Sotheby’s suffers losses and dismisses employees Automatic translate
NEW YORK. The world-famous auction house Sotheby’s incurred losses of $ 11.2 million (8. 1 million pounds) in the fourth quarter of last year. This was announced at the end of February.
A representative of the trading house, who reported a profit of $ 74 million for the same period a year ago, explained that commission fees from auctions - the largest source of income - fell by 8%, to $ 284. 4 million in the last 3 months of the past of the year. Total revenue decreased from $ 351 million to $ 335 million, largely due to the decline in demand for art in Asian countries.
One of the investors at the auction house, Dan Loeb, demanded that the company return more money to shareholders, which necessitated a significant reduction in the staff of the house. In particular, Alex Rotter, 16, who headed the department of contemporary art, announced his retirement. David Norman, deputy chairman of the House of Sotheby’s in the Americas and co-director of Impressionism and Modern Art, leaves after 31 years of work. At the same time, the company did not fail to note the merits and achievements of each employee dismissed.
The reduction in staff reflects the general changes in the company after the acquisition of a private art consulting firm Art Agency Partners for $ 85 million at the beginning of this year. Agency executives, former employees of Christie’s Amy Capellazo and Allan Schwartzman, are currently effectively responsible for the work of the new department that oversees the Impressionists and contemporary art.
Not long ago, market experts warned: the global decline in sales - recent auctions in London showed a drop of 45% compared to last year - exacerbated by the lack of masterpieces, including, due to the fact that private collectors stopped selling art. In these conditions, the auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s are forced to focus on ultra-botanical customers and compete not only among themselves, but also with the largest gallery owners, such as, for example, Larry Gagosyan.
While the global art market declined 6% over the period from 2014 to 2016, mainly due to falling sales in Asia and the UK, the US market continues to grow. Here, the volume of sales increased from $ 2.9 billion to $ 3.4 billion.
Efforts to reform at Sotheby’s began to take a year ago, when the Council appointed Ted Smith, executive director of the entertainment franchise Madison Square Garden, to manage the company and chose him as assistant to Domenico De Sole, the former executive director of Gucci.
Both appointments show that the auction house is more concerned with building a strong brand in the face of tough competition in the market.
Despite all the unsatisfactory financial indicators of trading in London and the results of last year, Smith said he «is confident in our future and intends to build a business with a clear focus on increasing the value of the auction house for shareholders and customers.»
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