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UK Tatts 2009 Gross $418m: 4th Highest In History

Friday, 5th December 2008

For the year, US Tattersalls recorded turnover of 167,555,450 guineas (A$418.89m) which is still the fourth highest in the company's history. Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony commented: "2008 has been a year of stark contrasts. The Tattersalls year began with record breaking sales in February & at both the Craven & Guineas Breeze-Up Sales despite a sense of disquiet surrounding the economic outlook. The July Sale, although solid, did not match the levels of recent years & as the sheer scale of the economic upheavals became apparent, the (northern hemisphere) Autumn sales season was approached with a degree of apprehension. Fortunately, throughout the 2008 sales season the contribution from our overseas buyers has been outstanding, but the implications of a mismanaged domestic (UK) economy have been very evident. Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale displayed remarkable resilience, as did the Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale, but it has been clear over the last 2 months that the bloodstock industry is anything but immune from the impact of a global economy painfully short of confidence. The industry has experienced a prolonged period of unprecedented growth since the last downturn in the early 1990s, with sales turnover at Tattersalls growing by almost 6 times between 1992 & 2007. The key now is to adjust as quickly as possible to the prevailing market conditions. The combined British & Irish foal crops are at an all time high, driven by the sustained growth of recent years & the 2008 sales season has illustrated graphically that the market is unable to absorb the numbers. This is an observation which we made last year & that was after a record breaking December Sale. The need for adjustment is now rather more pressing, with the impact of the downturn being felt in all sectors of the industry. Even in a period of sharp declines it is, however, important to accentuate the positives. It would be fair to say that the 2008 December catalogue lacked the extraordinary strength & depth of 2006 & 2007, but buyers have consistently remarked that quality individuals were still very hard to buy."

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