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Auctioneer generates record-breaking revenue

A global auctioneer with a major presence in Clark County sold about $3.9 billion of equipment last year at auctions, a company record.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers — which sells industrial and agricultural equipment in 23 locations in the United States and 44 around the world — has a campus in South Vienna to conduct auctions.

Local Ritchie Bros. officials were unavailable and area breakdowns of revenue were unavailable for this area.

However, during the December auction in South Vienna alone, more than 950 pieces of equipment were sold — including crawler tractors, excavators, wheel loaders, cranes, truck tractors, forklifts and more, said company spokespeople Jose Vargas and Kim Schulz in an e-mail.

“Bidders came from 35 countries, including 50 U.S. states,” they said. “More than 64 percent of the equipment was sold to out-of-state buyers from as far away as Nigeria, Jordan and Vietnam. Online bidders purchased more than 55 percent of the equipment sold (by dollar value).”

Ritchie Bros. employs 15 full-time and 31 part-time workers in Clark County and generates more than $550,000 in state and local government revenue, according to Springfield News-Sun archives.

The local auction station not only provides tax revenue, but supports other jobs and boosts traffic in the area.

“They are a generator of new jobs we wouldn’t have otherwise and they increase tourism,” said John Detrick, Clark County commissioner.

He said people travel from all over to go to the quarterly auctions in South Vienna and that there are buses that take visitors from South Vienna to local restaurants and hotels.

“We’re very glad to have them here,” Detrick said.

The auctioneer holds four auctions a year at 200 Ritchie Drive in South Vienna, and the company generates anywhere from $5 million to $10 million an auction, Detrick added.

The total $3.9 billion auction revenue is the highest in company history and a five percent increase in total auction sales revenue since 2011, according to a press release. Just in the fourth quarter of 2012, the company sold $1 billion of equipment at auction sites. The major gain was in online sales, which saw an 18 percent increase over 2011 to $1.3 billion in sales.

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