VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE and TSX: RBA), the world’s largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, announces net earnings for the year ended December 31, 2010 of $65.9 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, and adjusted net earnings of $65.2 million, or $0.61 per diluted share. This compares to $93.5 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, and $92.0 million, or $0.87 per diluted share, respectively for 2009. This represents a year-over-year decrease of 29% in adjusted net earnings. Adjusted net earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure and is defined below. The Company’s auction revenues for the year ended December 31, 2010 were $357.4 million, compared to $377.2 in 2009. The Company conducted 230 industrial auctions in 16 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Central America, Asia and Australia during 2010. All dollar amounts in this release are presented in U.S. dollars.
The Company also announced on January 21, 2011 the declaration of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.105 per common share payable on March 11, 2011 to shareholders of record on February 18, 2011. In 2010, the Company paid approximately $43 million in regular cash dividends, an 8% increase over 2009.
Gross auction proceeds and auction revenues
Gross auction proceeds in 2010 were $3.28 billion, 6% lower than in 2009. Gross auction proceeds is a non-GAAP financial measure and is described below. Excluding the impact of fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar, gross auction proceeds and auction revenues in local currency decreased 9% and 7%, respectively, in 2010 compared to 2009. The Company’s auction revenue rate (auction revenues as a percentage of gross auction proceeds) was 10.90% in 2010, compared to 10.80% in 2009.
The Company achieved gross auction proceeds of $798.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2010, a 10% decrease compared to $891.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Auction revenues were $88.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2010, a 9% decrease compared to $97.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2009. Excluding the impact of fluctuations in the value of the U.S. dollar, gross auction proceeds and auction revenues decreased 10% and 8%, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.
Online bidding statistics
Ritchie Bros. sold over $872 million of equipment, trucks and other assets to online bidders during 2010, representing a 5% increase compared to 2009 (2009 – approximately $830 million). Internet bidders represented approximately 43% 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.
Ritchie Bros. introduced its new multi-language website in April 2010. The website 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 website (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 website is also a powerful tool for attracting new non-English speaking customers and expanding Ritchie Bros.’ global market. There was an 11% increase in site visits from non-English speakers from the date of the website implementation in April 2010 until December 31, 2010, compared to the equivalent period in 2009.