Rare-goods auctioneers Mowbray Collectables has had the most challenging year since it was founded four decades ago but the company is undergoing a strategic review.
It reported a loss of $182,890 for the year to March, placing the company deeper in the red than its $146,799 loss last year.
Buyers of the stamps, coins, art, jewellery, collectible motorbikes, Oceanic arts and decorative arts that it deals in appear more cautious about their spending.
Managing director John Mowbray told shareholders yesterday the market was the most challenging he had seen in his 40 years in the business. At the annual meeting in Wellington, he said the company's result was disappointing.
"There are some people hurting a lot and a lot of clients we probably had not expected to be in that position, apparently are," Mowbray said, adding that buyers wanted to be seen as conservative in the current economic climate.
NZX-listed Mowbray Collectables shares were at 45c yesterday.
The company has hired consultants Campbell MacPherson to conduct a strategic review of how it can increase profitability.
"We want someone outside Mowbray to give us an analysis of where we stand now and what the future direction of the company should be.
"Whilst the board has its own ideas, we feel we should go to more-specialised assistance."
The balance sheet suffered a blow from the $300,000 writedown in Australian company First East Auction Holdings.
Mowbray indicated at last year's annual meeting that the writedown was expected. The company had invested A$1.2m in 2009 for a 19.08 per cent stake in First East but due to poor management it has since ceased trading.
However, Mowbray said yesterday that the coin market was strong, mainly because of bullion prices, and he expected this to continue for some time.
Mowbray owns 49 per cent of Auckland auction house Webb's, and is in talks with the Webb family to buy out the other 51 per cent, with a sale expected early next year.
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