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.