LONDON/NEW YORK/HONG KONG.- Christie’s International, the world’s leading art business, today announced 2008 art sales totals of £2.8 billion/$5.1 billion. The results reflect an 11% decrease in £ (19% decrease in $) over 2007 sales against the difficult global economic backdrop. The results were achieved through more than 600 sales in 14 saleroom locations worldwide and include auction premiums as well as private sales of £267.6 million/$487.0 million. For the year, Christie’s sold a total of 629 works of art at auction for over $1 million each.
“Despite the economic turmoil in the second half of 2008, Christie’s completed the year with £2.8 billion in sales, continued profitability, and a record of offering great quality works to clients around the world”, said Edward Dolman, Chief Executive Officer of Christie’s International. “Christie’s continues to lead in key markets across the globe and in the high-end auction sales of Impressionist and Modern Art, Asian Art, and Jewellery due to our ability to offer the best expert advice to our clients and market their property globally, employing the most sophisticated, innovative and compelling strategies. The diversity of our auction business across regions as well as in other areas such as private sales, Christie’s Education and Christie’s Great Estates, continued to introduce an unprecedented number of collectors to Christie’s and contributed significantly to Group profit in difficult economic times.
“As we move into 2009, recent results and forthcoming consignments give good reason to remain positive about the global art market where demand remains strong for well-estimated, unique and sought after works of art. In addition, and in line with other leading businesses, we have also implemented significant cost efficiencies and will continue to refine our operating plans to stay at the forefront of the art market. Following the solid results of our recent sales of Old Master Pictures in New York and Impressionist and Modern and Post War and Contemporary Art in London, we are also delighted to present the magnificent Collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in Paris at the Grand Palais, one of the most important single owner sales in auction history.”