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As outlined in this year’s interim report to shareholders, the Bond Street PLC suffered a decline in turnover of 23.5 per cent for the six months ending April 30 compared to the same period last year. The drop from £4.4m to £3.4m came as something of a disapointment, after hopes were raised that Partridge had turned a corner after registering more optimistic figures in their annual report for 2003.

The pre-tax loss of £378,000 recorded in the results contrasts sharply with the £425,000 profit made in the equivalent period last year. In his statement to shareholders, chairman John Partridge described current trading conditions as the most difficult he could remember.

“Historically, the majority of our business has been with American clients and their continued unwillingness to travel to any great extent…coupled with a comparatively weak exchange rate has had a marked effect on the profits of the company.”

Mr Partridge added that despite the disappointing results, there had been a noted improvement in business since February with some suggestion that overseas visitors were beginning to return to London.

Next year they will again exhibit at Grosvenor House – they were there for the first time in half a century this year – and will again be attending the International Fine Art and Antiques Dealers show in New York in October.

They are considering joining the ranks of dealers at both the Maastricht and the Palm Beach fairs.