, one of the worlds leading art and antiques retailers, today (Thursday 9 August 2012) announced an 8 per cent increase in turnover in its interim report for the six months ending 30 June 2012. This and savings from the reduction in rent following the London-based companys relocation to Ely House, an elegant former bishops palace in Dover Street, Mayfair, in February, enabled it to show a break-even position at profit before tax in the first half of 2012. This compared to a pre-tax loss of £0.3 million in the same period in 2011.
The total turnover recorded by Mallett and its subsidiary businesses increased from £6.4 million in the first six months of 2011 to £6.9 million this year, a rise of 8 per cent.
Turnover for Mallett Antiques, the principal business, showed a larger rise of 19 per cent from £5.4 million last year to £6.4 million in the first half of 2012. We have successfully sold a number of high value pieces this year and the second quarter of the year has seen an encouraging pattern of sales, after a slow start to the year, said Lord Daresbury, Chairman of Mallett. This culminated in a very successful stand at the Masterpiece London fair at the end of the period, where we had many visitors to the stand and sold a good number of pieces. Mallett owns 23.75 per cent of Masterpiece London, which staged its third Fair at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
The Board of Mallett has decided not to declare an interim dividend. However, as the Group continues its progression towards a stable level of profits, the Board reiterates its commitment to returning to paying a dividend once it is financially prudent to do so.
Our new showroom, Ely House, has impressed all who have been to see it, said Lord Daresbury. Ely House engenders the crucial sense of confidence among clients against a backdrop of continuing uncertainty in world financial markets. It is encouraging both footfall and sales and is being successful in attracting new consignment items to sell as owners of high quality pieces recognise it as an ideal setting in which to realise most value.
We are also progressing the other areas of our growth strategy of entering new geographical markets, particularly the emerging markets in Asia and South America, and expanding our product range. As reported in May, our Chief Executive has made important new contacts in China, establishing relationships with a number of key influencers, collectors and museum curators in Shanghai and Beijing. Enquiries from prospective clients in Asia are increasing and a further trip to China is being planned for later in the year. We are also planning to exhibit in partnership with TEFAF [The European Fine Art Fair] Maastricht in Sao Paulo in November to expand our client-base in the Brazilian market.