, one of the worlds leading art and antiques retailers, has announced a profit before tax of £0.2 million in its interim report for the six months ending 30 June 2013. This was an increase on the pre-tax profit of £0.1 million recorded during the same period last year and compares to a loss before tax of £0.3 million in the first six months of 2011.
The strengthening market for art and antiques in the United States, where Malletts turnover almost doubled during the first half of 2013, was an important factor in the companys improving position. Sales to China and Brazil were made as a direct result of visits by the Mallett team in 2012. This was part of an ongoing strategy to promote the company in these and other emerging markets.
Although the overall turnover of Mallett and its subsidiary businesses fell slightly from £6.7 million in the first half of 2012 to £6.6 million in the six months ending 30 June 2013, margins improved enabling the gross profit on turnover to remain constant at £1 million.
We are pleased to report that the US market has shown a marked improvement on last year and turnover for Mallett US has almost doubled from the same period for last year to £3.4 million, said Lord Daresbury, Chairman of Mallett. He added that because of this the company is reviewing its staffing in the United States and also its previously announced plan to sublet part of its New York showroom. This was to ensure we maximise the potential of the significant uplift in the US market.
Lord Daresbury said that although the UK has proved a difficult market Mallett had held two major exhibitions Great English Furniture and The Age of Elegance in its London showroom at Ely House which have created interest and sales. It completed the sale of its former subsidiary James Harvey British Art Limited to James Harvey in May. Mallett is evaluating options to maximise the value to the group of the freehold property in Clapham, south London currently occupied by its profitable restoration subsidiary Hatfields. Plans for Malletts new website are progressing well.
The upturn in the US market has given us some cause for optimism and we have revised our strategy to make the most of this, said Lord Daresbury. The slow progress in the UK market, however, calls for a note of caution. But we will continue to provide varied and high quality exhibitions in our glamorous Ely House showroom to promote interest and excitement in our market and to generate sales.
The Board 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.