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Sotheby's Reduces Expenses, Improves Profit in 1Q

May 11, 2015 8:19 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Sotheby's reported that revenue fell 0.7 percent year on year to $155.7 million in the first quarter that ended on March 31. However, the auction house lowered expenses 10.1 percent to $137.3 million.  Profit attributable to Sotheby's improved to $5.2 million compared with a  loss of $6.1 million one year earlier.

During the quarter, Sotheby's noted an 8 percent increase in auction commission revenue, attributable to improved auction commission margins, and 3 percent growth in net auction sales.  The improvement in auction commission margin was primarily attributed  to the change in the buyer's premium rate structure that was enacted on  February 1, 2015 and a lower level of buyer's premium shared with consignors.
Tad Smith, Sotheby's president and CEO, said, "Our company delivered significant profit growth in the quarter as compared with last year through strong sales in Old Masters, Impressionist and modern and contemporary art. These successes highlight the depth and breadth of Sotheby's expertise. We are off to a good start in 2015."

Tags: auction, Jeff Miller, revenue, Sotheby's
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