Sotheby’s today released its financial results for the first quarter of 2015, which ended on March 31 this year. The house posted a profit of $5.2 million for that period, up from the $6.1 million loss it reported during the same period last year.
Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $0.11 for the first quarter of 2015, compared to a loss of $0.04 for the first quarter of 2014.
The house booked charges for “associated with the CEO transition, prior year shareholder activism, and restructuring, operating income,” though it cut expenses to about $137 million, from $153 million last year. Revenue slipped slightly, from about $157 million in 2014 to $155 million this year. Though private sales declined, auction revenues increased, thanks to a hike in commission rates.
In a statement, president and CEO Tad Smith provided a brief explanation of the results: “Our company delivered significant profit growth in the quarter as compared to last year through strong sales in Old Masters, Impressionist and modern and contemporary art. These successes highlight the depth and breadth of Sotheby’s expertise. We are off to a good start in 2015.”