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Bonhams have announced what they say are their best financial results to date including global sales of $600m and sales in the UK regions of £27.9m.

Helped by a largely buoyant art market, company chairman Robert Brooks told ATG that sales from January to December 2007 grew by over 20 per cent on the previous year with undisclosed profits up by 45 per cent.

Five years after the merger of the four principle companies which now make up the Bonhams Group (Brooks, Phillips, Butterfields and Bonhams) he believes the company is now riding a steady growth curve achieved against falling overhead costs and the balance sheet is “stronger, by a large margin, than it has ever been in our company’s long history”.

This, Mr Brooks says, has been achieved without offering vendors financial guarantees – a practice he has roundly condemned in the past.

During 2007 Bonhams had, for the first time, sales running simultaneously in four continents (further expansion in New York is expected in 2008) but for the first time the company has also released details of art and antiques sales in the UK regions.

The premium-inclusive total for provincial sales was £27.9m, a figure that excludes the even greater value of lots sourced in the regions for the company’s salerooms in London and around the world, and also excludes all regional car and motorcycle sales. This compares with £18.3m hammer total posted by Dreweatts in the same period (see last week’s news).

Mr Brooks told ATG that sales will continue to be held Knowle, Bath, Bury St Edmunds, Par, Oxford, Chester, Honiton, Edinburgh and Leeds. New premises in Edinburgh and Oxford are expected to be announced shortly.