The local branch will close at the end of the year, with the last sale set for November 24. The company made the announcement November 9 when it reported its third quarter results. The company is moving towards online sales.
“Our multi-channel live on site and online portfolio and technology platform afford us a unique ability to optimize our use of capital and to scale our business efficiently,” said Ravi Saligram, Chief Executive Officer, in his third quarter report to shareholders. “As we evolve our integration efforts, we are launching a comprehensive initiative to transform our auction operations to align and enable our multi-channel go-to-market sales approach and achieve structural cost efficiencies. A first step in this process is to optimize our live auction network by rationalizing sites with marginal returns and focusing resources on our high volume sites, while increasing the usage of our weekly featured online auction throughout the year; specifically we plan to cease operations at five live auction sites in North America by year end. Our sales coverage will remain unchanged and our sales teams will continue to serve customers in these regions through both our closest live auction site and our online solutions.”
The Prince George operation, along with locations Raleigh-Durham, St. Louis , Manchester , and Albuquerque in the United States, will close by year-end.
Ritchie Brothers Auction was formed in Kelowna in 1958 and is how headquartered in Vancouver. It has become a global operation with auction sites in Canada, the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It employs more than 2,000 people worldwide. It’s not known how many jobs will be affected by the Prince George closure.
In 2016 it had US$5.3 billion in combined gross transactional value, with US$1.9 billion of that online. The company sold 485,000+ equipment items and trucks.
During the third quarter this year, the company generated $141.0 million of revenues, an increase of nine per cent versus the same quarter last year with $10.3 million of net income attributable to stockholders versus a net loss of $5.1 million in the third quarter of 2016. Diluted EPS attributable to stockholders was $0.09 including $3.6 million of acquisition-related costs and $10.6 million of interest expense compared to diluted loss per share attributable to stockholders of $0.05 in the third quarter of 2016.