In 2020, Aguttes
totaled 47 million euros (including costs, after-sales and private sales) and retained its position as the fourth largest auction house in France for the fourth year in a row.
After an average annual growth of +30% since 2017, the crisis, linked to the pandemic caused by the Covid-19 and which has impacted the entire market, is impacting the sales companys result. In fact, the total auctioned price including expenses and excluding private sales, is down -15% between 2019 and 2020.
The decline in the auction house's revenues remains in the lower end of the market ("in 2020] the decline in auction revenues is between 20% and 40% depending on the auction house"; source: Roxana Azimi, L'Hebdo du Quotidien de l'Art, issue 2070, December 11, 2020).
These figures certainly reflect a relative decline linked to the international health context, but on the other hand they demonstrate the solidity and regularity of Aguttes over the last few years.
Context of the health crisis
Expertise: Specialists and in-house experts were able to meet with fewer sellers (in the context of appraisals and estimates) during this year because of the confinement and the rules of social distancing. In contact with buyers, they were nevertheless aware of their interest, but a period of adaptation was necessary to reassure sellers and demonstrate to them the persistence of buyer demand on the market.
These two points are the main reasons for the slowdown in the auction house's activity.
Viewings: The absence of public viewings ultimately had a relatively moderate impact. To compensate, it was necessary to create additional content (videos, more extensive condition reports, additional photos, video interviews with specialists) and to spend more time accompanying and advising buyers in their remote purchasing process.
Sales: The sales took place successfully, with the necessary adaptations in terms of format: sales behind closed doors or very limited public viewing, remote and telephone auctions, mainly for major works. The impact was therefore low. Buyers, confident in the expertise of the qualified in-house specialists who have joined the house in recent years, actively bid and bought remotely, breaking several world records. For example, on October 6, 91% of the lots in the sale devoted to Asian painters were sold without having been seen, and with an average price of 80,000.
Online sales: Part of the sales initially planned for public sale has been converted into exclusively online sales: + 340% sold compared to 2019.
Online sales: Part of the sales initially pegged as public sales has been converted into exclusively online sales: + 340% of product sold compared to 2019.
Management: The professionalism, the dynamism of the teams and the rigorous management of our family company have given us the necessary means to get through this particular year.
8 million euros (+63% growth compared to 2019).
The Collector Cars department totaled 10.3 million euros and 83% of lots sold, marking a new milestone in the exponential development of this department since its creation 7 years ago.
Apart from the two specialties above which stand out in 2020, the other departments contribute to balance the company's turnover.
The percentage of batches sold and the results obtained are improving. This is possible thanks to the work of the buyer base by each specialty and a strengthening of the means of promotion, especially internationally (more than 70% of foreign buyers).
The opening of an Inventory department announced at the end of 2019 has brought results, this department being at the origin of the discovery and the success of the dispersion of a single owner collection of works of art and scientific measurements entitled "Measuring Worlds" (2.5 million euros of result and 92% of lots sold).
The strategic development of a specialty dedicated to contemporary Asian art was a success for the Contemporary Art department with a result of 4.3 million euros sold.
48 sales took place live and 70 lots exceeded 100,000.
Online Only Sales
40 online only sales for a total of 2.2 million euros (+340% sold since 2019) of which more than 35% for jewelry and Old Master Drawings.
- 30% increase in Instagram account subscribers by 2020
- +25% of unique visitors on the aguttes.com website (source Google Analytics)
Reinforcement of the Classic Cars Department team with the arrival of a new consultant, Hugo Baldy, specializing in pre-war automobiles. Organization of the first auction sale at the start of the "Tour Auto Optic 2ooo" tour in April 2021.
Reinforcement of the auction house's presence in Lyon with the arrival of Audrey Mouterde-Mathon, a native of the city. Development of the representative offices created in 2020 in Aix-en-Provence and Belgium.
Creation of an after-sales department with the recruitment of Elsa Daux to develop the service offer to buyer customers.