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DGAP-News: artnet AG / Key word(s): AGM/EGM/Miscellaneous
Robust Performance during Covid Crisis / Artnet Excellently Positioned for the Future with Digital Business Model / External Audit Provides Clarity
Artnet AG, which is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, expanded its position as the leading trading platform for the art market during the current Covid crisis. Jacob Pabst, CEO of artnet AG, was very satisfied with the business developments in the year 2020 and the further positive developments throughout the year 2021. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Pascal Decker believes that, due to its digital business model, the company is excellently positioned for the future. He also welcomed the external review that the company agreed upon with shareholder Weng Fine Art AG as an "important step for a future-proof positioning of artnet AG." Shareholders approved the actions of the Supervisory Board and the Management Board of artnet AG for fiscal year 2020 at the company's Annual General Meeting today. The event was held virtually in view of the restrictions imposed by the Covid pandemic.
Robust Performance throughout the Covid Crisis
Since its founding in 1998, artnet AG has played a significant role in shaping the digitization of the international art trade. According to Jacob Pabst, CEO of artnet AG, the company's broad positioning, with a portfolio ranging from gallery network to price database and auctions to advertising, is the key reason for its robust performance during the worst economic crisis in decades. As a result, the company's 2020 revenues were stable at $21.6 million (compared to $21.9 million in 2019). Pre-tax earnings rose to more than two million dollars. The positive trend continues through the first three quarters of 2021. According to Pabst, the company's total revenue for the first nine months increased by 14% over the same period last year to $17.6 million, the strongest result in the company's history to date.
Strong Growth in Artnet Auctions Segment
Growth in artnet's auction business was particularly strong, with a 25% increase in 2020, despite a 35% contraction in the overall fine art auction market. In the first nine months of 2021, commission-based revenue from the auction business increased by 14% to $3.9 million. The top lot so far this year was Frank Stella's Rozdol I from 1973, which changed hands for $1.1 million (including buyer's premium) on May 19 this year.
"The art market is becoming more and more digital," Jacob Pabst said at the AGM. "The global Covid pandemic has further accelerated this development. We are benefiting from this due to our fully digital business model."
Artnet enters the NFT business
In addition, Pabst referred to the company's recent activities in the fledgling NFT segment: "artnet is and will remain a highly agile company that maps and helps shape current developments in the art world. Among others, we are offering a rare Crypto Punk, with a $20 million estimate, for Private Sale via Artnet Auctions. With the launch of the first on-chain NFT platform within the art industry, the NFT Advisory Board, and the Artnet NFT 30 report, we are building bridges between the crypto community and the traditional art world. I am convinced that we will see more forms of digital art in the future. We want to do our part to make these activities visible and tradable."
In his statement, Pascal Decker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of artnet AG, emphasized that he believes the company is excellently positioned for future challenges, given its broad product portfolio. "The art world is changing rapidly in light of the digitalization accelerated by Covid. Artnet will continue to be at the forefront of these developments in the coming years, especially with regard to new forms of digital art." Decker continued, "In my view, the company's goal in the coming years must also be to allow shareholders to participate in the company's success in an appropriate way by paying a dividend."
Audit provides clarity
At the AGM, Decker also informed shareholders that the company had reached an agreement with its shareholder Weng Fine Art AG to have the correctness of its business management in the past years subjected to an external audit by an auditor. The company had previously announced its intention to apply for the voluntary audit on December 6 of this year. The intention is to commence as early as possible in the spring of 2022 and to provide information pertaining to the results in due course.
Artnet AG is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, the segment with the highest transparency standards. The majority of operations are headquartered in New York at its wholly-owned subsidiary, Artnet Worldwide Corporation, a New York based entity founded in 1989. Artnet Worldwide Corp. owns a London based subsidiary, Artnet UK Ltd.
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23.12.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
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