Sotheby’s reported $ 2.5 billion revenue in 2020

The work of Gerhard Richter at the Sotheby's pre-auction exhibition From Rembrandt to Richter. London, 28 July 2020

Despite its impressive size, this figure is about 25% lower than income for the same period last year.


Last Monday, Sotheby’s published the results of its activities for the first half of 2020. And these results are impressive. Since the beginning of this year, the auction house has earned $ 2.5 billion, including revenue from auction sales and private sales.

Despite the fact that relative to the results of last year, this figure sank by about 25%, in many areas of the auction house, there is steady growth.

Thus, the number of new customers on all types of Sotheby’s platforms (including online auctions, viewing rooms, and other types of bidding) increased by 30%. The number of participants under the age of 40 has grown by about a third. During the pandemic, the same millennials, whose involvement in the art industry had been racked by the best specialists in recent years, turned their attention to the art market and its opportunities.

In addition, Sotheby’s has significantly strengthened its presence in the Asian region. The number of new customers from there has increased by about 20%. The online sales market has also grown naturally. Since the beginning of the year, online auctions have earned more than $ 285 million, which is about three times more than in 2019. Private and fixed-price sales through the Online Viewing Platform, Sotheby’s Gallery Network, and East Hampton Gallery launched or refurbished this year, brought  $ 575  to the auction house.

Since the beginning of this year, the auction house has held more than 250 online and offline auctions, in which residents of 119 countries took part, the average level of sales in which was about 80%.

It is interesting that even by the beginning of the summer, nothing boded for such high results. The auction house earned half of its total revenue ($ 1.2 billion) in two summer months, during a series of very successful trades in June and July, held both in real-time online and in the presence of participants in the room, in a hybrid format.


The results of Sotheby’s in the form of infographics can be further studied on the website of the auction house.


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