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Sotheby’s Swings to 1Q Loss

May 10, 2016 3:00 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Sotheby’s reported its revenue in the first quarter slumped from a high base last year.

Total sales nosedived 32 percent to $106.5 million, with the company swinging to a $25.9 million loss from a profit of $5.2 million a year earlier. Record art sales in January to March last year had led to an “atypically profitable” quarter, Sotheby’s said.

"As we exited 2015, it was clear that the significant market growth experienced in 2014 and the first part of 2015 had slowed somewhat, and the impact can be felt in our results for the first quarter," said Tad Smith, Sotheby’s president and chief executive officer.

Historically, the first and third quarters tend to be a quiet period for art auctions, with the second and fourth quarters combined accounting for about 80 percent of net auction sales.

The most significant indicators of the current state of the market will come at the Geneva and New York auctions in the next two weeks, including the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in the Swiss city May 17, Smith added.
Tags: art, auction, auctioneers, geneva, Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, Rapaport News, results, Sotheby's
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