Christie’s reveal performance of salerooms and departments

Christie’s have announced worldwide sales totalling Ј589m ($947m) for the first six months of 2003, again laying claim to the title of the world’s leading auction house. This compares with a dollar total for the same period last year of $989m, a fall of just over four per cent. Of this, auction sales make up Ј549m ($883m) and private sales Ј40m ($64m).

Like Sotheby’s, Christie’s blame the fall in sales on the Iraq conflict, the adverse impact of foreign currency movements and the SARS epidemic in the Far East. As a result of SARS in Hong Kong, Christie’s rescheduled their April Asian Art and Jewellery sales to July, so they Ј32m ($52 million) totals from these will show up in the third quarter results instead.

As a wholly privately owned company, Christie’s do not publish details of turnover and profit, though a company source confirmed that the latter was in “double figure” millions for the period.

What they have given this time, however, are sales totals for each of their sale centres and departments, and these are listed here:

Top Ten International Department Totals

January – June 2003

• 19th & 20th Century Art Ј241m $388m

• Impressionist & Modern Art Ј158m $255m

• Post-War & Contemporary Art Ј83m $133m

• European Furniture Ј61m $98m

• British & Irish Art Ј43m $69m

• Jewellery, Jadeite, Watches Ј40m $65m

• Old Masters Ј27m $46m

• Asian Art Ј27m $43m

• Silver & Russian Ј14m $23m

• American Paintings Ј14m $22m

• Books & Manuscripts Ј11m $18m

• Antiquities Ј5m $8m

International Sale Centres

January – June 2003

• Europe Ј317m $510m

– King Street Ј206m $332m

– South Kensington Ј42m $67m

• United States Ј228m $367m

– Rockefeller Center Ј224m $361m

• Asia and Australia* Ј4m $7m

* Excludes SARS-hit sales, delayed until July, totalling Ј32m

All figures represent sales totals, not company revenues

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