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The gallery, which has been in New Bond Street since it opened in 1876, has announced an £11.6m turnover for 2005-6, up from £4.5m in the year following the September 11 attacks, when American business all but collapsed in London.

Contemporary art became an established feature following the redevelopment of the FAS New Bond Street basement gallery early last year.

The FAS acquired Edinburgh gallery Bourne Fine Art in late 2003, with Patrick Bourne later becoming managing director of the group. He also announced a rise in operating profit from £280,000 in 2004-5 to £700,000, with Bourne Fine Art contributing £2.25m of the turnover and profits of £200,000.

“We have opened a new gallery devoted to Contemporary art downstairs and we have a much more youthful stable of artists,” said Mr Bourne. “We also have staff working entirely on that side of the business which we did not have previously.”

The current Contemporary exhibition is the Font Project by Gavin Turk. The FAS sees selling Contemporary works as a return to its roots, as during the late 19th century it championed some of the greatest living artists of the day, including James McNeill Whistler, Sir John Everett Millais and Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

The bulk of the company’s turnover still comes from 19th and 20th century British art. Earlier this year, the gallery acquired a major private collection of paintings by Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949), including The Glass Vase, which was subsequently bought by a British collector for a six-figure sum. It also sold The Coffee Pot by the Scottish Colourist Samuel John Peploe for over £500,000.

The FAS is expanding its international activities and last March exhibited at TEFAF Maastricht for the first time.