Complete financial results for the year will be announced on Feb. 24, 2005, when the company expects to release its audited financial information for the year.

In 2004, Ritchie Bros. conducted 147 unreserved industrial auctions in 10 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. The company recorded more than 202,000 bidder registrations, of which more than 58,000 were successful buyers. In 2003, the company had more than 181,000 bidder registrations at its auctions, of which approximately 55,000 were buyers.

Richie Bros. worked with a record number of equipment sellers in 2004, and handled more than 24,000 consignments totaling more than 178,000 lots, compared to 23,000 consignments and 166,000 lots in 2003. Although the company's auctions varied in size in 2004, the average Ritchie Bros. industrial auction featured more than 1,200 lots consigned by approximately 170 consignors, and attracted more than 1,300 registered bidders. The average gross auctions sales per industrial auction was approximately $12 million. In addition to these industrial auctions, the company held 93 smaller unreserved agricultural auctions and one unreserved industrial plant equipment auction.

With approximately $200 million in gross auction sales during 2004, the company's rbauctionBid-Live online bidding service also achieved a record participation level for the year. The service allows qualified bidders to participate over the Internet in live Ritchie Bros. unreserved auctions. In 2003, Internet buyers purchased $145 million worth of trucks and equipment online. This past week, Ritchie Bros. welcomed its 25,000th customer to the service. Customers from 125 countries have now registered and received approval to use the rbauctionBid-Live service.

In 2004, the company achieved the record for the largest and second-largest auctions in Ritchie Bros. history, held in Moerdijk (Rotterdam), The Netherlands, and Orlando, Fla., respectively. Other Ritchie Bros. sites that achieved their largest-ever sales in 2004 included Chicago, Ill.; Statesville, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Edmonton, Alta.; Stockton, Calif.; and Perris, Calif.

The company also announced that it has reached an agreement with CitiCapital to provide financing for commercial purchases at its auctions in the United States, which takes effect beginning in 2005. CitiCapital is developing proprietary software to allow virtually instant credit approval for applications made online and at the Ritchie Bros sites. As part of the agreement, CitiCapital will use Ritchie Bros. as their exclusive auction service provider for industrial equipment.

Gross auction sales for 2004 included the results of a large unreserved auction held at the company's permanent auction site in Edmonton, Alberta, on Dec. 16. More than 2,800 people from 12 countries, 32 U.S. states, and nine Canadian provinces registered to bid at the auction; they purchased more than 1,700 truck and equipment items, generating more than CA$26 million in gross auction sales.

Ritchie Bros.' 2005 auction calendar starts in Columbia, Miss., in January. Fifty-two other auctions are already scheduled, including five days of auction activity in Florida in February. Equipment listings and information about upcoming auctions are available on the company's Web site,