Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated
TSX : RBA
NYSE : RBA

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated

August 03, 2005 07:00 ET

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Reports Another Record Quarter and Increases Dividend By 64%

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 3, 2005) - Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Incorporated (TSX:RBA)(NYSE:RBA) today announced its results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2005. The Company's net earnings for the first six months of 2005 were $34.8 million, or $1.00 per diluted weighted average share, compared to $21.8 million, or $0.63 per diluted weighted average share, in the first half of 2004. Net earnings for the first six months of 2005 included after tax gains of $4.1 million recorded on the sale of property that was not being used in the Company's operations. Excluding these gains, net earnings would have been $30.7 million, or $0.89 per diluted weighted average share. All dollar amounts in this release are presented in United States dollars.

Gross auction sales for the six months ended June 30, 2005 were $1.1 billion, 22% higher than the gross auction sales reported for the first half of 2004, making this the largest first half gross auction sales performance in the Company's history. Strong sales volumes in the United States, Canada and Europe contributed to the gross auction sales growth. Auction revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2005 were $114.3 million, a 22% increase over the comparable period in 2004. Auction revenues as a percentage of gross auction sales were 10.03% this year compared to a rate of 10.05% in the first half of last year.

Ritchie Bros. sold approximately 104,000 lots for over 14,000 consignors at 78 industrial auctions attracting over 113,000 registered bidders during the first half of 2005. The Company also held 73 agricultural auctions during the period, which generated gross auction sales of approximately $52.7 million.

Gross auction sales for the quarter ended June 30, 2005 were $682.7 million, the largest quarterly gross auction sales in the Company's history and 23% higher than the equivalent period in 2004. Auction revenues for the second quarter of 2005 were $65.7 million and the auction revenue rate was 9.62%.

Peter J. Blake, the Company's CEO commented: "By sticking to our simple, proven strategy of using unreserved auctions to create a global marketplace for industrial assets, we have been fortunate to work with an ever-increasing number of buyers and sellers of trucks and equipment. Our auctions match local supply with global demand. The record sales and earnings results from the first half of this year reflect the fact that Ritchie Bros. is well-positioned to serve owners who want direct access to the global market when they are selling equipment."

Bidders using the Company's rbauctionBid-Live internet bidding service during the six months ended June 30, 2005 purchased approximately $151.8 million worth of trucks and equipment, a 45% increase over the equivalent period in 2004. The rbauctionBid-Live service continues to complement the Company's live auctions, by increasing the size and diversity of the bidding audiences. Internet bidders now represent approximately 20% of the registered bidders at Ritchie Bros. auctions and are the buyers or runner up bidders on roughly 15% of all lots available to online bidders. There are now more than 30,000 customers from over 100 countries who are approved users of the rbauctionBid-Live system.

The Board of Directors today announced the declaration of a quarterly cash dividend of 18 cents per common share payable on September 16, 2005 to shareholders of record on August 26, 2005. This dividend represents a 64% increase over the Company's previous quarterly dividend of 11 cents per share.

Gross auction sales represent the aggregate selling prices of all items sold by the Company during the period and are not presented in the Company's consolidated financial statements; the comparable financial statement measure is auction revenues, consisting primarily of commissions earned on consigned equipment and net profit on the sale of equipment purchased by Ritchie Bros. and sold in the same manner as consigned equipment.

About Ritchie Bros.

Ritchie Bros. is the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, operating through over 110 locations in more than 25 countries around the world. The Company sells, through unreserved public auctions, a broad range of used and unused industrial equipment including trucks and equipment used in the construction, transportation, mining, forestry, petroleum, material handling, marine and agricultural industries. Ritchie Bros. maintains a website at www.rbauction.com.

Earnings Conference Call

Ritchie Bros. is hosting a conference call to discuss its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2005 at 8:00am Pacific Time (11:00am Eastern Time) on August 3, 2005. To access a live broadcast of the conference call, please go to the Ritchie Bros. website www.rbauction.com, click on 'About Ritchie Bros.' then click on 'Investor Information'. Please go to the website at least fifteen minutes early to download and install any necessary audio software. A replay will be available on the website shortly after the call.

Forward-looking Statements

The discussion in this press release relating to future operating periods contains forward-looking statements (as defined in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) that involve risks and uncertainties, including, in particular, statements regarding anticipated results for future periods; the performance of the rbauctionBid-Live internet service; and the implementation and future success of the Company's growth strategy. These risks and uncertainties include: the performance of the Company's guarantee and inventory contracts; the many factors that impact on the supply of and demand for used equipment; fluctuations in the market values of used equipment; periodic and seasonal variations in operating results; actions of competitors; the success of the Company's Internet initiatives; and other risks and uncertainties as detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC filings. Actual results may differ materially. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update the information contained herein, which speaks only as of this date.



Consolidated Statements of
Earnings (USD thousands, Six months ended Six months ended
except share and per share June 30, 2005 June 30, 2004
amounts) --------------------------------------
(unaudited) (unaudited)

Gross auction sales $ 1,138,971 $ 932,418
------------ ------------
------------ ------------

Auction revenues $ 114,270 $ 93,666
Direct expenses 14,076 12,400
------------ ------------
100,194 81,266
Expenses:
Depreciation 6,863 6,007
General and administrative 44,457 39,837
------------ ------------

Earnings from operations 48,874 35,422
Other income (expenses):
Interest expense (1,341) (1,753)
Gain on disposition of capital
assets 6,502 104
Other income 237 282
------------ ------------

Earnings before income taxes 54,272 34,055

Income taxes 19,463 12,301
------------ ------------

Net earnings $ 34,809 $ 21,754
------------ ------------
------------ ------------

Net earnings per share (1) $ 1.01 $ 0.64
Net earnings per share -
diluted (1) $ 1.00 $ 0.63

Weighted average shares
outstanding - diluted 34,640,320 34,449,643

--------------------------------------------------------------------
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Net earnings in accordance
with GAAP $ 34,809 $ 21,754
Less: after-tax gain on sale
of excess property (1) (4,065) -
------------ ------------
Adjusted net earnings $ 30,744 $ 21,754
------------ ------------
------------ ------------

Adjusted net earnings per share $ 0.90 $ 0.64
Adjusted net earnings per share
- diluted $ 0.89 $ 0.63

(1) Net earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2005 included
total gains of $6,431 ($4,065 after tax) recorded on the sale of
excess property. The Company does not consider this gain to be
part of the normal course of its operations.

Consolidated Statements of
Earnings (USD thousands, Three months ended Three months ended
except share and per share June 30, 2005 June 30, 2004
amounts) ----------------------------------------
(unaudited) (unaudited)

Gross auction sales $ 682,711 $ 553,776
------------ ------------
------------ ------------

Auction revenues $ 65,692 $ 55,996
Direct expenses 8,592 7,853
------------ ------------
57,100 48,143
Expenses:
Depreciation 3,464 3,045
General and administrative 21,901 20,420
------------ ------------

Earnings from operations 31,735 24,678
Other income (expenses):
Interest expense (662) (793)
Gain on disposition of capital
assets 1,054 56
Other income 39 219
------------ ------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Earnings before income taxes 32,166 24,160

Income taxes 11,032 8,996
------------ ------------

Net earnings $ 21,134 $ 15,164
------------ ------------
------------ ------------

Net earnings per share (1) $ 0.62 $ 0.44
Net earnings per share
- diluted (1) $ 0.61 $ 0.44

Weighted average shares
outstanding - diluted 34,688,210 34,493,257

--------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------

Net earnings in accordance
with GAAP $ 21,134 $ 15,164
Less: after-tax gain on sale
of excess property (1) (769) -
------------ ------------
Adjusted net earnings $ 20,365 $ 15,164
------------ ------------
------------ ------------

Adjusted net earnings per share $ 0.59 $ 0.44
Adjusted net earnings per share
- diluted $ 0.59 $ 0.44

(1) Net earnings for the quarter ended June 30, 2005 included a $938
gain ($769 after tax) recorded on the sale of excess property.
The Company does not consider this gain to be part of the normal
course of its operations.

Selected Balance Sheet Data June 30, 2005 December 31, 2004
(USD thousands) -----------------------------------
(unaudited)

Current assets $ 327,738 $ 171,302
Current liabilities 276,262 134,431
------------ ------------
Working capital (including cash) 51,476 36,871

Total assets 600,737 442,409
Long-term debt 4,552 10,792
Total shareholders' equity 313,478 289,264

Six months ended Six months ended
Selected Operating Data June 30, 2005 June 30, 2004
(unaudited) --------------------------------------
(unaudited) (unaudited)

Auction revenues as
percentage of gross
auction sales 10.03% 10.05%
Number of consignors
- industrial auctions 14,359 12,354
Number of bidders
- industrial auctions 113,686 105,050
Number of buyers
- industrial auctions 33,087 30,232
Number of permanent
auction sites 23 22
Number of regional
auction units 7 7



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