Sotheby’s Second-Quarter Net Income Drops 33 Percent Versus 2011

Ruprecht. (Courtesy Patrick McMullan Company)

Despite some high-flying successes for Sotheby’s this year, like the sale of Edvard Munch’s The Scream for a record-breaking $119.9 million, the house’s profits in the second quarter declined 33 percent compared with those realized during the same period last year. The result reflects a “challenging global economy,” according to the firm’s president and CEO, Bill Ruprecht.

The company reported a net income of $85.4 million for the second quarter of 2012, down 33 percent from the same period last year. It reported total revenues of $303.9 million, a decrease of 18 percent from the second quarter of last year.

For the first half of 2012, it reported a net income of $74.8 million, down 42 percent from the previous year, and total revenues of $408.9 million, down 16 percent when compared to the same period last year.

In a statement, Mr. Ruprecht pointed to the $373.3 million its Impressionist and modern sale earned in New York in May, the highest-ever sales total in that category. Some other success this year include the two-day sale in London in May of the collection of the late Gunter Sachs, which realized a total of $65.5 million, double its pre-sale low estimate.

“Art appears to remain an attractive asset for collectors,” Mr. Ruprecht added on a positive note, “and our consignment pipeline for the Autumn season is very active at the moment.”

We’ll get to see what his team manages to bring to the auction block.

Sotheby’s Second-Quarter Net Income Drops 33 Percent Versus 2011