Sotheby’s second quarter revenues rose 39 percent

Sotheby’s reported record revenues of $248.3 million, a 39 percent increase compared to the same period in the previous year, primarily due to higher auction commission revenues–particularly a 52 percent increase in aggregate auction sales as well as a 77 percent increase in private sale commissions. Also contributing to the improvement is an $8.4 million, or seven-fold, increase in principal activities revenues due to successful results from auction guarantees in the quarter, the auction house said.

Income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2006 (ended June 30) was an historic high of $72.4 million, compared to $42.5 million, 70 percent improvement. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter was $123.4 million, a 64 percent increase from the prior year period. The growth is partially offset by certain expense increases primarily related to the overall increase in sales and profitability,the company said.

For the first six months of 2006, revenues reached a record high of $344.3 million, a 36 percent, improvement. Income from continuing operations for the first half 2006 was $68.4 million, a 109 percent increase from the first half of 2005. Adjusted EBITDA for the first half 2006 was $130.9 million, a 79 percent improvement from the first half 2005.

“These results represent Sotheby’s best second quarter in our history,” said Bill Ruprecht, Sotheby’s president and chief executive officer. “Once again, Sotheby’s auctioned the top lot of the season and we sold 287 lots for over $1 million. We have more than doubled our first half 2006 net income and earnings per share from the prior year, which is an impressive achievement, especially considering the strength of last year’s results as well as the competitive landscape.”