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Various photos of buyers and auction staff at a Ritchie Bros. Auction in Bolton, Ont. Dec. 7/2009.

Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. , the world's largest auctioneer of industrial equipment, posted higher net profits and an 11-per-cent revenue increase last year.

The Vancouver company reported Tuesday its net profits rose to $76.6-million (U.S.) or 72 cents a share for 2011.

That compared to net earnings of $65.7-million or 61 cents in 2010.

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Ritchie's auction revenues for 2011 grew 11 per cent to $396.1-million from $357.4-million as the company conducted 228 industrial auctions in 13 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Central America and Australia.

Ritchie, which reports in U.S. dollars, said its fourth-quarter profits more than doubled to $26.8-million from $13.5-million.

Peter Blake, the company's CEO, said "2011 was a successful year for Ritchie Bros. in the face of a challenging used equipment supply environment, and we achieved the targets that we set for the year."

"We have begun 2012 with a number of very successful auctions, and the strong pricing and competitive environments we saw in 2011 have so far continued into 2012."

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