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Mallett predicts return to prosperity for art market despite widening losses

MALLETT, the Bond Street antique furniture and art dealership, yesterday said pre-tax losses for the first half of the year widened almost threefold, but said it was poised to benefit as more of its rivals succumbed to the economic turbulence.<br /><br />The group reported a pre-tax loss of &pound;0.82m for the six months to the end of June, compared to almost &pound;0.3m over the same period last year, which chairman Lord Daresbury said was &ldquo;a direct result of the global economic recession&rdquo;.<br /><br />But he said turnover was 72 per cent up on the second half of 2008, when the recession was at its peak, and predicted a slow return to prosperity for the sector.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are encouraged by the improvement in the trading environment since the start of the year and the loss of a number of dealers from our sector recently should boost our market share,&rdquo; Daresbury said. <br /><br />He added: &ldquo;However, we are also aware that these are uncertain times and we are, therefore, cautious about prospects for the rest of the year and believe confidence will return to the art market slowly.&rdquo;