Revenue up 22% for Ritchie Bros

19 March 2008

Industrial equipment auctioneer Ritchie Bros. reported 17% growth in earnings for the first half of 2007.

This delivered net earnings of US$44.1 million. “Net earnings growth in 2007 would have been 20%, excluding the effect of after-tax gains of $1.1 million recorded in the first half of 2006 on the sale of surplus property. The company does not consider these gains to be part of its normal operating results,” said a company spokesperson.

Gross auction proceeds, previously called gross auction sales, were $1.65 billion, the largest first half result in the company's history, it said. Auction revenues for the first six months of 2007 were $163.9 million, representing growth of 22% compared to the first half of 2006.

n Cranes and late-model construction equipment attracted more than 600 registered bidders from 53 countries to Ritchie Bros’ multi-million dollar unreserved auction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last month.

It was the company's largest Dubai auction since 2003, generating more than US$24 million from more than 1,700 items from nearly 170 consignors.

Stephen Branch, Ritchie Bros. divisional manager, said, “We sold almost 40 cranes and an outstanding range of late-model and unused equipment at the auction, drawing interested buyers from Asia, Europe, North America, Africa-all over the world. Our internet bidding service, rbauctionBid-Live, enabled many of them to bid on equipment they otherwise wouldn't have access to, and because we were able to attract so many international buyers, our consignors were able to sell their equipment for global market value.”

Equipment sold included two unused 2007 Zoomlion tower cranes, six late-model all terrain cranes, and close to 20 rough terrain cranes. Cranes sold by the internet bidding service included a rough terrain crane to India, and an all terrain crane to Kuwait.

Buyers will still travel long distances to attend auctions. Sandeep Garg, president of plant and equipment for Punj Lloyd Limited, one of India's largest engineering construction companies, travelled from India a number of items for Punj Lloyd in the sale, including ten cranes.

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