
The Ritchie Bros. Web site (www.rbauction.com) attracted more than 5.5 million unique visitors in 2012 (a 38 percent increase compared to last year), and they had over 12.8 million visits to the Web site (28 percent more than 2011).
There are currently 77 unreserved auctions on the 2013 Ritchie Bros. auction calendar at, which commences with a two-day auction in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 6 & 7, to be followed by auctions in Las Vegas, Nev. (Feb. 8), Donington Park, UK (Feb. 12), Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 12 & 13), Tipton, Calif. (Feb. 15) and a six day auction in Orlando, Fla. on Febr. 18 to 23. 2013.
For more information, visit www.rbauction.com.