Christie's first half sales up 12% thanks to global outlook

Christie's has announced its first half figures for 2014, showing a 12% increase year-on-year thanks to a new global customer base.

Barnett Newman Black
Barnett Newman's Black Fire I set a new artist record at Christie's

The world's leading auction company made £2.69bn ($4.4bn) in the half-year to June 30, with the rise attributed to a 24% increase in new buyers. Christie's states this is due to its "successful strategy to connect with more collectors globally".

The figures reflect Christie's strong online presence, with a 71% increase in internet bidding seen so far for the year.

They also reflect the burgeoning popularity of collecting as a whole; new collectors are flooding into the market as traditional assets waver.

Christie's CEO, Steven Murphy, commented: "Christie's continued position of leadership is evidenced again in our half year results. Yet more important is that we are meeting our goal of serving more clients than any other art business globally and at all levels of collecting.

"Our strategy to engage this growing audience for art through auction, private sales and digitally has been validated and again welcomed many new buyers.

"We continue to lead the top levels of the art market, particularly in the post-war and contemporary Art area, while also successfully serving the broad variety of interests through all our categories and online sales. It is a new era of excitement and engagement about art and for art."

"By putting the art first, Christie's has captured the imagination of our clients and served them in their quest to connect with the art itself."

Indeed, post-war and contemporary art has seen record results, with a 20% increase on the sale period in 2013.

Christie's top 10 lots - first-half 2014

Barnett Newman - Black Fire 1 - $84.1m (May 2014)
Francis Bacon - Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards - $80.8m (May 2014)
Francis Bacon - Portrait of George Dyer Talking - $70m (Feb 2014)
Mark Rothko - Untitled (1952) - $66.2m (May 2014)
Andy Warhol - Race Riot- $62.8m (May 2014)
Juan Gris - Nature morte á la nappe á carreauz - $56.6m (Feb 2014)
Andy Warhol - White Marilyn -$41m (May 2014)
Jean-Michel Basquiat - Untitled - $34.8m (May 2014)
Jeff Koons - Jim Beam J.B Turner Train - $33.7m (May 2014)
Gerhard Richter - Abstraktes Bild - $32.4m (Feb 2014)

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