Ritchie Bros. 2010 earnings: $65.9 million
Dec. 31, 2010
Dec. 31, 2009
|Gross auction proceeds||$ 13.4 million||$ 17.3 million|
Online bidding statistics
Ritchie Bros. sold more than $872 million worth of equipment, trucks, and other assets to online bidders during 2010, representing a 5-percent increase compared to 2009 (about $830 million). Internet bidders represented about 43 percent of the total bidder registrations at Ritchie Bros. industrial auctions in 2010. Since launching its real-time online bidding service in 2002, the company has now sold almost $4.2 billion worth of trucks, equipment, and other assets to online bidders confirming Ritchie Bros.’ position as the world’s largest seller of used equipment and trucks to online buyers.
Web site statistics
Ritchie Bros. introduced its new multi-language Web site in April 2010. The Web site incorporates many new and enhanced features including current auction inventory and equipment searches in 21 languages, auction results and account services in 14 languages, and online bidding in seven languages.
The Web site (www.rbauction.com) now enables customers to interact with the company more easily, as well as search for and purchase the equipment they need. With its foreign language capability, the company’s Web site is also a powerful tool for attracting new non-English speaking customers and expanding Ritchie Bros.’ global market. There was an 11-percent increase in site visits from non-English speakers from the date of the Web site implementation in April 2010 until Dec. 31, 2010, compared to the equivalent period in 2009.
The total number of unique visitors to the site has increased about 14 percent in 2010 to roughly 3.2 million unique visitors, with an increase of 20 percent during the first six weeks of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. The number of first-time visits has also increased by 31 percent in 2010 compared to 2009. During 2010, nearly 35 million equipment searches were performed on the site, plus an additional 3 million auction results searches.
Timed Auction system
Ritchie Bros. deployed its Timed Auction system at 23 of the company’s auction sites worldwide in 2010, allowing the company to provide greater flexibility and convenience for customers, as well as handle a high volume of lower-value auction items without an auctioneer and other supporting staff. Since its deployment in March 2010, more than 48,000 lots have been sold using the Timed Auction system, generating about $47 million in gross auction proceeds.
The company has made meaningful progress on the implementation of a number of strategic initiatives announced previously, which are designed to deliver better value to its customers and extend the appeal of the company’s auctions, enhancing its ability to attract new customers. In particular, Ritchie Bros. is on track to introduce enhanced equipment information at its auctions starting July 1, 2011, and expects to introduce ancillary services such as customer finance, insurance, and warranty programs around the same time. Ritchie Bros.’ revised fee structure will take effect on July 1, 2011, and the company continues to anticipate a positive impact on its net earnings as a result of these initiatives.
Peter Blake, the company’s CEO remarked in a written statement: “Our results in 2010 reflected the challenging environment in which we operated, like many companies in our industry, and the difficulties we faced securing equipment consignments to sell at our auctions. The widely hoped-for recovery in the used equipment market did not materialize, and there was not a meaningful improvement in fundamentals or optimism during the year. That being said, we are confident about the decisions we made during the year that will sustain our business in the future and leave us well positioned to meet the needs of our customer base, which has grown substantially over the last several years.
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