Industry equipment auctioneer Ritchie Bros reported a -22% drop in net earnings for the first quarter of 2013, achieving US$ 14 million against 2012’s US$ 17 million.
The company's auction revenues during the first quarter of 2013 grew +1% to US$ 102.1 million compared to $101.3 million for the same period in 2012.
Gross auction proceeds (GAP) for the period were -2% lower than 2012, at US$ 845.4 million. The company's auction revenue rate was 12.07% during the period ended March 31, 2013 compared to 11.71% in the same period of 2012.
During Q1, 2013, Ritchie Bros conducted 36 unreserved industrial auctions in 12 countries.
"We have started the year with a strong auction revenue rate, however this did not totally compensate for the fall in our gross auction proceeds,” said Peter Blake, CEO, Ritchie Bros.
According to Blake, a decrease in OEM production due to the global recession has impacted business for Ritchie Bros, as the equipment it is now auctioning is older.
Online sales did see a boost in Q1 2013, with Ritchie Bros selling over US$ 289 million of equipment, up +5% on 2012 figures.
Following this trend, Ritchie Bros has continued with the roll out of its EquipmentOne online marketplace.
Mr. Blake continued: "So far in the second quarter we have continued our investment in Ritchie Bros. EquipmentOne and are excited to have initiated the commercial launch, which is a significant part of our 2013 strategy. We are encouraged by our customer's initial response to this initiative. In addition, we are proud to have held our first auction in China which was well received by equipment owners."