Bonhams auctions post record $211m revenue in 2013

With the auction market gathering in strength, Bonhams has announced record results for 2013.

Chairman Robert Brooks presides over the sale of a £17m Jean-Honore Fragonard masterpiece - the highest selling old master painting in 2013

The auction house saw record turnover of £127m ($211.2m) last year, a reported 19% increase on 2012's total, as increasingly low interest rates drove more wealthy buyers to the diversification opportunities offered by collectibles.

A record gross profit of £91m ($151.3m) was realised in part by world record prices for old masters, jewellery, Russian art, Chinese art and collector cars, among others. The auction house also found success online, with more than 25% of bids now coming through its internet bidding system.

"2013 was a year where we saw the Bonhams brand establish itself further on the global stage. We have put significant investment behind growing a brand that can compete effectively in the key auction markets of the world," commented Bonhams' chairman, Robert Brooks.

"We will continue to invest in people, property and marketing in the future and I fully expect to see Bonhams winning market share in Europe, North America and Asia. Our clients choose Bonhams because of the expertise of its people, backed by a brand that is clearly challenging the status quo across the world, and we are very excited by the potential that this business presents."

Bonhams also opened its £30m ($49.9m) flagship salesroom on New Bond Street, London, with "significant" investment in its New York and Hong Kong facilities.

Fellow market leader Christie's also saw record results for 2013, its auction sales totalling $5.9bn, propelled by the highest selling art auction in history.

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