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Sotheby’s 2015 Revenue Climbs but Profit Slumps

Feb 28, 2016 6:11 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Sotheby’s reported revenue increased 2.5 percent to $961.5 million in 2015. However, profit dived 63 percent to $43.7 million because of a number of charges recorded in the year including a $65.7 million non-cash income tax charge and a $23.6 million after-tax charge related to the auctioneer’s voluntary separation incentive programs late in the year. Both charges were recognized in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Diluted earnings per share fell from $1.68 to $0.63, according to a statement February 26.

The company offered voluntary separation incentive programs to staff in the fourth quarter, which were accepted by about 5 percent of its 1,600-person global work force, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing December 14.

“After a year of transition, we have a strong team with a clear mandate to build a more valuable business for shareholders and a more responsive one for new and existing clients,” said Tad Smith, Sotheby’s president and chief executive officer.

“We will likely have one or more difficult quarters as we ride through the current cycle, but we are being careful on guarantees and capital commitments, watching our liquidity carefully, continuing to invest in the people and capabilities that will drive our future success, and taking the opportunity with our excess cash to repurchase shares.”

Sotheby’s sold $571.4 million worth of jewelry in 2015, below a record of $602.5 million set the previous year, it said. In November it sold the 12.03-carat Blue Moon diamond for a world-record $48.5 million.
Tags: Auctions, Blue Moon, Rapaport News, results, sales, Sotheby's
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